Hand Tools

Subject:
probably an in between.
Response To:
there is an answer ()

David Weaver
But the in between type takes labor/staffing.

There used to be a large shop a few hours from me that would allow you to pick, but they had upcharges for just about everything. If you picked through the maple to find nice matching figure or relatively consistent even figure from end to end, you paid a "musical grade" upcharge. If you picked wider boards, there were cost tiers. $6 a board foot wood could easily be double when you were done, but you may choose to get it like that on purpose.

they didn't have any real junk mixed in and if you called to order, you could give them general directions.

if you're operating a retail rack and trying to pull a pallet at any time from the same stock for loyal customers, then the loyal customer loses. You'd have to keep separate racks of mill run lumber with junk culled and then the retail rack so that your former customer could get a delivery of lumber they'd use and retail (since they aren't your core business) could fight through their own share.

Based on what I mentioned above, you could conclude that the yard that I shopped for might be a good place to pick through wood and then make things like guitar tops, but the wood that would make something like a "5a" guitar top (nebulous term) was already not in the rack - anything that perfect was removed and already made into instrument wood.

I have no problem buying from local one man millers here and having them deliver if they deliver wood that I can use. If they charge 90% of market, but half of the wood is almost unusable, then no second order. My only other option is commercial shops that cater to local contractors and would rather sell pre-sized wood for double the market price of 4/4 lumber, for example. They also don't allow you to pick, and the quality has declined in my experience and the way they pull lumber is something I can't really follow - the boards come all at the same width. It may be 7 inches, it may be 8, but they're matching, but the boards don't match well. I guess they can order sorted wood from mills.

All in all, the one man operations have it all over the retail places *until* they lose interest or change focus (for example, the first guy I used retired. He generally sawed and dried wood and if you got a fair bit of it, it was generally in order from the trees he sawed - it didn't get pulled apart and sorted further. The second guy I used is full time and very honest, but he stocks a lot less lumber now as the DIY crowd makes slab stuff far more worth his time).

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