There is no question that
buying lumber from a lumber yard is the best method.
You simply can't replace walking around the lumber
yard, picking up a piece of wood and examining it.
sounds,and rows of lumber make this a shopping trip
I really enjoy.
However not everyone has the option of driving to
their lumber yard and even if you can, your lumber yard
may not carry the stock that you need. Perhaps you
live in a small town that simply doesn't have a lumber
yard. Then you will need to look to alternative sources
for your lumber.
One great source for lumber is a private sawmill.
Chances are there is someone in your area that has
a mill and would be willing to sell you lumber. You will
need to ba able to mill a board 4 sides square since
most of the wood you get from a private sawmill will
be rough size.
Another thing to remember about a private sawmill
is that you will likely be limited to wood species
that grow in your area.
Ordering lumber online
A new and great alternative is to order lumber online.
There are many sources to get lumber from, one being
Ebay. When buying lumber on ebay you are probably buying
from an individual who has a sawmill or access to one.
The lumber is more than likely going to be rough size
and you may not get what you expect.
Another online source I recommend is to find an online
merchant that sells lumber. I have used Rockler
Wood Working with great success.
This merchant guarentees their stock and offers your
money back if you aren't satisfied.
Online merchants are almost as good as going to the
lumber yard. In the lumber yard you get to personally
select you stock, but that stock may be limited. However,
when buying lumber online you have a great selection
of stock but might not get exactly what you want.
You have to choose a method of getting your stock
that works for you. If you live where there is no lumber
yard or one that is limited in stock you will have
little alternative but to order wood or drive to a
center that carries what you want.