Boston-metrowest hardwood suppliers?

I used to buy small pieces of interesting woods from Woodworkers' Warehouse, including nicely finished pieces in thin gauges like 1/4". Now that they're gone, I need another source. Anderson & McQuaid has good wood, but only in standard guages (and a little pricey). Any suggestions?
I may need to buy a small planer anyway, to take down (mostly) softwood under 8" wide to 1/2" thick or thereabouts for built-in shelving. Are the cheap machines reasonably good for finish and reliability, or would I do better to buy an older, bigger planer used? I'm a little concerned about the price of replacing or re-grinding worn/damaged blades.
Thanks for advice-
Ctenos
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On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 19:17:36 GMT, "Ctenos" < snipped-for-privacy@att.net (reply w/o spam)> wrote:

Downes and Reader in Stoughton is the best that I know of (I'm south of Boston). H&K Hardwoods in Lakeville is OK, and Rockler in Cambridge, Woodcraft in Woburn and the RI store are also worth looking at for smaller quantities. I like Anderson and McQuaid less for lumber than their fantastic millwork.
You will definitely want a thickness planer, as it will pay for itself when you buy rough lumber rather than milled. I have a Dewalt, and am very happy with it.
tt
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net says...

I see someone has already recommended Downes and Reader and HK hardwoods.
Neither has off sized woods but both have a price list for some limited milling of the wood. In any quantify this can get expensive and the listing really don't cover actually taking, say four quarter stock down too two quarter. You'd best check with them on that.
Both are good people to do business with but HK generally has a better board foot price then D $ R but a smaller selection of hardwoods. It's also best to check with HK before making the trip. Sometimes the amount of stock in a specific species may not be available.
If you are dealing with mostly softwoods D & R is probably going to be your best bet. Last time I was at HK, Thursday, the only soft wood they have is southern yellow pine and I'm not perfectly sure of that.
The bench top planers do a pretty good job of thicknessing stock. I've got a Delta 12 1/2" unit that's been ticking along just fine now for a lot of board feet. If it were to die tomorrow I'd be looking seriously at the De Walt 13" unit. One of those 15" stand alone would be nice but the space it would take up would make it impractical in my shop.
While you mention a planer for milling lumber you fail to mention whether you have or are contemplating a jointer. I consider the jointer more essential to efficiently milling rough lumber then the planer. If you do a lot of milling then both are really necessary.
When you pass the break even point between milling your own and having it done,as far as money is concerned is up to how many board feet of wood you buy. It can take some time to recoup the cost of these tools but you will at, some point, start realizing a return on them.
One thing you should be aware of though is that milling, IE four quarter stock down too two quarter, can be a relatively time consuming and boring process.
I've only covered the high points. Feel free to drop me an email if you'd like to discuss the options further.
Mike
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MikeG
Heirloom Woods
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