TIPS ... discounted materials

Forum: Woodworking

What are your tips/strategies re: getting discounted/free materials?

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a1jim ...

Put masking tape on the end of your fingers when using super glue to keep you from gluing you fingers to your project.

woodpecker1 ...

Note to Jim, don’t put your fingers in the super glue. :)

a1jim ...

Oh I never thought of that :))

Jack ...

The first section of our subdivision has been completed a year or so with section two starting I think in the spring. The general contractor keeps a 30’ dumpster in place for all the subs to use. Long story short, between the custom build cabinets, and all the other upgrades people want, I am a dumpster diver. Just tons of beautiful oak, cherry and pine “scraps.” On one occasion I found 4 dark rough cut boards about 8×6×4, turned out to be beautiful walnut. So check those dumpsters.

tinnman65 ...

Someone actually threw a 8×6×4 piece of walnut in a dumpster, people never cease to amaze me! I have found some real nice cherry 4"x 4″×4′ used to put between pallets at work and best of all no nail holes!

Manitario ...

I search through the maple when I’m at big box stores, sometimes I’ll find a piece of beautifully figured wood that is priced the same as the rest of the plain maple.

Mark ...

I haunt the Habitat For Humanity RESTORE. Lowe’s headquarters is local and frequently donates discontinued/overstock items to the stores in our area.

I also set up custom Google Alerts for things I need on Craigslist. For example:
lie nielsen site:craiglist.org in the search box will give you every Lie Nielsen item listed on Craigslist.

Kelly ...

Habatat also has great prices on ugly laminate/Formica for tool table tops.

BarbS ...

Check with your local stores who sell hot tubs and spas…many are imported in exotic hardwood crates thrown out back to be disposed of!

Kelly ...

I used to drop by a custom door store. They used all manner of fine woods and I got lots of African mahogany, teak and so forth. The public would drop by and grab it for fire wood. In their ignorance, they’d burn 2″ × 12″ x 24" chunks of mahogany, teak and so forth.

My coat rack -family name-shelf on the creations page was all from their toss asides.

plunder ...

I do a lot of smaller projects. Reach out to the woodshop teacher at the local high school. Every semester they throw out or give away boxes of cut-offs and scraps.
I’ve gotten some beautiful Burl walnut and maple that I saved from a fireplace.
Offer to talk to the class in exchange for a few boxes of scraps.