This assignment gave me another reason to love my neighbourhood! I live near Gowanus (an industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn), which gave me an opportunity to visit a big lumber yard called Dykes Lumber Company. It has three locations in New York, and a few more in towns nearby. The one that I visited is located at 167 6th Street, Brooklyn (between 2d and 3d Avenues). There is a Subway stop nearby, 4 Av-9th St of R, G and F trains, but normally people come here by car, and for their customers Dykes has a parking lot across the street.
The place itself looks like a big storage building with a small store on the side, where customers walk in to find salesmen to show them through the lumber yard, because self-service is not allowed in that area. First, I decided to look around the store by myself and see how much I would understand.
The store is divided on sections by different brands and needs. Some of them have things like wood finishing products, wood compound, and other products that would be helpful in woodworking. Along one of the walls there were door locks, hinges, and fasteners. In the middle of the store you would find wooden railings, smaller moulding pieces, and ornaments (maple made mostly). Besides, there is an isle with wood veneer, and pre-glued edge banding made out of different trees (red oak, white birch, cherry, mahogany, walnut, etc.). The rest of the store is dedicated for tools, mostly power tools and accessories for them (saw blades, router bits, drill bits, sanding belts and patches for different kinds of sanders, air hoses, and power cords). There were only couple of tools of brands, like Porter Cable, and DeWALT, but the biggest section represented the brand called FESTTOOL: there were miter saw, jigsaws, sanders, routers, drills and drivers, and also a thick catalog on the side. On the side of the store there was a little room with molding displays. One thing that stand out the most – there was no prices on any of the tags in the entire store.
After self observation, I went to find some help from one of the salesmen. There was a line of people waiting for their turn, but when the guy at the register found out that I’m a City Tech student he found a salesman for me who could answer all of my questions, and walk me through the lumber yard. The store specifies on mouldings, and a big part of the yard is dedicated to those; there were all kinds of shapes and wood types. Then, there were various types of lumber (pine, poplar, cedar, etc… and finger jointed primed pine), cut to different sizes. And, at one part of the yard there were sheet goods: various types of plywood, MDF and luan.
According to Dykes’ salesmen, 85% of their customers are contractors, but there are also homeowners, and individuals working on their projects. The store has their own trucks and does deliveries. At the end they gave me a catalog of FESTTOOLs, and Dykes Catalog of Mouldings and Building Materials. I’m really glad that I chose this place to visit,because it was pleasant and helpful experience!