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Anonymous

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I am new to wordworking and am interested in where to buy and what to buy wood. Can anyone tell me what a cheap hardwood would be and where I should look at buying such woods. Are they available through the web or would I be better looking at a local source?
 
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Anonymous

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probably your best supplier would be timbmet http://www.timbmet.co.uk. They have a depot in Oxford. I have not used them myself, but I understand that if you turn up to their depot, you can pretty much buy a few planks at a time. I use Arnold Laver in Reading for most of my requirements (they are local to me & will deliver), but I tend to buy 10 cu.ft. or more at a time
 
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Anonymous

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Howell,

A cheap hardwood is something of a contradiction in terms, unfortunately. However, the cheapest are usually Ash, Sycamore and Beech of the native timbers. I'm not sure about tropicals, as I don't buy them. I use British Hardwoods for most of my timber, and they're very good. That's by mail order, sight unseen, btw. Better to be able to choose your own if you can, but they're a good alternative if you can't. Especially if you need PAR stuff.

Cheers, Jester
 

kityuser

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jester > does such a timber company mail order small quantites of native hardwoods e.g. enough for a small project such as a tv cabinet or table?
 
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Anonymous

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Steven,
I think British Hardwoods' minimum order is 10m length in PAR and I think rough sawn. Haven't a clue if you have to have a minimum number of cubic foot in waney edge. I think probably not, as I only bought 1 cubic foot of cherry from them, but it was a special offer. i.e. Don't quote me! :lol: They are the best place I've found that's geared up to offer small quantities at a time. The page you want to study is here. Another option is South London Hardwoods, but I've only bought off-cuts from them so I have no personal experience.

Cheers, Jester
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Good point regarding quantity & PAR versus rough sawn. Fortunately I can store 10cu.ft. in my shed, so quantity is not an issue.

I looked at the price difference between PAR & rough-sawn and my investment in a jointer & a thicknesser has already paid off. I buy 1" rough saw ash & plane down to 3/4". Allowing for some waney edge (very little) and a few splits, I get probably 50-60% (conservative) of the volume after dressing & squaring the wood, so buying 240 foot length of 1"x6" (10 cu ft), I get about 200-220 feet of 3/4" x 5" (more like 5 1/2" generally), which would cost £300+ from British Hardwoods as opposed to £200 for the rough sawn timber from my local supplier.

Please don't think I'm knocking British Hardwoods, I've used them before and they're great; I'm just pointing out an alternative that might make sense if you can envision using enough wood to justify the initial investment in tools.

As a matter of interest, my skill at thicknessing & jointing does not (yet) match the evenness of buying PAR timber :oops: , so my belt sander is useful. But I'm getting better. :)

Obviously from a cost perspective, you might want to factor in the cost & maintenance of a thicknesser & jointer - and also perhaps the extra time involved in preparing the boards, but to me, this is all part of the fun of making huge quantities of sawdust :D

Just my €0.02
 

GrahamC

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I have just placed my first order with British Hardwoods for 20 linear metres of American white oak. The service on the phone seemed very good, asked what the wood was to be used for so they could select the most appropriate cut, etc.

I see from these forums that a few people use BH and no horror stories, at least that I have read, so I am confident.

Sadly, I am resigned to having to either travel a long way to get to a decent sawmill or have to do sight unseen mail order, I would prefer to pick my own timber, but hey, what can you do if the local timber merchants only sell softwood and the ubiquitous moulded mahogany :(
 
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Anonymous

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Graham,
Did you make a point of needing to know when they'll deliver? The one problem I've had with them is a tendency to 'phone up and say "We're just down the road and we'll be with you in 10 minutes". At least find out which day it'll be. :wink: I meant to mention that before... Sorry. :oops:

Cheers, Jester
 

GrahamC

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Jester, I did ask about delivery and they agreed to call me two days before to make sure that I was home to receive the goods.

I would have preferred a bit longer as I am quite often abroad with work just now and 2 days might not be enough, but it is better than nothing. I'll let you know if they keep their promise.

Thanks for the info.
 

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