If you’ve been following the show for any length of time you’ve probably heard me talk about my experience with some amazing domestic exotics. Domestic exotics? That’s right! We’re talking cherry, poplar, walnut and even maple. Pretty much anything that’s not pine (although I do love working with pine too).
Living in Michigan I’m lucky to be near all of these domestic exotics. Our old house was surrounded by some amazing old Maples. Absolutely beautiful in the fall. Occasionally my wife and I, along with some friends, head north to the Traverse City area for a little wine tasting. Seeing as Traverse City is known for their cherries, guess what trees I see around there? And our current home is only a few blocks from our old house, but in this neighborhood it’s all about old red oaks. You can’t shake a stick without hitting one.
Something I find funny about where I’m living is our history. Muskegon was once a lumber empire. It’s entire economy and one or two of it’s wealthiest benefactors were lumber barons. Heck, the hospital I started my career at was named for one of these guys! And what’s even more ironic (or is it coincidental?) is the person who had our house built was a lumbermill owner himself. Explains all the Pine paneling in the basement, garage, kitchen, etc.
Now a days though, Muskegon’s lumber outlets for woodworkers is a little limited. Other than the big box stores and their pre-dimensioned hardwoods, the options are pretty small. Thankfully today, we have the internet to get our lumber!
I know many people might not feel comfortable letting someone else select their stock for an important project. I don’t have a hesitation about it at all. In fact given I have a hard time telling one species from another in it’s rough state, let alone whether the color and grains will match up, I trust these lumber experts to do what I can’t.
Currently my lumber rack is a little full, not over flowing, but full enough I can’t justify buying more (OK I can justify it, but my spouse wouldn’t be very happy). I’ve been eyeing up some amazing Maple from Bell Forest Products.
This is especially true after I read this great little article (CLICK HERE to read)) by the guys at Bell Forest about how and where they get the most amazing Birdseye and Curly (Tiger) Maple. I don’t now why I’d get it anywhere else?
To make it even better, Bell Forrest sells project packs ranging from 10 BF to 500 BF. These are also great size boards for the typical dimensions of projects I usually build. Anywhere from 3′-5′ in length for the smaller BF packs to 6′-8′ for the larger ones, and regardless of which BF pack, they’re all 4″ and wider, straight-line ripped on one edge and surfaced to 13/16″.
AND if that’s not enough! There’s free shipping in the continental US for packages under 100BF. Delivery to your shop without having to bring tie-downs for the trip back from the lumber yard (for orders of 100 or 500BF it’s only a $50 surcharge for residential delivery…still an amazing deal!)? That’s a bonus for me, especially since I drive a Tracker.
If you love Maple, why not buy it from lumber guys who really know it better than anyone else? Of course if you’re not that crazy about maple, Bell Forest sells SO MUCH MORE too. Don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself!
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