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I know I'm a month late to this conversation but hey, I'm new here. Also I didn't figure I would end up talking about wood on an investment discussion board :)
So you guys want access to expensive furniture-grade hardwoods? How does "free" sound to you for a price? Here's what you do. Find a custom cabinet shop or other such industry and hit the dumpster before pick up. I have a barn full of walnut, mahongany, quilted, fiddleback and birdseye maple..you name it.
I worked at a custom staircase company for a few years and the employees could care less about saving wood. They cut out the easiest pieces to get to and chunked the rest. The dumpster was full three times a week with stuff Woodcrafters would charge a fortune for.
Later I went to work for a cabinet shop and they were the same way. I've heard others talk and they pretty much all are. Most places like that will sell you specific sizes but the dumpsters are open season.
So swallow that dignity and do some dumpster diving! You won't regret it and you'll seldom have to pay for wood again.
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