Yep. It’s a pile of lumber with the destiny of becoming a workbench. I’ve wanted to build a bench out of maple for a long time but the price has always prevented me from doing so. I have a really good hardwood supplier close to home but the prices are a little steep (still cheaper than buying from Rockler or Woodcraft). After doing a little research, I came across a semi-local sawmill in southern Indiana that would cut whatever I needed for two-thirds of the price I would pay at my local supplier. The catch? I had to wait for it.
This particular sawmill prefers to harvest trees when the sap is down which means late fall to early spring. From harvest it goes into a wood kiln for drying for a few weeks before it is ready to pick up. When I called the sawmill last June about 200 board feet of 8/4 maple they didn’t have enough on hand but was willing to get it if I wanted to wait. Locally grown hardwood to my specifications for 2/3 the price I would normally pay? I could wait.
So I did. I got a call a couple of weeks ago saying the lumber was ready. I took half a day and drove down with trailer in tow to pick it up (almost running out of fuel roaming around in the back country–long story). It has been sitting in the shop now for a couple of weeks acclimating to the temperature and humidity. In the mean time I have been busy sharpening tools, cleaning out scrap, and organizing the shop in preparation for the build.
If you live in Indiana and are in the market for domestic lumber I would highly recommend Bonesteel Sawmill. Roger was great to work with, the prices can’t be beat, and you have a lot of options. His contact info is below.