Menards - good? bad? just another box?

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me wrote:

Fleet Farm and Lowes is a no choice. I went there on opening day and Lowes is a bi-lingual store, so I told the mgr. that since I am not bi-lingual, good-bye. Their prices weren't that good anyway.
Menards was a so-so store until HD came to town, then Lowes and now they are much much better with their stocking procedure, quality, service.
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I feel here in Springfield, IL Lowe's has the best construction lumber. Menard's requires a lot of picking through to find a good 2X4. A lot of it is junk wood. However, I find that Menard's has the best cabinet plywood ( Baltic birch, birch, oak, and maple). When you buy birch ply there you have to make sure you get the best grade. They have 2 grades of 3/4 birch, 1 for around 20 bucks ( which has voids in it and looks ok from the outside) is crappy, the other sells for 30 dollars or more is OK. I haven't seen much cabinet grade at Lowe's, They don't have much of a selection for woodworkers. If they do have it, it's a lot higher than Menard's. Their tools there at Lowe's are fine. We don't have a Home Depot here.
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Dave wrote:

furniture building and I get my red oak from a local wood provider at about 40% of the cost. My last buy was red oak for $2.25 bf, and all good stuff. When I do want construction I will hit HD first, then Menards.
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Dave wrote:

Every body has good and bad wood. I once bought some 2x4x96 boards at Lowes down the street. By the time I got them home some of the perfect boards I bought had a 90 degree twist in them. Must have been the change in temperature/humidity. ;^)
Dave N
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Generally they are bigger in size than Lowes or HD, carry more hardwoods (shrink wrapped even). Have a broader selection of price levels than the other two.
That seems to be the case here in Southern Illinois.
Mark
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Where I live, there's not a Menards. When my wife and I visit her parents in Cedar Rapids, Iowa I somehow manage to always get myself volunteered for some type of project. That typically breaks down to about 10 trips to Menards, 5 to Home Depot, 1 or 2 to Lowe's, and another 1 or 2 to Acme Tools. A lot of the trips to Menards are just because it's the closest, but also because they have more selection. In particular I like that Mendards carries hardwood moldings and have a selection of S4S hardwoods as well. It is odd though buying hardwood boards that are shrink wrapped. But these are things that neither Home Depot or Lowes ever carries.
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