buying used lumber


Old 06-17-03, 11:21 AM
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Question buying used lumber

I am going to finish off my basement in the fall and will use 2x4's (16" oc) with 1/2 drywall over them. Very basic job. Based on my drawings and current prices, I am looking at around $ 400-450 in lumber. This isn't a huge sum, but if I could save some of it and put it towards fixtures and carpeting, that would be nice.

So, my question, has anyone ever heard or bought used 2x4's? I figure there has to be a market for this, with all the tear downs and rebuilding going on. I am in the Chicago area.

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Old 06-17-03, 01:43 PM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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Considering that there are no standards for used lumber and you cannot be sure of its condition, it would have to be free and delivered to be worth the while to dig through and clean up to use. Then you would have a big disposal problem on your hand with the rejects.
Old 06-17-03, 08:02 PM
bungalow jeff
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That would be a lot of old nails to find and pull out.
Old 06-17-03, 08:14 PM
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I used to remodel with my dad as a kid.....we took some 2x4's out of an OLD house and he planed to reuse them.....turned out they were oak and the only nail you could drive in them was a CONCRETE nail they were that hard.

I've seen people use 2nd hand lumber over the years, but for the most part, it isn't worth the little amount you'd save....between the nails, the twists and warps, it mostly just ain't worth it unless you're talking BIG timbers that can be cleaned up and resawn into something else......

In 2x4 size, if it came out of an older pre 60's, the size of a 2x4 was different too....used to be 1 5/8 x 3 5/8....and if you go back even futher, they will be actual 2x4s less what they've lost in drying.....and they will vary a LOT......they made up the differences in individual studs with the plaster thickness and didn't worry too much if one stud was 1/4" wider or thinnner than another.
Old 06-17-03, 09:06 PM
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Chicago area huh? Good! Try calling the salvage yards.

Every big city has architectural and building salvage yards.

Just remember ... there are 2 kinds of salvage yards:

One kind caters to uppity snotty interior designers looking for unique mirrors, mantels, old fashioned bath fixtures, wrought iron canopy beds, fancy doors, and hour glass shaped dressers and nightstands.

The other kind, one like mine, has everything ... yeah, even 2Xs.

Don't worry about nails, twists, checks, and cracks .... salvage yards don't buy garbage. The scavengers know what and what not to bring in.

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