Today my family and I went for a trip to the Hicksville Planing Mill. My “local” lumber yard of choice. I say local in quotations because its an hour and a half away. There are others near by but most of them only sell wholesale amounts (500 board feet or more) and their prices are way higher than at Hicksville.
Here’s a quick video of the trip. I must warn you, the video does include some cute footage of my children.
Generally when I go to buy lumber a buddy of mine from work goes with me. We usually leave bright at early around 5:30 am or so. On the way we usually stop for breakfast at a Waffle House. I thought I’d continue the tradition and stop there with my family. Once we ate our breakfast we headed on to the mill.
I really like the atmosphere of this place. The guys who run it aren’t pushy and they let you dig through their stacks looking for the right board. Just be sure to re-stack it the way you found it. It’s run by some mennonite guys so you won’t find a website for the place. I found it doing a good search for local mills and Charles Neil wrote an article about it. Otherwise I probably never would have known it existed. The address is: 14464 Hicksville Rd. Clear Spring, MD 21722 in case you’re in the area.
The lumber here is excellent and they have a very decent variety. Of course they have the usual stuff: oak, maple, mahogany, walnut, cherry etc., but they also have a small exotics section. Today they had: wedge, Caribbean rosewood, purple heart, yellow heart, zebra wood, padauk and some others.
Today I was after some 10/4 and 16/4 poplar for some blocks that my wife wants me to make for our daughter. I bought way more lumber than I needed so I’ll probably make some extra to sell. My wife says that handmade baby toys are huge these days.
After showing the family around the yard I went to work finding my lumber. The shed that it was located in doesn’t appear to be organized very well but the guys here always seem to know where everything is. They never have to go searching around for it. They just bring in a fork truck and move things around a little to pull out what I need. Then I start searching for my boards. Like I said earlier the lumber here is excellent so I usually don’t have to dig too far to find what I’m looking for.
Being that this is a lumber mill they do custom mill work and flooring in addition to just selling lumber. When I buy lumber here I usually have them skip plane it on one face and put a straight edge on it as well. I have a pretty small jointer in my shop so having them do this really saves me a lot of time. And the price is right, $0.10 a board foot. You can’t beat that, I’ve checked. Since I haul my lumber in my mini van I have to have them cut the boards to 8 foot lengths or less. Today the 10/4 board I bought was 12 feet long so I had them cut it in to two boards, one 8 feet long and the other 4
After that it was a simple matter of paying for my lumber and loading it in the van. The kids seemed to have a good time as well.