Where do you get your materials from?

Hi there,

A question for all of you X-Carve owners - what kinds of materials do you carve and where do you get them from?

Your feedback will help us improve Easel’s material library. Thanks!

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I’m still going through fine tuning and learning the machine and software and whatnot, but so far I’ve done some 1/8" cast acrylic sheets that I ordered from www.estreetplastics.com. I’ve also got some reclaimed pallet wood which I pick up…well, wherever I can find it! I’ll probably be doing some MDF as well, which I will most likely pick up from the big box stores, unless I can find a cheaper source. And I have some ideas for some 1/8" - 1/4" aluminum. I haven’t even begun to look around for a source for that yet.

My #1 material is Baltic Birch, which I get from a local lumber store. It comes in 5’x5’ sheets, which when quartered, fit perfectly on a 1000mm X-Carve machine. This gives me great joy :smile:

My #2 material is MDF, from Lowes/Home Depot/Neighbors with surplus.

Other than that, I’ll pick up small hardwood boards from Woodcraft if I’m doing coasters or inlays. I think my recent batch was Walnut, Purpleheart, Mahogany, and Andiroba(?) I think. Mostly I just go there with a budget, find some wood that looks pretty, forget about the budget, and then make my purchases.

I have been making a lot of signs lately. I have found that 1x8 poplar boards mill nicely and are easy to finish to a furniture grade polish. Plus they have the advantage of being inexpensive.

I started off using maple, but after finishing I did not see enough difference to justify the extra cost.

Interesting, I was thinking of starting a post on this subject. I was thinking of: Has anyone done any dumpster diving around construction sites or asked the big home improvement stores if they had any scrap wood they were throwing out.

I too am wondering where folks get wood for their projects.

Yah, the best thing about maple is how hard it is. If you are just making signs and small items, there is no point in using maple.

Ebay is a good source for “play around” wood:

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@NAM37… I just ordered one of the boxes of thin boards, I’ll post photos and opinions when it arrives.

@ErikJenkins I purchased one of those and one of these:


… the second one had some stuff that’s a little too thick for me, but both had nice wood.

Gotta love getting some nice wood from ebay :smile:

Mine is largely from two sources: The local hardware store (pine, oak, MDF, and cheap plywood) and Lombard’s Hardwoods (located about two blocks away) for everything else. From there, primarily walnut, cherry, maple, and higher-grade Baltic and Finnish birch plywood.

In the past I have ordered from:
D & D Hardwoods and CSMDeals88 - I have been pleased with both.


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I had not thought about buying wood on Ebay, thanks for the link.

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Just putting together my x-carve this weekend, but have a little 6"x6" machine I made years ago and the normal wood working tools (saws, plane, lathe, ect). Lots of the wood is scrap, including construction cut offs and pallets. I pick up quite a bit of stuff from estate sales or auctions and friends. Some I buy at the local lumber yard or hardwood dealer. If I start doing more, I’ve thought about getting hold of some of the local tree services and further out there are a couple small lumber mills

Just curious whats the best bit you have used with the Baltic birch?

Oh awesome, I was hoping to come across a thread like this. I’m a huge fan of Acrylic Specialties And Plastics in Madison Heights, Michigan. It’s a small plastics distributor servicing the Detroit area. It’s owned and basically run by this guy Ron. I’ve made a few purchases from him and he’s always been significantly cheaper than other distributors and his cutting fees are so reasonable. I just got a quote a few days ago for 32 sheets of quarter inch thick 12"x12" HDPE and he quoted me $97+tax including cutting fees. That’s three dollars a piece, which is less than half the price on Amazon and waaaay cheaper than any other plastic distributors I’ve found. I also got a small bulk order of polycarbonate sheeting from him last year and the cuts were clean, the sheets flat, and the prices reasonable. I swear I’m not related to Ron , I don’t even know him personally. I just really consider his business to be a diamond in the rough.

I buy wood from a lumber store about half an hour from me. I used to buy from box stores, but I have found I save a great deal of money purchasing from the lumber store. They are far more knowledgable and I can have the materials milled to my dimensions or have large panels glued up, plus they’re selection is far larger. And the best part is I just call them up, tell them what I want and they bring it right to my shop for $20 drop off fee.

I use hardwoods primarily: hard maple, walnut, ash and some cherry and alder; and the occasional Baltic Birch plywood and maple MDF.

Here’s my last order all put on the shelf.

I use maple over poplar because we don’t paint or stain most of our products and I like the look of maple much better and I don’t have to dodge around the grey and green sapwood that you often find in poplar. But for painted stuff poplar is a pretty good wood and softer so it is easier to carve.

Also, though I now purchase 600 or 700 board feet of lumber at a time (because savings increase the more I order) I did still save money when I bought smaller loads; even on poplar–if j just grabbed a single board I would save about a $1 a BF on 4/4 material compared to the box store. It’s seems about the only place box stores are occasionally better are on their 1/2" and 1/4" stuff. But for me since they don’t carry these dimensions in my desired woods it makes no difference.


I would highly suggest going to your local cabinet/woodworking shops and ask if they will sell or give you their scrap pieces of wood/materials. I was lucky that my father-in-law is friends with a guy that works at a cabinet shop, and have gotten some leftover pieces/rejects from him.


That’s actually a really great idea, Tarry.

Also, if you happen to live anywhere sort of cruddy, there’s always a supply of middle-aged, not-so-gently-used wood and plastic furniture you can salvage from curbside to use for practice cuts or just messing around. Garage sale furniture is good, too.

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I looked up Acrylic Specialties And Plastics on the web and they do not appear to have any online business. Tell the owner you know lots of people that would order his material on line if he allowed it.