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Thread: Looking for Cheaper Wood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Somerset, KY
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    100

    Default Looking for Cheaper Wood

    Hello, I am wanting to start making some signs similar to the one pictured. Does anyone know where I can bulk order wood like this? I also want to do some signs on stump cutoffs with live edges. Any help is greatly appreciated.smithfamilysign.jpg
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    River Fall WI
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    717

    Default

    Looks like Red Ceder. Time to find a lumber mill.
    We have some great ones around here.
    Kyle Stapleton
    River Falls Renaissance Academy
    Math/Technology Education Teacher


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
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    48

    Default

    Yup, red cedar. Easy enough to find if you look around. Problem is everybody and their brother are making those types of signs and pretty much giving them away. Spend a little time looking at Etsy for example. To me it's not worth my time, effort and materials to make something and basically give it away. Sure, a lot of the stuff out there is junk, I've seen some in person that made me cringe and the owners were tickled to death. But the people buying it aren't necessarilly going to spend more for a nicer looking one. They don't know any better. I do. I refuse to make "junk", and refuse to give away my stuff. It's a tough market for that type of thing unless you're doing mass production and don't mind making $5 a sign.

    As for bulk ordering the wood, there are places out there online. Shipping is the killer. Wood is bulky and heavy and you pay for it. Find somplace around you. I drive an hour each way for mine in one direction, 3 hours each way in the other. There are no lumber yards close to me and these two have pretty much everything and anything I could want. I stock up when I go so I only have to make the trip every now and then and alwyas have a good supply of wood to choose from.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    3

    Default

    I'm a maker- getting my first SB soon but have been training on them for two years now... Anyway- I'm in St Louis, just bought a lumber mill and may be able to help.
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    Cooper

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norman, Ok
    Posts
    2,970

    Default

    Walt is correct with respect of the retail prices on these kinds of routed cedar signs. They are soo cheeeep it's not worth the effort. If you want a hobby that's one thing but for us sign makers it's a looser. Good practice when starting out though.

    I look for the best wood I can get regardless of price. Here's the way I figure it. The cost for wood has little to do with the retail sign prices. It's the rent, utilities, and bills like insurance, auto payments and salary, etc. that determines the final price.

    Joe Crumley
    www.normansignco.com
    Last edited by joe; 02-18-2017 at 01:44 PM. Reason: correction

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    329

    Default

    I agree these can be a very tough sell.
    People who think nothing of spending $60 for a new iphone case or $40 for a half assed screen protector will recoil into instant sticker shock if you want over $25 for a cedar sign - And trying to add pizazz like an epoxy flood fill or even inlay does little to entice them to dig a little deeper.
    They have no concept of what is involved, and while it may be true that material is fairly cheap and labor is relatively low, obviously for most guys it is not worth turning on the machine to make $10-$15.

    That said, maybe you have stumbled upon a niche where they actually do sell for a decent price, or just like making them to get your work out there at near cost. You can get regular cedar from any box store for pretty cheap, quality can vary greatly from week to week. Short of that, as stated, you'll have to find a mill or maybe start using pine.
    Doug

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Somerset, KY
    Posts
    100

    Default

    There is a good local opportunity coming up in the next few years where I should be able to sell these like hotcakes. I am now in contact with a few mills in my area now. I am getting a plan together so I can see if it will be worth it, although I would love to have a complete shop where I could make many different items so it would probably be worth it anyways. Thanks for the great help and words of wisdom everyone!
    2009 BT48 RBK With 10' Powerstick
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    2012 PRS ALPHA 144"X60"
    Republic Blower Hold Down
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