Cheap ? Hard wood

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Looking for suggestions on a low cost hardwood ( if there is such an animal). Need it for some wood shop cabinets and tool boxes. I don't care to use ply, wood should be stainable, reasonably stable and reasonably able to be machined. I don't want the perfect wood just a usable one. First person that says try Google gets a large splinter in a very bad place. :)))))
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Lee wrote:

Try to find someone selling #1 or #2 common oak or maple. It will have knots and other defects in it, but it's less expensive. If it's for the shop, it shouldn't matter.
I don't know if poplar is considered a hardwood, but that's also less expensive.
Call the Woodmizer people and see if there's someone near your area selling wood.
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Hmmm poplar might work

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Lee wrote:

Don't give much hint on actual use/sizes, but poplar sounds likely to be softer than you'd like for such purposes, at least for tool boxes (unless they're like inserts or drawers, maybe).
Soft maple is relatively inexpensive and finishes better than poplar (other than painting, for which poplar is marginally better imo) and is also harder and mills well. Red oak is probably next of common NA hardwoods...I'd expect cost/availability to vary by area although here everything has to come from afar, so that tends to minimize "cheap" simply by shipping costs.
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"Lee" wrote in message

"Poplar" is probably the cheapest in most locales, but it is not readily/easily stainable unless you jump through some hoops, or know the pitfalls of staining with sap wood and heart wood in the same board. Poplar works nicely and is an excellent choice for paint grade wood, or for dark gel stains where blotching will be less of a problem.
Red Oak is probably the most ubiquitous of the relatively cheaper hardwoods in most places in the US, it stains nicely and is even generally available at the BORGS, as is poplar.
Ash and maple can also be relatively less expensive in some places, but you may not find either accept at lumber yards/hardwood dealers.
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Lee wrote:

Do you have a jointer/planer? If so, look into buying green wood direct from a sawmill. You will have to let the wood sit for about a year, but you can save considerable money.
About 6 months ago I got about 375 bf. of ash for something like $140 from an Amish mill. By the spring time it will be ready to go.
Mike
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As others have said, poplar is inexpensive, but really more suited if you plan to paint it, not sure how the green pigmented parts of poplar would look stained.
Ash is another good choice, right now, at least where I am, it is cheaper than poplar and, IMHO, looks way nicer.
Soft maple is probably the next price point that still falls under "cheap, sort of".
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On Wed, 22 Nov 2006 11:38:23 -0700, Mark & Juanita

The green portions turn brown over time. Fairly rapidly. On the order of months.
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wrote:

And it still looks bad. Around here ash is almost as cheap, but oh so much nicer.
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I guess this is why poplar tends to be painted.
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The answer will vary by region. Here in Northern NY, I can get low grade maple for as cheap as poplar and it's much harder.
You need to ask at your local hardwood supplier what they have.
-Steve
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That's it. Soft maple isn't widely used as cabinet wood, so it tends to be relatively cheap around here. Mainly just pallets and some flooring. If you really want cheap, and aren't embarrassed by dents, get bass. Almost doesn't pay to saw that stuff. makes great insides, unders, and in a shop, frames.
Be aware that "tulip-poplar" or "yellow poplar" isn't the same as real poplar, called "popple" around here.
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Hard to even find planks of basswood, though- I don't know that I've ever seen it thinner than 9/4. That's a carver's wood.
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wrote:

Nope, it's a wood which sells for so little that it's seldom sawed into lumber, as I said. When the deck is empty of decent lumber, they'll saw it for pallets to fill the time. Not even graded. Which is a pity, because it's available large, generally largely clear, stable when cured, and abundant in the northwoods. Think of all the paintable moldings it could make, much less insides and under. If you'll offer the half buck a bf it costs to saw it, they'll be delighted. I take my logs to a local, which is another option, and pay by the hour.
Makes sweet, fragrant honey if you park your bees nearby.
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Check out what hobby shops get for it. <G>
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I must have missed something... are you saying it isn't a carver's wood, or just that it's an underrated wood altogether?
I do agree, though- it'd make better painted moldings than that foam stuff they sell in a lot of places, and it machines really well.
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wrote:

You didn't miss anything, you just added something of you own to what was written. The reason you don't see lumber from it, as I said twice, is that nobody wants it. Keeps the price so low it's almost better to saw poplar.
Two uses and dimensions have been mentioned - carving thick and modeling thin, where you can ask a premium.
Butternut, there's a nice carving wood.
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On Sun, 26 Nov 2006 02:16:57 -0600, Prometheus wrote:

FWIW, the local yard has 4/4 basswood for $2.95/bd ft. Also 8/4 and 16/4 for more.
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As stated it is best to get your lumber at your local mill. That is if you happen to live close to one. Buying hardwood at HomeDepot is not too economical. Here we have a local lumber kiln and the average price is around $0.75 CAD per rough 4/4 thick board foot. The last time I purchased 3,000 board foot of sap maple, ash and pine and split the cost and load with one of my friend.
Otherwise, you can get green hardwood and season it for no less than 1 inch per year. Palette wood is not all that bad. At time, I get oak which I keep for structural purposes. What is not good I burn. At first palette wood appears to be cheap but it is not. May time I have nicked planning blades and it is labour intensive.

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