Top 3 Places to Find Barn Board

photo credit: Heath Cajandig via Flickr.

“Where Do You Get Your Barn Board?”

To be honest, I get asked this question a lot and the easiest answer is to just go to a barn, pray that the farmer is out of bullets and steal it… Boom. Done. First blog post, over with — that was way too easy.

“Don’t be stupid”.

Fine. But really though, that’s where barn board comes from. The stuff that the big-box stores are offering now, is a joke. They have just slapped some grey stain on a piece of “rough cut” pine lumber and jacked up the price — I’m onto you big-box stores.

“What Sort of Price-Point Should We Look For to Get a Good Deal?”

A great price is free — hence the original suggestion. But, I understand that not everyone is into dodging bullets from Oldman Saunders’ rusty 12 gauge. Around where I live, in Canada — yes we have barns. Our igloos melted in the 90’s — A good price ranges anywhere between $2-$3 (per linear foot). Anything under $2, I would question where it came From. Anything over $3, laugh hysterically as you walk in the opposite direction.

My Best Advice for Using Barn Board:

Don’t use it on tables, but that’s a story for another day. For everything else, utilize your surrounding areas first. Run a Google search for “Mills Near Me” to find a local lumber yard. They may or may not sell barn board directly. If they don’t, ask the skippers (people that get/cut the wood for you) and they should have a good network around the area with a few recommendations. Another solution could be to use pallet wood. It’s not very wide, but given your build, you could work some miracles. I once built a 4x4 coffee table using 8 skids — I know, no tables. What can I say, I’m a contradiction.

photo credit: @remarkableworks via Instagram

Toronto/ Hamilton Area

There’s a store downtown called “The Barn Board Store”, easy to remember right? They have an awesome selection and incredible customer service. You can check out their Instagram page @barnboardstore, or run a quick Google search to find out their store location. Fine, I’ll make it easier on you: www.barnboardstore.com. Don’t say that I have never done anything for you.

Durham Region

If you live closer to the east end of “The Six”, there’s a great place in Whitby called “JMF Custom Wood Features” and you can find them on Instagram @jmfcustomwoodfeautures. These guys have an awesome supply of barn board in their warehouse, which is in the downtown core of Whitby. You can book an appointment at www.jmfcustomwoodfeatures.ca and have one of their team members help you pick out that perfect piece of barn board/ beam. If you go in, tell them I sent you. You won’t get a discount or anything, I just like sounding important.

Everywhere Else

Google it. Sorry, if you’re not down for first degree theft (I don’t even think that is a thing but it sounds legit) and don’t live in-and-around the GTA, that’s all I have for you. Believe it or not, local ad sites like Kijij are a really good resource for finding barn board. When I first started building, I did a couple of quick searches and instantly found local farmers that were looking to sell their boards for cheap.

Things To Remember

Storing barn board can be a bit tricky and I recommend letting it dry for at least a year before you use it. Actually, now that I think about it, that should be the first question you ask your source; how long has it been dried for? An ancient law of wood wizardry is that wood will adapt to its habitat. So, try to store your wood in the environment that it is going to be in for as long as possible (for properly milled lumber, you’re looking at, at least, three days). Doing this before you build will help avoid shrinkage *insert crooked smile emoji here*.

That’s it! Those are my top three places to find barn board in the Greater Toronto Area. Now remember, there are a million ways to get wood (that’s what she said), and I am no where near an expert but I have had the pleasure of learning all of these lessons the hard way. By sharing my take-aways, I’m hoping to make the wood working journey a little easier for you and/or someone that you care about. So, If you liked this post, or know of someone that could benefit from it, please feel free to share it.

If you have any questions or concerns, I am always willing to talk shop and offer some suggestions where I can. I promise to keep the conversations rated as “PG” as I can. Feel free to leave a comment below, or connect with me on Instagram and Facebook @remarkableworks.

Remember; if you’re going to bring your vision to life, you have to craft it with care.

Mark.

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