I have never paid more than $1/bf for wood from downed trees. Look for
building sites and talk to the foreman. Ask if they can leave the logs in
8' lengths. Get to know a local sawyer. Got some poplar and some very
highly figured QS white oak.
Well of all the wood stashed in my barn, the cheapest came from
auctions. And to further qualify that, the cheapest of the cheapest
came from auctions on cold/rainy days when the wood was back behind a
barn or something which of course, requires a little extra work. My
non-scientific observation is that if it's cold and rainy, you'll pay
a lot less than if it's a nice cool, dry fall day.
I once bought a pile of what looked like crap-wood but the bottom 15
boards were birdseye like I had never seen. Paid a whopping $3 for the
pile and turned around and gave the crapwood to a guy for helping me
load the other stuff. Laughed all the way home<G>.
I've got a lot of nice wood by hooking up with people who burn wood. I
help a guy once a year. He burns about 10 cords a year. I help him
split and stack. In return I take a pickup load for my meager needs
and get to scrounge for burls and crotches. Got a lot of fiddle-back
maple one year from it and many burls. Again - work required.
Pallets are a good source but getting rid of the nails and such can be
a pain. It's near impossible to pull nails from most pallets since
their driven into the wood green (around here it's oak). By the time
you get them the wood has a pretty good hold on'em. Plus if I were
going to use this as a source, I'd sure invest in a metal detector.
That's my .02 worth, ymmv. Remember, nothing's "Free".
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