Buying locally

I’ve been making boxes all day today, to stock up for customers coming through the workshop. But I also went to buy some wood from my local wood supplier, Richard Williams, about 20 minutes from my town here in Bangor. I have to give this company credit. They have a great staff, very helpful and uncomplaining, but just as important, they have the best European redwood around, which is what I went for. I have a pine bookcase to make as a prototype for a series to be built for a shop. I plan and making it into a patentable design in that I will have some unique features I came up with a few weeks ago. This order is for a jewelry shop, but the design can be used in a home or office too. Anyway, while I was here I looked at their other hardwoods to get some feel for what I want.

The thing about local suppliers is the stock they carry and the machining capability too. I think that Richard Williams really has a lot to offer and they carry a good range of tools. Whilst I was there I noticed they had 4×4 fencing and 4 ½ by 9, which would make my next outdoor workbench project. I plan on making a bench I can leave under a carport permanently. I find that a lot of my work is for outdoor joinery such as garden benches and chicken tractors. A bench like this would be really useful. There is nothing wrong with using it indoors too BTW. Be a pretty beefy bench, not a pretty-pretty but a working bench all the same. Just thought I would mention this. It’s quicker and cheaper than laminating and the bench would work well.

I encourage anyone to try to find and support a local supplier. I have shopped with two local suppliers for a few years now and they have given me excellent service at every level. The only reason I mentioned the Home Depot and B&Q is to get people out there doing it and to prove that what I say can be done can be done. I did laminate the tops, not for the first time, and they came out well and judging by the emails and blog responses there are dozens of you guys out there in your sheds doing it to.


  1. That’s some pretty good looking lumber, I wonder how much to ship to Vermont 🙂

  2. Re my prior comment – You were talking about buying locally weren’t you.

  3. I bought my lumber for my future workbench at my local yard two days ago. I’ve been sick (just caught a bug) and needed to get out of the house after spending a couple of days in bed. I stuck with Douglas Fir and I think it will be a great bench.
    I’m including a link to their site because it just shows what these local places offer over the big box stores.
    Plus, the customer service is great. They always offer expert help as these guys work wood themselves. They have even pointed me toward local craftsmen/women that specialize in exotic craft, like mother of pearl inlay designs. (My gal loves mother of pearl inlay.)
    Give the locals a shot. They can save you headaches with projects.

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