Often people or construction businesses who work with wood want to get wholesale lumber in order to save money. However, it is important to understand the differences of wood and how to buy lumber so the lumber is still a good quality at a low price.
There are three ways lumber is harvested. The first is clear cutting which removes all saw logs as well as everything else that can be chipped to make paper. It takes fifty years after clear cutting for another crop of timber to be harvested. This time span is required for the thicket of new sprouts to thin out and grow survival trees at a normal rate.
Loggers choice leave the decision of what to harvest up to the logger. They will remove anything they can to make money and leave the rest. Trees that are smaller than twelve inches in diameter and larger trees have no value. This is because they are either defective or there is no market for their species. For example, beech is rarely requested. Walnut and cherry trees greater than 10 inches are usually removed. It takes a generation before woods can be harvested again.
Selective logging removes trees someone has decided need to be removed. A local forester removes both mature and worthless trees. This leaves young trees behind to fill gaps. Forests harvested this way can be logged again in half a generation.
The way lumber is harvested has an environmental effect. This makes it important to buy lumber from a company who understands these environmental concerns when harvesting their lumber for sale.
There are many ways to buy lumber. Lumber can be bought in tree and log form. This is the most complicated way to get lumber. There will be obvious defects, like branches. There will also be subtle irregularities that can be hard to notice, like in the bark that can hint at defects within the wood.
When buying logs, the purchaser will need to understand how to dry the wood without ruining it. They will also need to learn how to use lower grades of lumber from logs in projects. Despite these issues, this is the cheapest way to get lumber, but it takes a true expert, a large team of woodworkers, and a lot of time. This is not the avenue for industrial purposes.
If the purchaser does not live near where hardwood is produced, as much of the world is, then this option will not be beneficial anyway. Lumber is marketed internationally and shipping for lumber is surprisingly cheap.
If a buyer does not know where to get lumber, they can ask a local shop that supplies handmade wood products. They can also investigate where construction companies that utilize wood get their lumber from.
Suppliers deliver wholesale lumber no matter where the buyer is from. Sometimes, these suppliers require that the purchaser buy a minimum amount of lumber. This could be as little as 200 bd ft or as much as 500 bd ft. Each supplier will have their own rules. Suppliers usually have buyers buy grade lumber. In each grade, lumber may differ substantively in quality.
An even less expensive route to buying lumber is to buy wood in lower grades. The key to buying in lower grades is to have the knowledge and ability to pick through a stash of lumber to find clear cuttings. These cuttings will efficiently make use of clear wood between defects.
For example, a type of lumber that will produce very little waste is cheap # 2 common polar. In walnut and cherry, the # 1 common grade is one half the top grade price. The # 1 common grade has less sap. There will be a good stash to choose from so little waste is incurred.