There are few things more rewarding than using your own tools and your own two hands to create something functional and beautiful from wood. If you love working with wood to create new furniture pieces, you may want to create a lot more than what you do, but the costs associated with new lumber can be so high that it limits your creative efforts. Thankfully, having a new project in mind does not always mean a trip to the lumber yard for new pieces. There are actually some pretty easy ways to get your hands on some really cheap (or even free) lumber pieces for your building endeavors.
Check out used or damaged furniture pieces at yard sales.
If your hometown residents host a lot of garage or yard sales, hit up a few on weekends and you can probably track down some furniture pieces really cheap. The greatest thing about finding bargain furniture pieces at yard sales is the fact that you can usually get items for much cheaper than what you would have to pay for new lumber. The pieces don't have to be in good shape and can even be damaged; it really does not matter because you will be deconstructing them and reusing the wood to make something else.
Offer help with local demolition projects.
All around the country, old buildings, barns, and homes are deconstructed daily to make way for newer, more modern structures. A lot of the material gets discarded and recycled, but if you can get in on these projects, you can usually land a hefty amount of lumber without paying a dime. Checkout local classified listings for people looking for extra help taking down buildings and then volunteer your services. Because you volunteered, the owner of the structure will most likely allow you to take whatever salvaged lumber you pull off of the building.
Stop in at local lumber yards and ask for discounted pieces.
Lumber yards either order their inventory from local sawmills or they have a sawmill on site where they rip down logs into boards, posts, and other lumber pieces. Through this process, there are always going to be those less-than-perfect lumber pieces that are not worthy in grade of the usual retail price. Most lumber yards sell these pieces at a discount, and if there are pieces that are severely damaged, they may even just throw them away. See if you can find some of these pieces and take them home for your furniture-building projects.