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Lumber Yards

Glancing at the sign I attempted to determine what lay inside. Perhaps the typeface would provide a clue as to the quality of service? Instead I could only see the words Dakota Hardwoods nothing more nothing less, pulling into a parking space I glanced around for the entrance and spotted a smaller sign with the word office and an arrow pointing to a glass door. No bars on the door first impressions….

There are many blogs and articles about purchasing lumber and it’s interesting seeing how different companies and countries provide the service. Relocation to a new town or state always brings me a little trepidation, will they let me sort through the lumber, will they have the thickness I desire, will I have to deal with the grumpy know it all clerk?

Since I began making furniture this will be the 5th state that I’ve sought a new vendor and the last couple of moves the internet makes finding options easier. Here in the San Antonio area I asked the local woodworkers guild for recommendations and wow what mixed results! I’m sure that is the most common question asked on the guild site (perhaps someone who knows how could add a link that gives the options) and I also recognize that everyone is looking for a different set of services. in my case I wanted to sort through my own lumber and in particular wanted 5/4 material. After some calls and a couple of false starts I ended up at Dakota Hardwoods. It was a good experience; however they certainly use a system that I’ve not seen before.

There are the lumberyards that let you sort through stacks of lumber, there some that make you take what is there, lumber may be vertical some horizontal and at the best places someone stands over your shoulder. At Dakota, I checked in at the office they wrote out roughly what I was seeking, 5/5 Walnut and Cherry and 8/4 for the legs. Backing my truck up to the loading dock I handed my request to the forklift operator. He then drove off appearing with a stack of lumber that I picked through and loaded into my truck, he then noted the sizes and drove off to get the next size. Again I sorted through the stack, he noted my choices and went off to find the next stack. Very different from what I had done before but if was efficient and the selection was good.

30 minutes later I had lumber selected, loaded and paid for and was on my way back to the shop.

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