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Where to Find Lumber for Woodworking Projects

Where to Find Lumber for Woodworking Projects

Search for The Holy Grail (of Woodworking)

You have grand ideas for creating your wooden masterpiece but there’s just one problem… you need some lumber to make your vision a reality!

But where can you find it? That’s the mystery we hope to solve for you in this article.

Retail Stores

The Usual Suspects – yes, you guessed it, Home Depot and Lowe’s.

You’ll typically find lumber choices like plywood, dimensional lumber, pressure treated lumber, boards, planks, and panels at these big-box DIY retailers. And, you can usually find both hardwoods (like oak, birch, and maple) and softwoods  (like pines, firs, and cedar) but the selection may be limited.

Hardware Stores

If you just can’t seem to find lumber anywhere else on the planet you can try looking at local hardware stores like Ace Hardware and True Value. You’re probably not going to find top of the line materials here but if you’re desperate for wood it’s certainly worth a shot. For beginner projects you may find just what you’re looking for here.

Local Woodshops & Sawmills

Get to know the owners of places like this and build a good personal relationship with these people. In time, you may find that you’re able to pick up wood that they are no longer using or need.

Lumber Yards

If you’ve got more money to burn than you do time then lumber yards are the place for you. Yes, you’ll spend more, but you’ll get exactly what you need at a premium. If time is more valuable to you than money then make lumber yards your new playground.


Why bother going to a brick and mortar store hoping to find what you need only to discover that you just (possibly) wasted your time? Find what you need online using this new thing called “The Internet”. With the Internet you can search for lumber in places like Amazon, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and “specialty lumber shops” – just to name a few.

All you need to do is Google them and you’ll find them. They’re out there.

When you logon to these sites use the Search feature on the site to type in search terms like “lumber”, “firewood”, “slabs”, and even “pallets” to find hidden treasures just waiting to be scooped up by an ambitious woodworker like yourself. The search term “reclaimed lumber” is a good one to look at as well.

You’ll find all kinds of available options and some of them may even be free (not likely but it does happen).

Reclaimed Wood

Sometimes things built with wood eventually get torn down or demolished. For example, an old barn, decks, or wooden fences are put to rest and replaced with new ones (or the land is reclaimed for other purposes). Keep your eyes open for such opportunities and you might just find all the wood you need for your next project.

Another thing to look for are blocks of firewood, trees that have been cut down and put out for trash pick up. And, speaking of trash pickup, look for old furniture that people are getting rid of. Tear that baby apart and see if you can find any good wood pieces. You never know.

The point is this – keep you eyes open for any and all opportunities to spot wood that can be reclaimed, re-used, and repurposed.

My Dad's Garage

This is actually not a joke.

My dad keeps a lot of wood lying around in his workshop and a lot of it has been sitting there for years just waiting to be called up for duty.

Check with friends, family, associates… anyone that you think might have any kind of wood you can use for your projects.

Heck, find people who are throwing away old furniture (like a couch) and see if you can have it instead. You could rip that baby apart and possibly use it for your next project.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Just a few good ideas for where you can find that wood you need for your woodworking projects. Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading.

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