One of the most enjoyable and interesting parts of woodworking for me is procuring materials. While we do order from a traditional lumber company located on the east coast of Florida, I'm always looking for other opportunities to acquire wood.
Many times, the wood I purchase has been cast aside or forgotten about by someone else, deemed unfit for another purpose or found in a storage unit. I take pride in taking what other people might consider to be scrap or waste and turning into something beautiful. Some materials themselves, like pecky cypress and ambrosia maple were once consdidered to be trash woods but are now highly prized for their figure.
For example, although rosewoods are primarily a highly sought-after exotic wood, Dalbergia Sisso trees have been planted here in Florida as ornamentals. By chance, I met a guy in Sarasota who had milled a Sissoo tree that fell in his neighbor's yard and bought some natural edge stock from him.
Much of the teak and mahogany I utilize comes from guys who do trim for sailboats in Bradenton. Some of the purpleheart was found in 3" x 3" x 48" posts and was originally intended to used for cribbage underneath docks on Fort Myers Beach. I purchased a wide assortment of cut-offs and shorts of rare Central American woods from Cocobolo, Inc., including cocobolo, goncalo alves, granadillo, carreto, santos mahogany, partridge wood, verawood, houdouran mahogany and more.
By acquiring wood this way, I am able to work with species that I could not afford to purchase through traditional outlets. Additionally, by using things that may have been destined for a storage unit, a dumpster or worse yet, a fireplace, I'm using wood without increasing the demand for more of it to be cut down.