If you're interested in creating projects out of reclaimed, recycled, or rejected lumber, there are a few different places where you can find it. Knowing where to look is an important place to start. Here are a few of the places you can turn to for inexpensive and potentially free lumber to get your projects started.
Local Cabinet, Furniture and Wood Floor Companies
Any company that works with lumber to create finished products, such as cabinetry and furniture, is going to start with wood in more raw form and then cut it down to what they need. This leads to an accumulation of discards and cutoffs of lumber pieces. It's often just disposed of, so you can check with them to see if you can haul it away for them. These are great sources for wood because most of the woods they use are hardwoods. Just keep in mind that you'll be getting a lot of irregular-sized trimmings and maybe some smaller pieces.
Lumber Yard or Mill
Just like a furniture or cabinet manufacturer, lumber yards and mills work with a lot of wood. They also produce a lot of waste from trimming and other work. If you approach the manager of the yard or shift leader at the mill, you can ask about any potential waste or trim that you could take off their hands. In many cases, you can get great wood really inexpensively, if not free, from this. Just keep in mind that it's typically raw wood and trimmings, so you'll have irregular sizing and you may have to contend with some pests in the wood.
Another great place to get reclaimed wood is from yard sales, second-hand stores, flea markets, and similar destinations. Whether it's an old sofa, a bed frame, or even a dresser, there's lots of wood that can be stripped down and reused. The best part about using wood from this type of furniture is that it's already well seasoned. You just have to be prepared to break down the furniture to get the wood pieces that you're looking for.
Whether it's a neighbor who is building an addition or someone who's doing renovations, you may be able to get the scrap lumber from the deconstruction phase if you offer to help out. From the wood framing in the walls to hardwood flooring, there's lots of potential to get well-seasoned wood. It's often well worth the sweat equity you put into it.
You can also reach out to local lumber suppliers, such as W. T. Fary Bros Lumber Co., to buy the custom pieces that you need. With so many ways to get the wood you want, your project opportunities are seemingly endless.