Wood - why so expensive?

I've been looking around for some wood (to make a Woodworking bench out of, later will be making small/simple furniture). B&Q and Homebase are WAY expensive. I went to my local Elmes (Buildbase) and they quoted:
3x3 - 1.40/m 5x1 - 1.70/m
This still seems quite expensive when you are making anything more than a small shelf?
Is there a cheaper place to get wood (I'm in SG1, Stevenage) or is that normal?
I've heard about wood reclaimers yards, but I haven't got a thicknesser/planer and can't find one nearby.
Where do y'all get your wood from?
Cheers,
Andy
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Just looked on Yell.com, not many timber merchants, 2, but a few timber importers thought not many in SG1. Timber Yards are the cheapest place to get lumber, up north it's Howarth Timber that I use.
Cheers Jonathan
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On Thu, 07 Aug 2003 14:34:01 +0100, RichardS wrote:

Blimey, then either Elmes are giving me a good price. I do indeed mean 75x75 and 25x125 (I usually work in mm, but I know most DIYers/chippies work in old money!)

Damn! Sounded good until the last half sentence :-)
Cheers,
Andy
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Andy Jeffries wrote in message ...

than planed but these days it's a very good finish. You wouldn't make a staircase out of it but fine for a bench.
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<Snip>

http://www.atkinsandcripps.co.uk/ are the suppliers in B.S.
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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Seems OK to me. I've just dug out my last bill from the Timber merchant that I use and the prices are as follows: 2x4 - 1.65/m 2x6 - 2.45/m 4x4 - 3.95/m MDF 8'x4'x18mm - 12.95 each
The wood is just pine and it is planed all round or P.S.E. as they call it now. The dimensions are nominal and will be just under what's quoted, i.e. 2x4 is not still 2x4 once the planer has been at it.

It's not like it grows on trees you know.
Incidentally, as you're making a bench, my bench with all the wood, the glue, screws, some sawing to size charge for the MDF cost altogether 102.96. But I've since spent another 20 odd quid on a vice. And boy is this bench a beast. It will last forever (so long as it doesn't get wet). So, providing you ignore the hundreds of pounds worth of 'got to have' power toys you'll use building it, a home made bench is cheap.
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