Special Wood is north of Wilmington (from Southport via 140 to 133 and over east another bit). This large supplier is located down a long stone/dirt drive off Blue Clay Road between Wrightsboro and Castle Hayne, where a series of huge warehouse buildings store lumber and house a mill. The enormous cyclone dust separator on the right as you drive in is an impressive tower alongside the mill house. The offices are on the left, where you check in and take directions after placing an order.
They specialize in pine, cedar and fir, but they also have poplar and limited stocks of cherry, maple and oak. The hardwood lumber is, at best, rough planed. Expect to flatten and thickness plane it on your own. We went for hard maple and cherry, which were in the same building around the corner from the office.
Yardmen are stationed in the warehouse buildings; after our guy took our order form we waited at the entrance as he moved pallets of lumber to us via a big forklift. We picked through the stacks and set our boards aside; the order form was completed and we returned to the office as he replaced the piles. After paying for the order we returned to our lumber pile and used our battery powered circular saw to cut down the stock (typically 10’ long) to fit into the car. Cherry was about $6.00/bd ft; maple was a bit less). We took off and had lunch at a pizza joint in Wrightsboro. After we got it home the lumber was checked for moisture content, and all of it was less than 10%. It has now been used, and the quality was fine for our projects.
– David Campbell