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 don’t have the room to house all the equipment needed.
So you’re likely wondering: 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.
Let’s 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 to cut will likely determine where you need to go. Below, I have listed some excellent ways you can get wood cut. Check it out.
#1. 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 wood cut at one of these locations is the expertise of the employees cutting. Or, should I 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 okay, at best. You cannot expect a precision cut at your local home-building store. You are taking your chances with these locations.
#2. 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 mostly with 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 plan on making a built-in entertainment wall unit for a project coming up this fall. I am considering getting my lumber yard to pre-cut all of the lengths and then do the width cuts myself. It’s just so much easier than doing it all myself in the garage or workshop.
#3. 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 wood cut once or twice, this might not be the best solution. If you happen to know someone who 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 charges about $ 40/month (USD) for the use of work areas and all of its equipment.
- 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 Makerspace is an excellent idea to check out.
Don’t have a Maker Space in your area? Try searching online for “businesses like Makerspace”
#4. Community-Based Woodworking Clubs (Could Be Another Option)
- Another ideal place for getting wood cut is local clubs (maybe found through 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 woodcarvers and a larger area for woodworkers. 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! 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 need to start asking around. Again, I will mention Facebook for local groups. In these community-based clubs, make sure you respect the rules, be polite and 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 of 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! Not all companies will do it for free and may charge a small fee. You have to ask.
Another place I feel people overlook is 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 a scroll saw project or other projects that require smaller pieces of specialty wood, you have other options for getting 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 is businesses that the manufacturer signs. Even if they don’t happen to have the wood you need in stock, they can most likely cut some 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 woodworking project is you don’t have to spend money on expensive items like table saws or mitre saws, and you don’t need a specific space in your home dedicated to this equipment.
I have a bay in my garage that I use solely as a workshop. It would be great to have that space back for other things, like a vehicle!
Learn what saws are best for cutting shapes by reading our popular article on saws for cutting shapes out of wood.
Key Factors And Tips To Consider While Using Wood-Cutting Services
First things first, be prepared to lose some wood. When using wood-cutting services, it’s important to keep the waste factor in mind. An average woodcutting project has a 30% waste factor. So always keep that in mind whenever you’re hiring any wood-cutting services.
Expert wood-cutting service providers using well-optimized tools may lower that percentage. But still, have some waste factors in mind so that you know what to expect while working on your project.
When using a woodcutting service, it is important to clearly communicate your measurements. This avoids any chance of mistakes and ensures you get proper satisfaction from the service.
Next, in terms of preparation, select the wood and keep your measurements already marked. To keep the process simple, a couple of straightforward cuts is the best approach.
Avoid going with complex diagrams as they unnecessarily add more complications to the project.
Once you’ve got your wood cut, be sure to check it properly. See if it matches your requirements so that you don’t have to come back again if there are any issues.
Don’t chase for perfection because most of the time, to get full accuracy, advanced tools are required, and it is not necessary that your local woodcutting service provider will have those facilities. Just getting a decent cut is good to go!
The Best Time…
Now, I know you might be thinking: what is the best time for wood cutting? Well, if possible, avoid weekends, especially Sunday morning hours, because that tends to be a very busy time for woodcutting.
If possible, it’s a good idea to go on a slower weekday. Whatever time you choose, make sure it’s not closer to the closing time. All the associates are likely wrapping up their day, and they won’t enjoy working on your projects and staying late.
The best approach is to go to the woodworking shop or Lumberyard a few hours before the closing time.
Finally, before you head over to the woodcutting service provider, it is always a good idea to give a quick ring to check if the saw is running and all the staff members are available to help you with your project. It is a simple but important step that can save you from unexpected hiccups down the line.
How Much Does It Cost To Get Wood Cut?
On average, the cost of getting a wood cut is 25 to 50 cents per cut. This rate can vary depending on where you choose to cut the wood.
Some places, like Home Depot, offer the first few cuts for free and then charge for each additional cut. But even for the most complex projects, the rates don’t go above $2-$3 per cut.
What To Do If I Can’t Find A Wood Cutting Service?
If you can’t find a wood-cutting service near you, it’s best to order pre-cut wood. The best places to find Home Depot, Lowes, Lumber Yards, Hardware stores, Local Wood Shops and Markerplaces.
In a nutshell, 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 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 are stores unique to your city, such as Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, and others are online retailers, such as Amazon. Go ahead and check them 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 creatively. Good luck, fellow hobbyists, and happy woodworking!
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