Do you have a woodworking project on your to-do list but you’re not exactly comfortable cutting the wood yourself? You don’t necessarily have to, as some places will cut wood for your project for you. What places are these?
Here are some places that will cut wood for your project:
- Carpentry service
- Handyman service
- Trade school or high school
- Wood workshop
- Wood lumberyard
- Home improvement store
In today’s guide, we’ll take you through all your options for getting wood cut for your project, including an assessment of whether the service is free and what you’ll pay if it isn’t. There’s lots of great information to come, so keep reading!
Do you have any carpenters near you? More than likely, the answer is yes, but you won’t know for certain unless you do the research.
Start with a simple Google search (or a search engine of your preference) and see who’s local.
As often as you can with these services that we’ll discuss today, you want to go local.
The closer the service is offered, the less you’ll have to pay if you need the wood transported to and fro.
That said, if local services aren’t offered, feel free to go one town or neighborhood over until you find what you need.
Carpenters are well-trained in wood-based projects of all kinds, so cutting some sheets of wood down to size for you should pose no problem at all.
Now, whether they’ll do it for free varies. Some carpenters might not mind, especially if yours is a very simple wood-cutting project.
You have to keep in mind though that carpenters are professionals who are trying to make a living just like any of us. Thus, in most cases, you should expect to be charged a fee.
How much will that fee be? That depends.
To give you at least a guestimate of what kind of pricing you could be looking at, HomeAdvisor states that the rate to hire a carpenter is anywhere from $13 to $39 an hour.
If not a carpenter, then you can always hire a local handyman for the job.
Indeed, there is a difference between a handyman and a carpenter.
A handyman is trained in a variety of disciplines, not solely cutting and working with wood. A carpenter specializes in wood, although they could have other specialties as well.
Finding a handyman is as easy as punching your location into a search engine.
You can also ask your friends, neighbors, and colleagues for their recommendations.
Can you use platforms such as Craigslist, Fiver, or Facebook Marketplace to find a handyman? Yes, of course.
Keep in mind though that you get what you pay for. HomeGuide states that the going rate for a handyman is between $50 and $80 per hour.
Thus, if you find someone who is charging drastically lower than that, you might want to rethink taking them up on their services.
Even though you might not have paid much to procure the wood you have for your project, you still don’t want it to go to waste.
Since handyman is such a general term, almost anyone can say they’re a handyman, but they might not necessarily have that much more experience at cutting wood than you do.
Always ask for credentials or experience if your project is worth a good amount of money and you want to trust that it’s in the right hands.
Trade School or High School
Okay, but what if you’re trying to get your wood cut on the cheap, or even for free?
You do have some avenues to explore, and the first of these is to look into a school.
If you have a high school in your neck of the woods, which we’re sure is likely, then you can always get in touch with the staff there.
Rather than try to contact any teachers directly, call the front desk of the school and explain your situation.
Tell them that you have some wood that you’d like cut but you don’t have the equipment or the experience to do it yourself.
Then ask if the local woodworking high school class would be interested in doing it for you.
Your woodworking project could be incorporated into a classroom project, a homework assignment, or even possible extra credit.
The kids who do the project will gain valuable experience, and you’ll get your wood cut down to size without having to pay a cent for it.
Of course, you do have to keep in mind that you’re entrusting a bunch of young kids to cut your wood. They’re still learning and sharpening their skills.
What we’re trying to say is that the results may not be perfect.
If you’re okay with the wood being cut a little wonky here and there but otherwise being totally usable, then contact a high school’s woodworking department.
Should you want better results still, you can always get in touch with a trade school.
A trade school is for post-high school grads. Here, they will refine their skills even further before starting a new career in woodworking.
We’d again recommend contacting the front desk at the trade school, explaining your situation, and asking if the students would be interested.
Once again, you wouldn’t have to pay for a trade school class to cut the wood.
The results, as we said, should be better but might not be perfect depending on how much woodworking education the students have had to that point.
Next is an option that many don’t think of but could be the perfect place to get wood cut for your project: a makerspace.
What is a makerspace, you ask? A makerspace is a not-for-profit (typically but not exclusively) workspace operated by a local community.
All the participants have the same skill in common, and they unite within the confines of the makerspace to create projects, learn from each other, and overall improve their craft.
Makerspaces are usually associated with schools but independent makerspaces are available as well depending on where you live.
How common are makerspaces? Well, that too will vary based on where you live, but generally, not terribly.
Your options may be few and far between or you might not be able to find any makerspaces at all.
If you do have a couple in your neighborhood or in adjoining cities or towns, we’d suggest looking into them.
Whether a makerspace will charge for its services will depend. Since the occupants of a makerspace are students, more than likely, you could get wood cut for your project without having to pay a fee.
Don’t necessarily assume the services will be free, though. Research makerspaces in your area or pick up the phone and ask.
What kind of experience do the students at a makerspace have, and how will that impact the final results of your project?
That’s difficult to say. Some makerspaces might be comprised of people with experience who want to continue to strengthen that experience amongst like-minded individuals.
Other makerspaces might have nothing but beginners, so it’s a mixed bag for sure.
A wood workshop is also worth adding to your list as you explore places that will cut wood for your project.
Wood workshops hire handymen and carpenters. They’re small or larger companies (although usually small) that offer custom services, woodcutting often chief among them.
You may have some wood workshops in your city or town or in a nearby neighborhood.
Some may have certain specialties, such as cabinet building, while others are general woodworkers.
You can probably go through either one for your project aspirations.
Wood workshops are indeed businesses, so this is another avenue that will cut your wood for a fee.
As for how much that fee will be, that’s at the discretion of the workshop.
You might be able to find pricing on their website or you could have to call or send an email for a quote.
We recommend reaching out to several workshops and requesting quotes before making your decision.
You should also read the reviews for the wood workshop ahead of hiring one to ensure you get good value for your money.
If you’re still comparing your options at this point, don’t discount going through a wood lumberyard.
A lumberyard is where wood projects are stored and processed. These could be projects from home improvement stores or construction projects. Raw lumber is often kept at a wood lumberyard as well.
Not every lumberyard necessarily works with the public, but some do. Those that do provide retail services and rental services.
For instance, if you wanted to rent a woodworking machine like a saw or planer, you could possibly do it through a wood lumberyard.
The lumberyard might be able to cut the wood to your specifications, or they can even sell you wood that’s already precut.
Now, the latter might not be doable if you have an ultra-specific wood size, shape, or cut that you’re looking for.
For most general woodworking projects though, a wood lumberyard should have everything you need.
Wood lumberyards may charge a fee based on the type of wood they’re cutting, the size of the wood, or both. If your lumberyard offers quotes, please ask for one ahead of agreeing to work together.
This will keep your project costs reasonable for your budget.
Home Improvement Store
We saved what is probably the most convenient option for last, and that’s to go to a home improvement store and ask if someone there will cut your wood for you.
Home improvement stores are incredibly common, so even if you were dismayed at the lack of available options per some of the avenues we explored in this guide, you should certainly have a home improvement store or several to select from.
Let’s go over your options now as well as the pricing for wood-cutting services for each home improvement store.
Based in Wisconsin, Menards is a home improvement brand with 335 stores.
They’re scattered across only 15 states, including Wyoming, Illinois, Nebraska, West Virginia, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Iowa, Kentucky, North Dakota, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Kansas.
If you have a Menards near you, they should cut either OSB or plywood for a woodworking project.
That said, the availability of this service varies from store to store, so be sure to call ahead before you lug all your lumber to a Menards.
Menards does not cut wood for free, but you’re looking at a fee of $1 to $2 for each cut, so the service is very reasonably priced.
If you don’t have a Menards anywhere near you, then the chances are good that you have a Lowe’s. This home improvement shop has 2,197 locations across North America.
Lowe’s might cut wood for your project for free, but that depends on the extent of the wood cutting.
For instance, if you need only some miter cutting or some simple straight cuts, then you likely won’t have to pay for a Lowe’s store to cut your wood.
The same would not apply for more complex projects, though.
Another case in which you may be charged is by the number of woodcuts. Once a project gets too extensive, Lowe’s will no longer cut it for free.
It’s typically not too much more expensive to get wood cut at Lowe’s compared to a home improvement store like Menards, but the pricing can vary by location.
Another large home improvement brand to try is Ace Hardware, which has stores in more than 60 countries, with 5,200+ locations in all.
Not every Ace Hardware necessarily offers wood-cutting services, so it’s best to check in with yours first.
If your Ace does provide this service, then it’s basic cuts only. You may or may not be charged a fee.
What is probably the most well-known home improvement brand is Home Depot.
The Georgia-based company is the biggest name in home improvement, as Home Depot has 490,600 locations per 2021 numbers.
At most Home Depot locations, if the wood will fit in your car, then their staff will cut it for free.
For larger woodworking projects, you would have to pay a nominal fee for the service.
Getting wood cut for a project even if you’re inexperienced needn’t be difficult, as you have so many avenues to explore.
Whether you’re looking for exclusively free services or you don’t mind paying a bit for your woodcuts, we hope you can find a pro to get the job done for you!