Tried with online retailers and received samples from three supplies this morning. Probably wouldn’t use them for anything “production” but useful for tooling and speeds/feeds trials before buying some actual stock. So it might actually work out for them in the long run
I stopped by my local Lowe’s and picked up a few samples for 25 cents each. Perfect coaster sizes
Most of the flooring they had was a laminate, but I got some solid bamboo and hardwoods. (I also picked up some cork. It is a laminate but I got it for a different project)
25 cents !!!, I like H Depot.
I’m carving nice words and picture on them, they don’t hold the paint on surface, painting carved areas. I made guide to hold two rows and 6 columns together, attaching guide to work surface, carving , then turning over attaching same guide and sending true Dewalt Planer for thickness. Put nice cut magnet on it for Refrigerators or make hole for wall hanging. It’s fun.
For $22.50 it is not a great deal. All the pieces are about 1/4 inch thick which is fine. Although there are about 20 pieces that are paper thin that I have no idea what to do with. Most are about 8 inches wide and between 8 and 12 inches long. Most are two side smooth, but about a quarter of them are pretty rough. about 10 pieces are very warped and a few appear to be water damaged.
The majority of pieces appear to be cedar, which I have never tried to mill before, but I suspect it will not do very well.
It looks like there are 17 pieces that I can use, so about $1.30 per piece (8x10). I will not purchase again.
When you try to cut the hardwood floor samples be sure you have it really clamped down well. I was cutting out some block letters from oak samples for my grandson. I had clamped it tightly (I thought) on top and bottom, but it broke free after about 10 minutes of cutting. I had to squeeze the second one between two side clamps along with the top and bottom clamps to make it stay put.
So I checked out my local Ganahl lumber.
Being a lumber yard they had a much better selection and prices than Home Depot or Lowel’s.
About half the price on basic red oak. And more sizes and thicknesses.
As well as maple, cherry, mahogany, walnut and teak. Good lord Teak is expensive ~$25 a foot!
(So much for my plan of making Tikis out of actual Teak! Maybe as a one off some day.)
My local store didn’t have zebra wood or purple wood but a different store did. So if I ever want some I can get it.
They also had premade veneer inserts
Check the dumpsters outside or behind your local hardwood flooring companies… I have a huge stack of sticks from a single dive several years ago, including a couple of exotic hardwood pieces 1" x 12" x 30". Of course what you find depends on the clientele, but this particular company installed hardwood floors in high-end waterfront properties.
Several of the HDU foam manufacturers will send you a box of free samples if you visit their web site and click the “Request Samples” Sign Board and Precision Board sent me a nice collection of different density samples in 6 x 6 x 2 blocks