More than a year ago, before I joined the staff, Megan Fitzpatrick and I talked about an article I wanted to write about lumberyards and the perennial discussion about domestic versus exotic lumber. At the time, I was also working on an interactive map of New York City’s neighborhoods, and I floated the idea of creating a map of local lumberyards that would accompany the article.
The article is coming soon to the magazine, and I’m happy to say that the map is here. Months ago, I put out a call over social media for readers to submit their favorite local lumberyards, with a short review or blurb about what they like about their yard – I called it “The Great Lumberyard Census.” After hours of sorting through the entries, formatting them for the digital interactive map and playing with GIS software, the map and accompanying directory is finished.
Before I send you over there, I have two favors to ask of you. First, help us continue to improve the map! This is not a map of every lumberyard, but if you have a local favorite that isn’t listed, please send it along, with your name and a short blurb about why you like the yard. You can email me the listings at email@example.com. A note – if you are an owner or employee of the yard, please indicate that when you submit. I’m not against someone making a case for his or her operation, but I’d like to note it in your blurb. This isn’t a space to advertise your business, it’s a community resource for other woodworkers. I do look at every entry, which is part of why it took this long to get the map together!
Also, we have only three spots in Canada, and no listings in a handful of states – I’m sure there are great lumberyards there, and I know we’ve got readers in most corners of the world, so help out by contributing to the map. Don’t let the Californians have all the fun (that said, they have an incredible array of lumberyards).
Second, I have another call for entries – I have, for some time, wanted to make a “Woodworker’s Vacation Map,” one that would list and plot a wide array of interesting places and sights across the world. Whenever I travel, I ask a few woodworking friends from the area I’m traveling to what I should see. This has exposed me to a wide range of beautiful experiences, often tucked away and lacking signage.
So, just like the lumberyard map, email your entries to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and to help sort through, put “Vacation Spot” in the subject line. It could be a Shaker village with outstanding furniture, the Giant Sequoias of Northern California or a quirky out-of-the-way museum or shop. This will be put up for public consumption just like the above map – I want everyone to find their lumber and see great woodworking.