Where to procure wood?

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Maxwellol

Tenderfoot
Feb 10, 2013
90
0
Manchester
Hi All

Simple question, expecting a zillion different answers (that's what makes this forum so great!)

The only places I can think to find wood to work with (will move onto what for in a minute) are either scavenging from local wooded areas, or buying large boards from homebase (useless for craft type stuff). So where do you all get your materials from?

  • Are there any websites that you can order from and will deliver?
  • I've seen people mention before that they get stuff directly from sawmills etc - how can I find out if there are any near me?
  • Any "mainstream" shops that that would have what I'm after?
  • Etiquette around scavenging dead/fallen from wooded areas (which obviously will be owned by someone or some body)?

What I want it for is both Carving and for Joinery - I'm a novice in both areas, so I don't really need finest professional quality materials for now.

  • The carving to practice small simple stuff like spoons and figurines, so I guess either wooden blanks or whole log/branch cuts are the requirement.
  • The Joinery would be small-scale, small items. I've been experimenting with furniture making, but can't do this in the garden during winter (no daylight) so I need an indoor craft. I'd like to try my hand at things like dovetail trinket boxes, small things of that nature. So I suppose the requirement would be small/thin pre-ripped boards?

Thanks in advance, all advice appreciated :D
 

Mesquite

Anyone for sailing?
Mar 5, 2008
24,059
960
59
~Hemel Hempstead~
For carving spoons and other such items I either womble fallen wood after storms or I have spoken to local tree surgeons if I see they're working on a tree.

Pre-ripped wood you can order for delivery from places like this, just have a look on Google
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,534
407
Mercia
Local tree surgeons will save wood for you and deliver it - if you make it worth their while! Local guy to me drops me wood chip and other stuff for a few bottles of home brew now and again.
 

ozzy1977

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
8,558
1
43
Henley
As has already been said, tree surgeons can be of use or landscape gardeners, you would be surprised what can be got from neighbours gardens when they have a good pruning session, lots of weird and wonderful stuff. Have a look in the local yellow pages for a saw mill, they might have some odd stuff sitting around.
 

didicoy

Full Member
Mar 7, 2013
538
7
fens
something a lot of folk over look is local coffin makers. These guys usually have a stock of "old" selected, off cuts from days gone by. Some of it is the best seasoned timber money can buy. Just that theres not enough (same grained) wood left to make a new complete coffin. I have spent many a hour just chatting away to these "old guys" in their workshop/sheds. They love to hold on to good timber (knowing its quality and worth) until a genuine person comes along. If its good wood your after for making small, nice pieces of furniture, boxes etc. Visit your local antique auction house. Brown furniture is fetching nothing these days and most of it was made from the pride of our pre/post WW1 WW2 English woodlands. Oak/beach/Elm/sycamore wood that's ripe for up-cycling. Spend a few quid on a solid oak cabinet, take it to bits and reuse the wood. Council recycling centers are another good place to buy old, broken wooden furniture. A few hours on a Saturday just watching what comes in to the recycling yard, in the back of cars and vans, trailers etc. Select what you would like to take home (with agreement from the proprietors) and offer to pay them something for it. A little preparation like taking a tape measure, a hammer, a saw, a few screwdrivers and you can dismantle most of the furniture at the recycle center. Cut your selected stuff/wood to length, so it fits in your vehicle with ease. Leave any unwanted material at the recycling center. Plus a pile mixed size oak boards, looks less valuable than three or four pieces of old furniture. So chances are you will get it for a lot less once you have processed it.
 

feralpig

Forager
Aug 6, 2013
183
0
Mid Wales
The joinery shops around here sell off bags of wood as kindling. £5 for a bag, about as much as you can lift with one hand. I buy a bit sometimes. I ask for blocky stuff, there is often bits of kiln dried hardwood, 18 inches or two foot long, and a few inches square.
Would be ideal for carving.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,268
266
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If you're wanting it for joinery and boxmaking don't faff about with unseasoned logs, its split tastic.
In pretty much any area there will be a decent timber merchant, the ones who specialise in hardwoods are the blokes to get decent stuff from.
Depends how thin you need it but about three quarters of an inch is maybe the thinnest you get it at the merchants so you might have to run it through a thicknesser to get it thinner.

Not saying about carving cos I don't do any carving.
 

richardww

Banned
Jan 17, 2012
275
1
Gwynedd
for most of what i do i use www,stilesandbates.co.uk, i also also get given furniture form local autions, that dont sell, the old stuff is good soild wood.
Also nature provades a lot.
( am not conennected with SaBates, just a happy custermer)
 
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SJStuart

Settler
Jan 22, 2013
998
0
Suffolk Coast
Where you are... I'd head over to Rivington and see if you can find any fallen green wood. The trees there are only weakly held to the ground, so there should be plenty of them fallen down to take pieces from :)
 

Maxwellol

Tenderfoot
Feb 10, 2013
90
0
Manchester
Lotsa good suggestions so far fellas, thanks :)

I like the sound of asking tree surgeons - although I've got nothing to offer by way of trade except for money (and not a whole lot of it :p) What would you say would be a fair price for a real small amount, maybe a plastic carrier-bag-full?

Re. Rivington, thanks for the suggestion but alas no vehicular transport (and the wrong side of Manchester to boot) - if I was gonna pick it up from local woods they'd have to be real local.