Woodworking and crafting with wood are becoming more and more popular. Unfortunately, many of us can’t afford some of the larger power tools, or just don’t have the room to house all the equipment needed. Finding places on where to get wood cut to size is the next option to consider.
To answer your question, Where can I get wood cut to size? Wood can be cut to size at your local hardware store, lumber company, sawmill, trade school, woodworking clubs, Makerspace as well as family, friends and other places. Wood can also be purchased pre-cut at some big box retailers. Another option is to purchase pre-cut, specialty pieces of wood.
Finding somewhere to get
In this article
Lets go over all the options mentioned above in more detail.
Where Can I Get Wood Cut to Size (Locally)
Depending on the kind of wood you need cut will likely determine where you need to go. Below I have listed some excellent ways you can get
Home Depot or Lowes
- If you are buying lumber at a place like Home Depot or Lowes, you can get 2×4’s to sheets of plywood cut in specific lengths. Some locations will charge a fee for each cut. I know of a local home building store that will make 3 free cuts with any sheet of plywood purchased.
- The only problem when you need
at one of these locations is the expertise of the employees cutting. Or, should I should say lack of expertise. One would hope that those working in a hardwood store would be capable of making accurate cuts. However, I have had teenagers cut wood for me and it was ok, at best. You cannot expect a precision cut at your local home building store. You are taking your chances with these locations. woodcut
- The only problem when you need
Lumber Yard or Sawmill
- If you have a lumber only (lumber yard, sawmill) location, there is more of a chance that the cuts will be just as precise as you need them to be. These lumber yards deal with mostly tradesmen and know how important it is to cut accurately and precisely. They risk losing a lot of business if they mess up.
- The price per cut will be more than a business-like Home Depot or Lowe’s but definitely worth it. It is much more of a hassle to try and shave off pre-cut wood that does not meet the proper dimensions so spend the extra money and have it done right the first time!
- I have a project coming up this fall, which I plan on making a built-in entertainment wall unit. I am considering getting my lumber yard to pre-cut all of the length and then do the width cuts myself. It’s just so much easier than doing it all myself in the garage or workshop.
Find A Makerspace Near You
- Search online for a Local Maker Space to see if one is near you. A cool feature of this business is you can look at their equipment list which is usually listed online. Chances are they will have a wood shop and the appropriate equipment you need for cutting wood pieces for your DIY projects.
- If you only need to get wood cut once or twice then this might not be the best solution for you. If you happen to know someone that is a member maybe they can take you down there to cut some wood. On the other hand if you are in this for the long haul then invest in a membership.
- If you aren’t familiar with this business, a typical Maker Space location provides the use of work areas and all of their equipment for a fee of about $40/month (USD).
- Maybe you live in an apartment and just don’t have an area for cutting wood pieces or just can’t afford the expense of power tools then Maker space is an excellent idea to check out.
Don’t have a Maker Space in your area? Try searching online for “businesses like Makerspace”
Community Based Woodworking Clubs (Could Be Another Option)
- Another ideal place for getting wood cut is local clubs (maybe found thru Facebook) where they even teach you how to run the equipment. Back in the day I used to do all sorts of wood carving in a small town not too far from me. They had a smaller area designated for wood carvers and a larger area for wood workers. It was so convenient because I could get all of my large blocks of wood for carving cut to the size I needed.
- The only thing the members were charged was $2 per visit to cover the cost of electricity! Now this was for smaller woodworking and carving projects but that’s where we all usually start out right? There are tons of places out there, you just need to start asking around. Again I will mention Facebook for local groups. In these community based clubs, just make sure you respect the rules and be polite, helpful to others and always clean up after yourself.
Where Can I Get Wood Cut Precisely (Locally)
Some woods, like hardwoods or other specialty woods, cost so much money it would be a shame to have someone make a mistake on them. There are some local businesses near you that you might not even be aware of who are more than happy to help you out. They might charge a fee for service, however.
You need to search online for specialty wood suppliers in your area. I just did a search on Google for “specialty wood near me” and came up with a Google map and dozens of locations in my area that sell specialty wood. Some of the businesses are flooring companies and other places you can probably ignore. I did find a couple building material locations I didn’t know about so it is worth doing this search for your area.
- Once you have done your online search, you can go through the list and determine which locations are ideal candidates to pre-cut the wood you need.
- I once needed some maple pieces cut and found a business in town that manufactures specialty hardwoods, mostly for builder’s purposes. I dropped in on them asking if they could cut my maple pieces and they did it for me for free! Now, not all companies will do it for free and may charge a small fee. You just have to ask.
Another place I feel people overlook are schools for tradespeople. I haven’t asked to have wood cut at a school for woodworking yet, however, I think they would entertain the idea. The only problem with that is a student with limited experience will likely be cutting the wood.
Where Can You Purchase Pre-Cut Wood?
If you are doing something like a scroll saw project or other projects that require smaller pieces of specialty wood, there are other options for you to get what you need.
In your local area look for businesses like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, other hobby-themed stores and print shops, which sometimes do more than paper stock work, among other places.
Another place to check are businesses that manufacturer signs. If they don’t happen to have the wood you need in stock, they can most likely do some cutting for you. Any place that uses a CNC router on a daily basis can probably help you with smaller pieces of wood.
If you have tried to find a place in your area to purchase pre-cut wood with no success, there is always Amazon. I just did a search online and found 12” x 12” Baltic birch, which is a go-to wood for doing scroll saw work. There are all kinds of different sizes and shapes you can purchase at Amazon and the pricing is very competitive. This box has 45 pre-cut pieces of 12”x12” Baltic birch. That should keep you busy for a while.
The best part about purchasing pre-cut wood for any type of woodworking is you don’t have to spend any money on expensive items like table saws or mitre saws. You also don’t have need a specific space in your home dedicated to this equipment. I have a bay in my garage used solely as a workshop. It would be great to have that space back for other things like, oh a vehicle!
In conclusion, you have a couple of options for where to get pre-cut wood. Home supply stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s will do it. You may have to pay a fee but it’s still better than lugging that huge piece of plywood home to do it yourself! There are many other places to get wood cut, you just have to search online or ask around.
The other option is to purchase small specialty pieces of wood. Lucky for you, there are retailers (as mentioned above) that would love to sell you some pre-cut materials. Some of them are stores unique to your City such as Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and others are online retailers such as Amazon. Go ahead, check it out. You will likely end-up ordering your fair share, just like I do!
whatever wood you need cut, don’t fret and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Good luck, fellow hobbyists and happy woodworking!