Where to buy hardwood

Finding sources of wood can be a little bit daunting at first if you don’t know where to look.  As a beginning woodworker I naively assumed the big home centers such as Lowes and Home Depot would have everything I need.  The moment I truly began to look, however, I quickly discovered that to be far from the truth.  I then began my hunt for good sources with reasonable prices nearby our residence in Southern Maryland.

I found three primary sources:

  • Exotic Lumber, Inc., Annapolis, MD.  This place is absolutely amazing with the incredible selection of different types of wood they have available.  And the prices are very reasonable.  I’ve spent much of my time so far building with cherry wood.  Exotic Lumber’s prices on cherry, for the shorter segments I need (5 to 6 foot long “shorts” as they are called) have been running around $4.50 per board foot.  Some of their shorts are quite wide — as much as 10 or 11 inches at times.  Just be selective when choosing the wider boards to look for cupping.
  • Hardwoods, Inc., Frederick, MD.  This is the first place I visited in my search for 3/4″ cherry plywood.  Thiis supplier has a smaller selection than Exotic Lumber, but has some nice furniture-grade plywood, some standard domestic hardwoods, and some exotic woods as well.  The staff is friendly and helpful, and will plane one or more sides of your boards upon request for a nominal fee.
  • Herbine Hardwoods, Luckett, VA.  Rick Herbine runs a small sawmill operation in Northern Virginia.  He specializes in Appalacian hardwoods.  His prices are the best in the area, although the selection is more limited than the other two locations.  Most of Rick’s sales are to commercial establishments, Rick does a lot of direct sales to commercial establishments in the area but will sell direct to consumers.  Call him first to make an appointment.
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