Lowes RANT!

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Have been asking lumber yards and other places about Baltic Birch ply availability getting mostly half blank stares as if they hadn't heard of it before. Recently went to plywood section of local Lowes and there was a single slab of 1/2" X 5' X 5'. Asked where the rest was being stored and wood section Mgr said that piece was special order and walked away with it under his arm. There was a stack of 3/4" X 4' X 8' labeled Birch ply that had characteristic thin plies making up the total 23/32" thickness that the Mgr identified as BB. Also some 1/4" X 4' X 8'slabs were there and he said that was all they carried.
Search of their site discloses "Not available at that store". I sent mail asking how it not available but it was there from special order. So far that is still open. Suggested in the mail they work up a query option by product name or category listing what items CAN be special ordered. They answered the mail stating it would be forwarded to appropriate people and they called at 7PM to say the same thing.
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You expect them to carry LN planes, too? The difference between them and a Stanley is about the same as between standard and multiply versions of birch with the same display faces. This is a home center, for cryin' out loud.
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a
birch
George - sit down and be quiet. Don't you know it's fashionable to rag on Home Depot and Lowes? It gives one a certain... oh, shall we say, a "lofty feeling".
--

-Mike-
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So what's the problem?
Put in a special order, and the manager will keep other lookers from walking off with YOUR piece of wood.
It's also available by mail....
Old Guy

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I noticed that they do not carry Cocobolo either.
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On Thu, 04 Jan 2007 04:39:43 -0500, nospambob wrote:

I'm curious--where are you located? Several yards in this area (Connecticut) have Baltic Birch, but they're hardwood yards, not softwood yards. It's not something I would expect to find at Lowes or Home Depot. Have you tried <http://www.woodfinder.com ? It's not comprehensive or always accurate but it's sometimes a useful starting point.
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--John
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snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:

I don't know what sizes you are looking for, but Lowes DOES carry a very nice product in 3/4" (23/32"), called Arauco plywood.Check it out here: http://www.dealerslumber.com/araucoply.html
It is pine, not birch, but pretty nice.
You CAN mail order Baltic Birch. In a pinch you can also buy small sheets (probably no larger than 24" x 24") at a craft store.
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snipped-for-privacy@vcoms.net wrote:
> Have been asking lumber yards and other places about Baltic Birch ply > availability getting mostly half blank stares as if they hadn't heard > of it before.
So what is your problem?
Do you expect to find a new Rolls Royce at the Chevrolet dealership?
Lew
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wrote:

Menards has it.
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Rolls Royces? At Menards?
Oh, wait. Never mind.

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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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The only place I've ever heard of Menards is here. Never seen one.

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It's another big-box home improvement chain, but not national. They're in the upper-Midwest only, with the largest concentrations of stores in the Chicago, Minneapolis, and Indianapolis regions. http://www3.menards.com/menards?mm_dest=%2Flocator%2Fstorefinder.jsp
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) writes:

I'm not sure I'd classify them as big-box, unless they've changed considerably in the last 10 years or so. More like Orchard Supply Hardware in the SF bay area; big hardware stores with lumber yards, usually outdoors.
scott
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That sure describes Menard's. Big hardware store with a big lumberyard. Their tool stock isn't as good as Lowe's but their lumber is much better.
Scott Lurndal wrote:

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I have a rant but it is about a tool.
My boss wanted to re-do is deck with Trex. But he did not want to face screw it and wanted a hidden fastening system. To which I had no control of what he ordered or wanted. So he had a couple of options at the lumber yard where we have credit.
One option was a tiger claw system where you tap one clip on each joist into the first piece of Trex and the next piece gets driven into that and you keep repeating this.
The second option he had was a biscuit type system that and you used stainless steel screws once you cut all the biscuit slots. This is the method he chose. Which I was fine with I just install.
So we had to buy a biscuit cutter to cut some 100's worth of biscuits. We purchased a Porter Cable from Lowe's. About a month ago we had to do the same process at his beach house. We need to replace the blade. Fine we go to Lowe's search for the blade. They do not sell it. We tried HD they don't sell it the blade either. I said to the guy in the tool department. "How can you sell a tool but not the blade?" His response was "That is the way things are done." And then he told me to try a hardware store.
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Honestly replacing blades on biscuit cutters is a pretty rare occurance. I suppose the Trex is more abrasive than normal wood. I wouldn't expect each store to carry a blade that might never get sold. Yes, retail has to carry lots of inventory but I would give them a pass on this non-typical item.
The only analogy I can come up with (I love analogies) is expecting them to carry a replacement chuck for every brand and model of drill they carry. Yes, chucks go bad but it is not a typical occurance.
Bill Davis Jr wrote:

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<...snipped...>
I think you have too high expectations of Lowes & HD and for that matter, most hardware stores also. A biscuit cutter is not a very common tool, compared to say a circular saw or drill, and the replacement blades would be a low volume item for any retail store. I know of a few tool dealers in my area that probably stock a replacement blade for biscuit joiners (Ooops, _almost_ put that 't' in there!) but honestly, If I needed to replace mine, my first thought would be mail order.
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Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontent makes rich men poor.
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Forget Lowe's. If they had BB it would be too high, like their hardwood.
Look around for a hardwood dealer and they will ususally handle Baltic Birch. There are 2 or 3 in our area that sell it at a reasonable price. Several of the independent lumber yards do too. The only drawback so far is they do not always stock the 'A' grade. I occasionally have to settle for a occasional veneer-filled hole (no filler).
RonB
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Same for my local dealer, who stocks the lower grade. Kind of annoying to have a football-shaped patch on the "good" side. Nobody else anywhere nearby stocks it at all.
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You guys are funny, I've only been in 3 lowes. I've been asked to leave
all three and not come back. I've happily agreed. I prefer the pro's. Lou.
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