Looking for suggestions on a low cost hardwood ( if there is such an
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. :)))))
Try to find someone selling #1 or #2 common oak or maple. It will have
other defects in it, but it's less expensive. If it's for the shop, it
I don't know if poplar is considered a hardwood, but that's also less
Call the Woodmizer people and see if there's someone near your area
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.
"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.
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.
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
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".
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
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,
Be aware that "tulip-poplar" or "yellow poplar" isn't the same as real
poplar, called "popple" around here.
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.
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.
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.
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
Palette wood is not all that bad. At time, I get oak which I keep for
What is not good I burn. At first palette wood appears to be cheap but it
May time I have nicked planning blades and it is labour intensive.
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