7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit


Woodworking is not that cheap. 
Expanding a workshop and purchasing power tools costs money, sometimes a lot of money.

But of course, you can do nothing with just machines, you will also need wood to work with.
This is also associated with high costs, depending on the type of wood you choose.

But like many of us, you have to do it on a budget.

So why not look for ways to find free lumber?

In this blog, I offer you 7 very easy ways to find free lumber and save money on these costs.

If you are going to make salable items with this free lumber, your profit margin will also increase.
Money that you can reinvest in your workshop to expand, and get better into the beautiful craft of woodworking.

Fore more money saving tips, check out the article, 7 ways to save money as a (hobby) woodworker, I wrote earlier.

Pin this

Some important stuff to think about

If you want to use wood for free, you are better prepared.
Once you have all the necessary tools, you can enjoy free wood for years to come.
There are a few things to consider when you want to collect free wood.

1 How to bring the wood to your home. 

Putting wood in a car is not only impractical, but it also makes your car dirty.
Invest in a good and sturdy trailer.
If you handle this with care, this is a purchase that you will most likely only make once in your life.

Here you have an example of a good sturdy and affordable trailer.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

Check out more details and prices of this product by clicking the link below.

2 Where will you store your wood?

If it can be stocked in a warehouse, I’m sure you want to make maximum use of the space.
A lumber rack is an absolute must in order to store as much wood as possible.
Watch for a sturdy rack that can support heavyweights.

However, if you have to leave your wood outside, cover it well so that it does not get wet.
Use a good cover that is waterproof and does not break down quickly by UV light.

7 ways to find free lumber

I’m sure there will be more ways to find free lumber, but I will discuss the 7 most successful ways to find free lumber.

  • Free lumber from wooden pallets
  • Networking
  • Free lumber from old furniture
  • Demolition projects
  • Construction sites
  • Fallen trees
  • Local farms

In the free lumber that you can find through the ways I discuss here, nails or screws may be present.

Pay attention to this and always make sure that they have all been removed before you cut.

This is not only bad for the saw blade of your table saw, but it can also injure you.
If you want to prepare yourself in the best way possible in case an accident happens, you need to have a first aid kit available in your workshop. To find out what needs to be in it, go to check out my blog on how to put together a first aid kit correctly.

You can use a metal detector to ensure that all nails are removed. 

Below you can compare a few examples of good metal detectors for woodworking with each other.

A metal detector is a must-have for every workshop. 
Investing in a good metal detector can save you a lot of money on damaged saw blades or planer blades.

Free lumber from wooden pallets

I’m going to start with a free type of wood that I love and use often.

The reason why I like to use it, is that each pallet has a different discoloration.
This discoloration is due to the weather conditions it has been exposed to.

Items made with pallet wood have an aged look, as if they had been around for a century.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

You will probably have watched dozens of blogs, or YouTube videos, about all the incredible projects you can make with free lumber from pallets.

Pallets are popular sources of cheap wood.
Why are they so popular?

When you see a pallet, you would not immediately see it, but each pallet has a surprising amount of wood.

The wood used for making pallets is light but at the same time also quite strong. 
It has to be able to withstand hundreds of kilos and rough handling during shipping. 

It is a sturdy type of wood that you can find almost everywhere.

However, there is a major drawback to working with free lumber that comes from pallets, and that is the incredible amount of work.

Pallets are usually nailed together, with some manufacturers using ribbed nails.
That means they are built to last, but the downside is that the nails don’t come out that easily.

You will need a crowbar, a hammer, and a lot of patience to take apart a pallet.

In many cases, pallets have been left outside and the moisture content in the wood will be high. 

Therefore, let pallet wood dry long enough before you will use it. 
This will prevent shrinkage of the wood.

Pallet wood Pros

  • Different discoloration due to the weather conditions
  • Lots of wood in one pallet
  • Light wood
  • Strong

Pallet wood Cons

  • Lots of work to dismantel a pallet
  • Pallet wood can be wet, let it dry for a while

Where can you find wooden pallets?

The best chance to find pallets is to go to companies and ask about them. The larger the company, the more likely they are to have many waste pallets.

Go in and try to talk to someone who can make a decision about this.
Never take pallets with you without asking.

You can also conclude an agreement with that company.
Ask them to store the pallets for you and collect them regularly.

Networking

Every way of obtaining wood that I describe in this blog, networking will be an important factor.

If you want to obtain free lumber, networking with others is the only way to find and get free lumber from someone else.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

The idea is simple: let people know what you want.

Tell family and friends that you are looking for free wood. 
If they have free wood, or they know someone who gives wood away for free, they will immediately think of you.

If you want a wider reach for even more free lumber, head to the papers or the internet.

Second-hand websites are a good place to set up a search ad for some free wood.
Be sure to look for free wood that is offered on those sites, many people try to get rid of their waste for free.

Don’t forget social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. 
Post on your profile that you are looking for free wood.

You can join local Facebook groups near you that specialize in free stuff.

Networking Pros

  • People will start to contact you if they have free wood
  • The larger the network, the more you can choose which type of wood you want.

Networking Cons

  • I don’t think there are any drawbacks to building a decent network.

Free lumber from old furniture

Many people give away furniture for free.
The reason for that is because it is easier than dragging it to a waste bin, or taking it to the city dump.

If you think “hey Christofix, I need wood and not new furniture”, you might miss an opportunity on free wood.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

Furniture is in almost all cases made of wood.
Depending on the age of the furniture and the type of furniture, it may even be made of hardwood.

When you disassemble this furniture, solid pieces of wood can be recovered that you can use in new projects.

However, the greatest concern when using old furniture is insects, space, and effort. 

Old furniture may have developed mold or insects. 
Make sure to inspect it thoroughly before you bring it to your workshop. 

You will also need to find plenty of space to store the furniture until you can disassemble it.

Finally, disassembling old furniture takes some effort and work.

Old furniture Pros

  • Older furniture can be made from decent hardwood

Old furniture Cons

  • Heavy and large to handle
  • Lots of work to disassemble
  • Lookout for insects or mold
  • You will need a lot of storage space

Where can you find old furniture?

Second-hand websites are the ideal place to find free furniture.

You can also find out via your network where you can pick up free cabinets.

Free lumber from demolition projects

Undoubtedly, a building in your area will be demolished now and then.

The people who do the demolition will gladly give you the wood they take out of the building. 
After all, they must not dispose of it, which saves them costs.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

Depending on the age of the building, you could get great free lumber. 

Old buildings used wood from forests that can be 200 or 300 years old. 
This makes the wood denser, stronger, more resistant to rot, and richer in color. 
It is the best wood for any hardwood project.

Demolition projects are a great source of wood because you will find large amounts of them. 

Some of it can even be rustic or hereditary hardwood.
With those you can create unique items that radiate an individual character. 
Just think of wood that was used for windows and doors, and that had several layers of paint over the years.

Demolition projects Pros

  • Large amounts of the same type of wood
  • Unique wood to make unique items

Demolition projects Cons

  • Lookout for insects or mold
  • You will need a lot of storage space

Where can you find demolition projects?

Search nearby for demolition works or look for companies that do demolition works.

Tell them what you are looking for. 
Who knows, you can arrange with them that they bring the wood home for you for free.

Like this article?
Don’t miss a single blog with free plans or tips & tricks in the future!
Subscribe to my newsletter
Christofix newsletter

Visit construction sites

When building houses and buildings, a mountain of waste is created that can be used well for your next project.

On construction sites, you will find waste consisting of packaging materials, unused materials, and discarded building materials.

Wood will often be found in between.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

A sawn-off part of a beam, damaged wood, wood used as protection for transport.
These are all types of wood that you can often take with you for free.

It saves them the hassle and expense of having to transport it, and you have free lumber.

Talk to someone at this construction site, and make sure you know what you can and cannot take with you.

However, keep in mind that the free lumber is thrown away for a reason. 

In many cases, it will be cracked, drenched, or stained.
You may only be able to use a small amount of that large amount of wood.

Construction sites Pros

  • Large amounts of wood
  • Most of the time new wood

Construction sites Cons

  • Lookout for nails and screws
  • The wood can be cracked, drenched, or stained

Where can you find construction sites?

Just like you can find demolition sites, you can look around for construction sites or look for companies that do construction works.

Look out for fallen trees

After a storm, take a walk through wooded areas.

There are always trees or branches that have come down from the storm, and are perfectly usable for future projects.

Some can easily be fifty to one hundred years old.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

If you know who owns the trees, you can offer to help clear up the fallen trees.
In return, you can keep the wood.

Fallen trees are an excellent source of free lumber.
They are often of higher quality than you could otherwise afford.
They also produce an incredible amount of wood.

The disadvantage of sawing fallen trees is that the wood is wet, and has to dry for a longer time before it can be used in the workshop.

You will also need tools such as a chainsaw and a chainsaw mill to cut boards.

Fallen trees Pros

  • Large amounts of wood
  • Sometimes the wood is of a higher quality than you could otherwise afford

Fallen trees Cons

  • You will need a chainsaw and chainsaw mill to produce boards
  • You will need a lot of space to let the wood dry
  • The wood has to dry for a long time

Check out local farms

What is the best place to find old barn wood? 
On a farm of course! 

Go there and ask the farmer if he has old barn wood he wants to get rid of.

If he doesn’t have anything at the moment, give him your phone number for when he renovates that old shed in the future.

When an old barn is demolished, a large amount of wood is released from the same material with a unique color, pattern, and character.

7 simple ways to find free lumber & make more profit

Local farms Pros

  • Large amounts of wood
  • Wood with a unique color, pattern, and character

Local farms Cons

  • Lookout for insects or mold
  • You will need a lot of storage space

How to build your workshop on a budget?

Building a workshop can be tough and involves a lot of trial and error.
I know because I was there too.
Thanks to the knowledge of the ultimate small shop, that I have not seen anywhere else, I gained better insights into building a workshop.
That’s how I could spend my budget more efficiently and save hundreds.

Highly recommended to all my fellow DIYers and makers!

The Ultimate workshop free e book

YOU CAN SPEND YOUR BUDGET ONLY ONCE

Stop spending your budget on the wrong things!
Let this fantastic training guide you and start saving money today.
I already bought this personally and I have never seen anything better than this.

Retail $129

Limited price: $39

Free e book banner homepage

I want to hear from you!

Do you have an addition to this blog or a constructive comment?
Feel free to let me know in a comment below.

Contribute to our community and share your experience and knowledge with others so that we can all learn from each other.

Read more related blogs to this one here:

I hope this information on how to find free lumber was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
Let me know in a comment below.

Feel free to share this blog on Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media.
You can do this by using the buttons below or at the top of the blog.
It will be much appreciated.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.

Greetings,
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration

Logo on bottom of blogpost