Lumber in central Taiwan

Looking for a good source of lumber in Taichung, either pre-sized (2x4s, 2x6s, etc) or sold by board foot.

B&Q in Nantun district has very little and what they do have is wildly overpriced.

What kind of lumber? Are you looking for construction wood?

Try going to building supply stores, you know what they are if you see plywood in the store. They will have it.

However pre sized lumber like 2x4 is very expensive, pine is expensive in general in Taiwan. Instead you will find lauan sticks that are much smaller than 2x4 that are used for wall divisions, something like 1 x 1 inch or so. If you are wishing to do drywall installation I highly suggest using metal studs. They are available, are sized like 2x4s, and is inexpensive. Bring a Taiwanese who is familiar with construction with you, because the terminology here is completely different and you will spend money on the wrong stuff.

As you have found out, B&Q in Taiwan is a very poor place for anything related to building or tools. It is essentially like IKEA with some tools. It is nothing like hardware stores in any Western country.


Walk the streets and you’ll find anything you need, even a lumber store, maybe more than one in close proximity that have competing prizes or even even totally different wood, probably close by will be a hardware store, a carpenter and others. Lumber stores cut/saw any size you’ll need and they probably have it or can order.

Yes, I’m looking for construction lumber, especially anyplace with a variety of plywood choices. More long-term I want a source for hardwoods sold in board length. For that I’m willing to drive wherever needed, doesn’t have to be central island.

I recently purchased a chair-table combination made of Chinese hemlock (鐵杉). Beautiful wood that grows locally. Would love to find a source.

@Taiwan_Luthiers Where do you get wood to make guitars?

I order some from Taobao, and others from various Taiwanese sellers who sells planks (with little to no choice as to what they look like, quartersawn, flatsawn, or whatever) and I resaw them into guitar sized woods with a bandsaw. It pays to have one large enough for the task. I use a small one and while it can handle the task, a larger one can do it faster with less error (thus wasting wood).

If you buy lumber they will most likely be rough sawn, with no choice as to whether they’re dry enough for use (this is important if you want to make anything that won’t warp over time), and you’ll need a planer or something to surface them. I hope you have a workshop…

As for plywood, I use this seller on ruten:

They are in Taipei but will deliver if you pay the cost. They have Baltic Birch plywood.

If you buy any lumber in Taiwan assume they are not dried. Let it sit in a very dry room (50% humidity or lower) for a year before using it for anything serious! The wood must be propped up with sticks every 12" and weighted down in the meantime. For guitars sawing them and stickering and weighting them down cuts down on the time it takes for the wood to stabilize (about 2 months). However sometime I find wood that cups on me as soon as I saw it…

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Surely one reason is that wood structures are a fire hazard, but an equally important consideration would be termites.

Even in the US Southeast building houses with wood requires a lot of anti-insect treatment, both before and after installation. A lot of homeowners on the E coast and below the Mason-Dixon line have annual contracts for anti-termite spraying/treatment. In my experience, if you’re trying to sell your wood home, and you can’t show evidence of annual termite inspection, then you can expect a prospective home buyer to insist you pay for a treatment and also pay for insurance in case termite damages are discovered.

I bet pine 2x4’s would last approximately six months in Taiwan - if used for Western style stick framing, that is (joking, but not by much).

Wood structures exist in Taiwan, but anything from the old days are basically a heap of rubble. Taiwanese termite is VERY aggressive and will eat any and all non-treated wood faster than ghost money getting burnt. This is why pine 2x4 used in Taiwan for decking are expensive, they are all pressure treated and it is required for any outdoor wooden structure or else they will last about 3 months before turning into a heap of rubble. If you notice all park fixtures are not wood, but recycled plastic bags that looks like wood (because nothing degrades those). If you’re hoping to build wooden decks outside, you MUST use pressure treated wood or something like teak which is naturally insect resistant. Both are expensive. Many guitar woods I use except for mahogany are more or less insect resistant because they contain so much oils and nasty stuff… but it’s not good for me to work on them either. Cocobolo is pretty much insect proof but the dust kills you.

For indoor furniture it’s not really important but make sure to keep it away from any holes in the wall because termites will snack on them instantly.

I had a structure I built to keep air compressors quiet and it was basically termite food. The MDF was untouched however because of all the chemicals. Perhaps this is one reason why everything here is made of particle board because insects hate them.

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All great info. And thanks very much for the Ruten link! I want to build a French cleat system in my garage that Baltic birch ply would be perfect for.

I have the space for sticking wood that needs drying. Hope I can find boards to start stacking soon. Thanks for your help!

For garage just make sure you keep it dry… again Taiwanese termites are VERY aggressive.

Ants and beetles are also a big issue. I wouldnt buy any soft wood ubless its treated or naturally loaded with oils and avoid anything in the Fabaceae family.

We can do certain species but inly wholesale quantities. If interested can contact me abd have a chat. Acacia, mahogany, camphor amongst others. But at least a container to get everything rolling.

I can’t do whole containers, it’s more wood than I will ever use in a lifetime. Perhaps if a bunch of people get together…

There are people selling mahogany in Taiwan anyways, and for everything else Taobao sells stuff cheap, shipping is cheap too. China really doesn’t care about CITES rules either.

Hope you enjoy chopping our wild forests down :sunglasses:.Taiwan Luthiers you suck for promoting importing non cites lumber.
You guys need to take a good hard luck at your ethics.
I’d be the first to report any illegal timber trading. :+1:

Haters gonna hate.
Playas gonna play.
NARCs gonna NARC.

Yep I’d do it all day with no problem whatsoever.:grin:

They just want Ireland 2.0, don’t you know?

Wots yer beef spit it out :sunglasses:

Oh and by the way I’m involved in legal and sustainable timber trading myself before you embarrass yourself further.

CITES rules weren’t created to target musical instruments because they are insignificant and does not contribute to deforestation at all. CITES are designed for far worse offenders, like people chopping down endangered woods and grinding them up for paper mills, or rich people who wants their entire furniture, wall, floor, etc. made out of jet black ebony. This is why they made exceptions for musical instruments.

And by the way if you can deal with wholesalers then you can find out who their customers are, I’m sure they would appreciate the business too. That way we can buy them by the board foot rather than by the container load.

Keep justifying what you’re doing :+1:
I’ve looked into it and musical instruments and accessories definitely contribute to deforestation . And now here you are even promoting importing wood from China because it avoids CITES.

In my mind you have to pick a side you are on. It doesn’t matter if there are hundreds of other people doing it.

I’m not against responsible forestry. I am approached often about woodland property I have back home, but only allow the thinning of walnut trees on rare occasion.

But I believe no one has the right to tell @Taiwan_Luthiers where he can and can’t order wood, and I have a personal distaste for NARCs.

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I don’t care what you believe or that you have a distaste for narcs. Don’t give two shits.
Doing the right thing for wildlife is what counts . I was in Sarawak last year it’s more than half destroyed.

I’m also familiar with the illegal timber trade in Taiwan.