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Topic: Veneer supplier
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Nov 15, 2011 04:20PM)
I just refuse to deal with my hometown supplier for paper backed veneer.

Can anybody recomend an online store?
Message: Posted by: remote guy (Nov 15, 2011 04:39PM)
Hey Gimpy,

This is the guy I use. http://www.joewoodworker.com/

Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 15, 2011 05:08PM)

Try giving these guys a call. This is my local wood supplier, although I have not used veneer.


Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Nov 16, 2011 12:05PM)
Thanks guys. I found just what I needed and was suprised to find that even with shipping the veneer I needed was cheaper online. Bonus, No more trips to my local store to deal with rude staff. I cant belive I have put up with them for 20 years.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 16, 2011 05:12PM)
Even harder to believe that in this day where it's a buyer's market that customer service isn't oozing from their pores.
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Nov 16, 2011 07:19PM)
You haven't bought anything in southern California recently have you?

The customer service here (except for http://www.Wack-o-Magic.com) is abysmal!!!

I recently went to visit my mother in Florida.. and the staff at the Home Depot there was remarkable. Comparing them to the staff at any Home Depot here in Southern Californai would be like comparing a bunch of happy cartoons to zombies. I'm not kidding.

I'm sad to hear the Gimpy's local store is bad.. but if they were in So Cal.. they would have beat him with a 2 x 4 on the way out.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 16, 2011 08:30PM)
Bought anything??? I've never even been anywhere near California.

Having spent years down south, I learned to identify, and respond to the varying levels of "southern hospitality". Some is absolutely genuine, but there is a knack among southerners to drip honey from a mouth full of fangs. Since I have been back in Illinois, the usual Midwestern stoicism seemed almost rude by comparison, but I've found that people here tend to speak the truth without stabbing you in the back. If they are going to stab you, they do it to your face, but in general people around here realize that we are all kind of in the same boat. Customer service is pretty decent, even at fast food drive thru windows (SHOCK!).

Where I have notice some plastic contaminating the usually organic state of things is when corporations are involved, especially if they have a foot too close to the graveyard. You get a sense that some management type has given everyone the pep talk that says, we are going to smile, and go out of our way to be nice. You just know when it's from the heart, and when it's not. Some days you can go into a Lowes and things are status quo... other days it seems like every employee is trying to climb up your ass with a smiley face. I just figure the regional manager must be there. Ha!
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Nov 17, 2011 12:41PM)
I used to buy all my material at the store even paying higher prices to support a local company. Last week was the last straw. For three weeks in a row I had come to the store to buy !/8" plywood. They kept saying they were out and would have some in a day or two. Each time I told them how bad I needed the material. When I walked in the last time before I said a thing the manager yelled from his chair "We don't have it". I said that I was dissapointed he replied, " Its not the first time you have been dissapointed". I said "yes it seems to happen every time I come in".

This place just thinks they don't have to help the customer because they are the only game in town. I just wonder how long they will last with the great service and prices on the net these days.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 17, 2011 05:36PM)
For what it's worth, my local supplier was out of 1/8" Baltic Birch back in the Spring, just as I was needing some for several projects. I did a little research online and found out it had to do with the imports from Russia. My supplier never offered that info, but I never mentioned it or ask why it was hard to get.

It took quite a while for them to get some in, but I'd requested a call when it did come in. They did call, and said that they'd only gotten a small amount in. I had them hold several sheets for me, which I picked up the next day. This stuff was horribly warped, so it stood to reason that the supply was indeed limited on the larger scale market. Fortunately, I was going to be using it to make small items, so the warping was minimized and easy to correct with glue joints. Had this been needed for sizable panels, I would have been out of luck.

The last time I looked (maybe a month ago) they had gotten more in, but it wasn't on my shopping list so I didn't buy any more. I did not check the quality, either. I still have a little of the last batch I bought, but if this is a sign of a continued shortage, I may go ahead and stock up while I can.

I have also noticed that the other thicknesses of Baltic Birch are not the same quality as in the past. I notice more patches which often require a little extra TLC to make disappear on a finished surface, and sometimes the grain is not as polished smooth as it used to be. A little more fuzz to train down and pores to fill when it comes time to prime and paint.

There is still no reason for lousy customer service or sarcastic attitudes. Crappy product is bad enough, right? A simple explanation would suffice. Heck even a tone of empathy would be better.

It reminds me of a joke I heard... A little girl was watching a crew building a house in the lot next door to hers. She kept creeping closer and closer to the work site, so one of the workers figured he'd ask her if she wanted to help, and gave her some simple tasks to do, like handing him a hammer, etc. At the end of the day, he paid her with a crisp new five dollar bill. She was delighted and went to a store with her mom to buy a new toy. She told the store clerk how she had "worked" for the money, so the clerk asked, "Are you going to be doing more work with them?" The little girl said, "I will if those sons of bi***es at Home Depot ever send us some sheet rock that's worth a s***!"
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Nov 18, 2011 10:03AM)
I love that joke LOL. I ended up finding the plywood at Michaels craft store just down the road. The pieces were only 12"x 24". The quality was good but paid a higher price but at least I have something to work with. I guess I will buy plywood online next and see how that works.

Im not sure if it is a supply problem here but I have had many simular run ins with the store. Last year they refused to even check with their supplier to see if they could buy a rare wood I needed. Even told them I would be forced to remove a popular item from my website If the material was not found. Lucky for me I found out where they were buying. When I contacted the mill they had tons of it. In the last year I have bought 4 truck loads from the mill. And the price at the mill is only $2 per bd ft. The lumber store had been charging me over $6. I don't know for sure but I bet whoever owns the place has no clue how much business his emploees are throwing out the window.
Message: Posted by: Pecan_Creek (Nov 18, 2011 11:25AM)
I know I'm late to this thread but I recomend theese guys:


Never had problem with them. I don't know if they ship or how their shipping is but as a local source they are great.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 18, 2011 11:30AM)
I've broken down at times and paid the prices at Michael's just to get the quick fix. It can be an expensive choice, though. Sounds like that lumber supplier dealing you fits is eventually going to be in for a rude awakening.
Message: Posted by: remote guy (Nov 18, 2011 11:48AM)
Joe the Woodworker (link above)is where I purchase all of my Veneer supplies from.

Steve Wall Lumber: http://www.walllumber.com/default.asp is where I purchase all of my other lumber supplies. I am located in Maryland and even with the shipping costs it's very reasonable.

They sell 1/8" and 1/4" Baltic Birch in 10 pc. bundles: http://www.walllumber.com/ply.asp

Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Nov 18, 2011 12:05PM)
I built houses for over 20 years. Its kind of hard for me to get out of the mind set of importance of material cost where a few cents per ft could mean a big loss of profits due to quanity. The things I build now take at most only 1 or 2 feet of plywood to complete. Its just one more thing I like about building magic, No huge lumber bill to pay every month. It will be great if it works out to buy plywood online as that will be the last thing that would force me to shop localy.
Message: Posted by: Pecan_Creek (Nov 18, 2011 12:26PM)
Gimpy, I feel ya. While I don't (at the moment) build magic props, when I am building small pieces or unique non-production pieces the materials cost is dwarfed by the shop time cost. So within reason I have the freedom to select the best materials for my convenience and peace of mind.

Posted: Nov 18, 2011 1:31pm
WOW, I had completely forgotten about joe woodworker, while I've never ordered lumber or veneer from him, a while back I did order some vacuum equipment and other bits and pieces. Thanks for reminding me Remote Guy.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 18, 2011 12:52PM)
Even though 99% of the things I make use pieces that could be made from those 12" x 24" pieces, I guess I have gotten spoiled buying the 5' x 5' sheets of Baltic Birch. It is really so much cheaper. When I lived in Alabama, I would come here a couple times a year to visit family, and return with as much as I could take back. Now, the supplier is 10 miles away instead of 650 miles away!

Posted: Nov 22, 2011 8:55pm
Here is a site that mentions the Baltic Birch shortage.
Message: Posted by: gimpy2 (Nov 24, 2011 06:43AM)
Good to hear that the shortage may be comming to an end.