Made In The U.S.A.

Got wood? No, actually. In fact I do not.

In Adventures on April 24, 2009 at 12:40 am

The worst thing about my recent realization that it’s impractical for a regular guy to buy wood that doesn’t represent the utter destruction of the planet, is that there’s no better building material for fences and decks and framing and all sorts of other practical uses than good, old fashioned, wood.

Sure, you can surface your deck with composite material that looks like plastic, or high-quality composite material that doesn’t look like plastic but costs more than a new car, or any number of other non-wood options. But all of them pale in comparison to the ease, cost effectiveness, aesthetics and overall practicality and desirability of wood.

It would be like if I decided to do my part to reduce smog and alleviate traffic congestion by trading in my car for a helicopter.

Even if I did decide to use an American-made, man-made, recycled, wood-like, expensive but long-lasting fence picket wood substitute… what am I going to hang it on? The fence is held up by lumber. (Yes, there are also some similar manufactured fence products that also alleviate the need for dimensional lumber, but they are few and far between–and somewhat experimental. And still–I’m going to be building a deck eventually, I hope. And that deck has got to be supported by lumber. Period.)

We need wood. And we can’t buy it with an FSC certified chain of custody with any amount of ease and/or reliability. God knows I’m trying. I just can’t keep spinning my wheels.

All of which brings a person to the place I have finally arrived: what’s the point?


  1. I’m going to spend an hour or two tomorrow searching for a supplier for your lumber. There must be at least one around here.

    You can buy me a beer if I find something.

  2. OK, Here are the Results. One FSC forest in Missouri, in one of the most beautiful areas too.
    Mentions: Architectural Woodwork Corp MO 314.962.2070 awoodwork at FSC:Cabinets, paneling, millwork

    also listed here

    Guess what this site does: (Nothing found around Missouri, but it did find some)

    FSC forest near Salem MO

    Hope this helps, at least slightly. I fully agree, It Needs to be easier.

    • Hey, thanks. That’s great info. I’ve stumbled across the Pioneer Forest site before. I thought it was a neat resource for a specific need; unfortunately it’s just not what my need is at the moment. But it, as well as especially Architectural Woodwork Corp of St. Louis, would be ideal places to go for what I’m going to call “boutique” hardwoods. My father, for example, is an amateur woodworker. I know he’s utilized a handful of old reclaimed barnwood pieces before, and he’s gone to local mills for locally-milled and presumably somewhat locally-grown special woods for various projects–say, putting a black walnut trim on a cabinet, etc.
      It’s a bit of a catch 22 as well: you may not be able to afford “exotic” or “specialized” woods on a large scale, but do you take the trouble to go find them when all you need is a few feet of 1×6? I suppose you should, anyway.
      This stuff would be ideal, I think, if you were hiring a local craftsman to create a piece for you–a table or a bench or something–and you could just say, “hey, buy the wood from this place for me, would you?” Or so I imagine…
      Anyway… Thanks!

  3. Just don’t spend more than an hour on it. Because in the end, I don’t think there’s a retailer stocking FSC in the area. And if they are… Man are they doing a bad job promoting themselves.

  4. Hi Bill: I enjoyed reading your blog.
    Yes you CAN buy “wood” … see my post this morning on the subject (but from a different point of view):


  5. I suggest going to a Building Material Reuse non-proift/store if there is one located around you, it’s still lumber but it’s not going to the landfill, and your purchase will encourage Deconstruction instead of demolition. Also you can’t beat the prices and until a better alternative is created at least you aren’t contributing to any more resources being used.

    • That’s a great idea, Katie. Never occurred to me. The Habitat for Humanity “Re-Store” is not far, as you may know. And it’s the perfect place for that sort of thing. I tend to think of it for used finished goods–doors, sinks, light fixtures, etc. But I bet they’d have fencing and other materials too. I’ll have to look into that. Thanks for the suggestion!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: