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Downes & Reader in Mass. alternative9/19
If you buy your solid lumber at Downes & Reader in Stoughton MA and found an alternative for solid lumber somewhere else i would like to know were. I am in Westport MA (close to Rhode Island) and need a back up supplier in case i have a problem with D&R. Sheet goods are easy to find but not so much for the solid in the large quantity that D&R have to pick from. I don't buy large amounts but if i want 10 lengths i would like to be able to pick from more than the 15 lengths they show me.
J. Gibson McIlvain in Danielson, CT. (860)774-4937
Barrettes Lumber, Thompson CT (860) 928-9373 (native woods only ...worth a trip just to see)
All in MA, CT, RI etc:
Holt and Bugby is a great place to deal with and my main supplier.
I go to D&R every once in a while but generally too expensive.
Rex will NOT let you pick from bins, and won't sell you a handful of sticks. If your not ready to by 100+bf I wouldn't bother.
I've bought from Keiver Willard but never went up so can't say as to whether or not you can pick.
There are several others as well but in reality if your only buying 10 sticks or so at a time your choices are a bit limited and D&R is probably your best bet. If you call ahead of time and are buying more than a couple pieces they may pull a pack out for you as well. Most others don't want to bother with guys buying that small a quantity. As I said, Holt & Bugby will let you pick, but that's going to be a bit of a drive for you.
I buy from Holt and Bugbee most of the time. Whenever I use D&R I get lumber that is not as nice.
I've only gone up to H&B once, and for me it was a 5 hour round trip. Had to get 50 BF of pine, won't be doing that again.
All good info on the main suppliers.
I singled out McIlvain in Danielson and Barrettes in Thompson because both have retail like setups where you can hand pick boards.
Thanks guys I'll save these in case I'm in a bind. I've been buying from D&R for years but they just moved down the street to a new building and with that some policy changes. They do not want to bring lifts of lumber from the storage as much as they would in the past, they tell me it will be decided on a case by case so if they have enough in the racks and it is all crap they may not want to bring a lift around for me. The past week i needed some 12 foot Birch for the top of an entertainment unit i am building but they do not stock anything longer than 10 footers in the racks. I was told they would pick it for me and bring it around tomorrow. Are you kidding me! someone else is going to make that choice for me ! After talking to the guys in the office they realized that wasn't going to work so the next day they brought a short lift around for me but that was enough of a scare to make me find another backup place in case something like this happens again. Thanks again for your help. Mike
D&R, Barrettes and J.Gibson McIlvain in Danielson are the only places I know of that will even let you search through lumber. Most wholesale distributors sell in larger quantities. When I buy from most of them I try to put together a min. of a 500 bd.ft. order. I have to take the good with the bad.
I suspect you are paying a premium (read: retail) pricing at D&R for a few board quantities. That is certainly going to be the case at McIlvain (they have a retail section) and Barrettes is a retail yard period unless you catch a unit of lumber coming out of the kiln that hasn't been planed yet and want several hundred or more board feet.
Good luck. Feel free to contact me if you need a few sticks of something. We're in northeast CT 20 minutes south of Worcester and keep a good variety of material on hand for our curved mouldings.