Lumber Selection and Options

Hello All,
I have decided to build new kitchen cabinets, but I am wondering about the best place to locate the lumber for this project. I have looked at Home Depot and Lowe's, but the selection and supply on hand is very limited. I am leaning towards maple which isn't available at the two supercenters. I was thinking about contacting some local sawmills, but I live in the Piney Woods of East Texas and doubt they have maple. Is it common practice to mail order lumber? I really don't want to resaw anything. I prefer everthing to already be cut to routine dimensions. If mail order is the norm, would you please point me in the right direction.
Regards,
Trent
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"Zazoos" wrote in message

There are a number of places in East Texas that would have maple, and some even dimensioned.
http://www.hardwoodbarn.com/ in Mt Enterprise, for one.
How close to Houston? Clarks Hardwood Lumber ...I know for a fact have dimensioned maple:
http://www.clarkshardwoodlumberco.com /
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Zazoos wrote:

When I lived in Texas (Terrell) I ordered from Niagara Lumber (Western NY) with great success. They used up prices are good to. URL: http://www.niagaralumber.com /
I bought some curly maple from them (orginally 2 1/4 x 10) which they resawed for me to 4/4+ very happy with the result.
Also try: http://bestofthenet.tv/web.cgi?base=%2FArts%2FCrafts%2FWoodcraft%2FWoodworking%2FLumber%2F Directory of wood suppliers.
Good Luck Marty
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If you are looking to build a kitchens worth of Maple cabinets i would suggest the following.
1. Find out who the local cabinet shops buy their wood from. At a supercenter you will pay through the nose for what you'll need. If you have it shipped your cost will be huge. Hardwood lumber supplier in yellow pages.
2. For the solid stock lumber look to buy S2S1E (Surfaced two sides and straight on one edge). This is the most economical unless your time is equal to zero, then you can buy rough and plane it yourself.
3. Expect to pay $4-$7 a bf for hard maple depending on your region, maybe others can comment.
4. You'll only need the solid stock for face frames (in my opinion)
5. You'll use Maple Ply for the cases. Your decision on what exactly to use but I prefer A1 (perfect one side, good on the other) but you can use A4 (perfect one side, who knows on the other) to save some dough.
6. I suggest buying all the doors and drawer fronts. It will honestly be cheaper and for a much better product. I know all the fun is in making the panels frames and doors but you will never be as good as the big shops are and they can do it for just a bit more than you will pay for the wood alone. These guys are all over the place online, shipping isn't too bad but finding a local is even better.
7. You can buy the drawer boxes also but some baltic birch or solid stock can be a fun project too.

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Thank you for the quick replies.
I live in Longview, Texas and Mt Enterprise is within reach. Thank you for that tip.
I was planning on buying the door and drawer faces pre made to save time, but I just didn't want those particle board cabinets that the supercenters offer and I know I can manage the box and face frame part of the job so I didn't want to hire a custom cabinet maker.
One more question comes to mind. Will I have a hard time matching my face lumber to the pre made doors when it come time to stain?
Thank you
Trent
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"Zazoos" wrote in message

Blame brother Leon here ... he was the one who turned me on to them as I often make the trip through the general vicinity with my youngest to see/pickup/drop off/co-pilot her car up/back to college in AR.

With hard maple you should have no problem.
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When you go see the plywood dealer, ask about prefinished ply. The factory puts a good coating on it, and you don't have to finish the insides of the cabinets, either.
Doing my second kitchen project that way right now.
Patriarch
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I've always purchased my doors and drawers unfinished so I can make things match exactly by finishing them all myslef. Of course Ihave access to spray equipment and some experience doing it. Plus in my "case" (pun intended) I've never done a whole kitchen. I've always done furniture pieces, kitchen islands, etc. But I often build them just like a cabinet and use the cab type doors and drawers for matching. You can also get the finish spec or even buy matching finishing material from the door supplier (not stains typically but clear finishes).
With Maple, if you will leave it unstained, just a clear coat then you should be able to match things OK by yourself. You'll either have a water clear fo\insih or one with some warmness (yellowing). You can easily match this. However, different finishes yellow at different rates so in a few years the match might not. That's why I finsih it all myself.
All that being said. If the doors and drawers mismatch the casework slightly it really won't be noticable or look bad even if it is. Beautifully finished doors that don't macth perfect might be better than perfectly matching, badly finsihed doors.
BW P.S. I like that idea of pre-finish ply with the finish inside. Only problem is the pre-finsihed side is usually the better side. Finishing inside is a hassle. I've seen the cabinet shop put laminate on the inside often. This way thay lam the ply before milling it and once assembled no more work inside.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Look for the prefinished stuff, and put the finished side IN.
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I built our kitchen cabinets from standard #2 pine and birch plywood, all readily available at the home centers. I would buy 1x6 or 1x8 lumber, then rip it into 2" strips. With a little selective cutting around knots and blemishes, I ended up with nearly clear lumber for the face frames and door frames.
We used T&G pine boards in our master suite, so I used the leftover scraps to build the door panels for our cabinets. I just cut off the tongues and grooves, glued them into panels, and planed them smooth. #2 pine would have worked fine too, but I had lots of short T&G cutoffs leftover.
The carcasses of the cabinets were made of birch plywood, except where the cabinet sides are visible. I used 1x12 pine boards on the exposed sides so they would match the face frames.
I finished the pine with Min-Wax preconditioner, followed by Min-Wax "Windsor Oak" stain, and two coats of satin polyurethane. It's probably a more "rustic" appearance than you are after, but we are very happy with the way our cabinets turned out.
I wanted a bit less rustic appearance for my office desk and cabinets, so I built those from poplar and birch plywood. All readily available from the home centers. With a darker stain, they look very nice.
If you want woods that aren't available at the home centers, look for "lumber" or "hardwoods" in your phone book. You might also want to check the lumber yards in your area. Worst case, you might want to try a place like www.bearcreeklumber.com.
Anthony
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If all else fails, you can go to Hogan Hardwoods in Grand Prairie or Houston. They have a very large stock. Jim
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Here are some sources in the Houston area:
http://www.wwch.org/Resources/localRes.htm
M&G Sawmill has red maple, and can plane it for you.
www.mgsawmill.com
Regards, Roy

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Depending on exactly where you live, Houston Hardwoods is just North and West of Houston.
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In addition to those that Swingman mentioned, In Huntsville north of Houston on HY45,
http://www.mgsawmill.com/index.html
Just North of Dallas in McKinney
http://www.curlywoods.com/
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