Top Customer Service and Lumber Quality Online
On a recent fly fishing and Mountain Biking trip to Michigan, I stopped by Bell Forest Lumber in Ishpeming, MI. Boone and Eric sat down with me to talk about their online retail lumber business and it was a really interesting look at an entirely different business model to the one I'm used to every day.
Bell Forest Products started as a Woodmizer Sawmill, making lumber for Boone's father's own use. Apparently the Upper Peninsula of Michigan doesn't have a lot of lumber yards yet, they supply some of the finest Birds Eye Maple in the world. Boone and his father entered the business at the right time just as the Internet and Ebay were taking off and it was a natural next step to begin listing some of the boards they were sawing online. Years later, they are one of the largest online retailers of lumber around with more than 100 species in stock and a unique "hand picked" board offering.
Outstanding customer service and high quality lumber at reasonable prices is what you can expect from this small business. Having gotten a tour of the facility and seeing how they import and inventory their material, I was seriously impressed at not only the extent of the species they carried, but the care in which everything was handled and stocked. Bell Forest Products is an extremely well run organization with simply gorgeous lumber in stock.
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Andrew V says
I will hate it when the board foot goes away. I do a lot of woodworking and it’s so much easier to have a stack of material on hand and be able to match boards around. I called a yard and asked for prices in 8/4 cherry. The guy that answered the phone had zero idea what i was talking about and said that 2 by cherry was sold in the even inch widths. I tried telling him that i didn’t want construction lumber and just wanted a quote on 250 BF of 8/4 cherry. I ended up jut ending the call and went elsewhere.
If the board foot goes away won’t there just be a ton of wasted wood when everything is cut down to fit in the little box that is dimensional lumber? I get that there has to be waste but my off cuts get used all the way to the smoker so every inch of the board gets used. Sawdust is mulch on my property and then fertilizer for vegetables after it breaks down in a couple years.