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Archive for December, 2011

One Board At a Time Is Pretty Unusual, But It’s What We Do

Thursday, December 15th, 2011
woodworkers source hardwood lumber for woodworking wood projects

We stock a lot of lumber and then sell it one piece at a time to individuals.

One of the strangest things we do at Woodworkers Source is sell wood to individuals.

Wait, what’s so strange about that?

This: the hardwood lumber industry’s standard practices,  rules, and terminology were set up to govern a trade in which most often the smallest order fills a flatbed truck. It never made (much) consideration for hobbyists or small businesses; people who want as little as 100 board feet or less. Random widths, fractional thicknesses, rough sawn, grade names like “Select & Better” just don’t mean anything to people outside the industry.

It also operates in volumes considered improbable by hobbyist woodworkers, as the consumption of lumber is counted not in board feet but in train car loads.  “I’ll take two, please!” has a very different meaning when you’re talking to a massive lumber producer.

The main customers for hardwood lumber are manufacturers who could process 10,000 board feet in a single day for the widget they’re hawking. Which is most likely cabinetry, doors, molding, or flooring.

The point is it’s an industry largely uninterested in serving a customer who needs just a few feet for something like a jewelry box.  But we do it, and very few others do as well. We’ll bring in truck loads of lumber and let customers flip boards in the piles until their heart is content with the right piece.

This business model is so unusual that National Hardwood Magazine talked with me for awhile about what we do and how we do it. The magazine is aimed at those massive lumber producers and wholesalers, so we bring a very different play to the field that those folks might find interesting. Hopefully you do too.

The story came out in their December 2011 issue and also was just released on their website, which you can see at this link along with some photographs of our operation:

Woodworkers Source: Sourcing Multiple Needs One Customer At A Time

Great Woodworking Project Plans for $0.10 each? Yes, on WOOD Magazine’s Back-Issue DVD

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Excellent resource from WOOD Magazine: nearly 1,500 project plans and more on one DVD

As a general rule, maintaining a magazine collection isn’t easy. First, there’s the space problem. Second, there’s the organization problem. Third, there’s always someone in the house who wants to throw an issue or two or more in the trash. And tossing just one does the damage to taint an otherwise perfect collection.

Perhaps the worst problem is finding what you want when you have more than just a fistful of issues to go through. What issue was that dresser? Or desk clock? Or garden bench? Or where’s that bandsaw comparison guide? We just got our copy of the WOOD Magazine back-issue DVD and it appears to solve every one of those problems. Since its price of $150 is no small ding in the woodworking budget, I figure you could appreciate a glimpse into what you get, and possibly a recommendation.

WOOD has put all 27 years of their publication onto one hefty DVD disc (it used to be 5 separate discs) while maintaining a high resolution of each page, down to every last shop tip and advertisement.  To sum it up:

  • 209 issues
  • 1500 projects
  • 1600 tips
  • 570 tool reviews
  • 810 techniques

That’s what you get access to, and with a pretty decent searchable index. With a matter of keystrokes, you have every, oh, armoire built by WOOD since 1984 and can compare the plans to each one. Or jewelry box or cabinet or desk clock, and so on. Plus you can print individual cut lists, plans, and articles.  This is the part that’s hard to get over: 1500 projects by the industry’s most reliable creator of project plans (or it’s certainly a tie with Woodsmith).  If that were the only important thing to me, a little 6th grade math reveals those plans are $0.10 apiece. Worse plans sell for much more.

We’re just a little ol’ woodworking store with only one reason to be singing the praises of the WOOD DVD, and that’s to help you do better and better woodworking.  You don’t even buy it from us, you get it directly from WOOD Magazine.

For $150, I just don’t see how you’d be sorry. It’s a massive resource, and a good one at that.

Get it from WOOD Magazine:

The WOOD Magazine back-issue DVD has all 1,475 projects and plans, plus every shop tip and technique they've published since 1984