I live in Lithuania, Eastern Europe. Throughout the years, I have bought lumber from more than 20 lumberyards all around the country, trying to find at least a single one that could sell me straight, clear boards that I need for making boats and spars. My efforts were in vain. Even though I always bought the highest quality lumber, dried and calibrated, and often even promised to pay double for the really good stuff, the stuff they actually give me is barely acceptable to make pallets. I am slowly accepting the fact that there is no quality lumber in my country, regardless of how much I am willing to pay. The boards I get are twisted, bent, warped, don't have a single straight edge, and are full of knots (I am talking big ones, every 10-20 cm (4-8 inches).
By the time I re-rip and plane these boards flat and straight, there is almost nothing left to use, and 3/4 of the wood is wasted. What's worse, when I rip a straightened and flattened board, it often starts twisting and warping right after it comes out of the tablesaw - that's how bad it is. Before you say it, the machines I have in my shop are of high quality, and I do know how to use them.
Because of that reason, I am forced to consider ways to straighten and flatten these boards after ripping them to dimensions. I tried forcing it them into shape using steam boxes, but most of the time the lumber breaks, even after steaming a piece for hours, and bending slowly. Even when it works, I still can't get them perfectly straight and flat, especially when the bend is compound and changes direction every few meters. Steam-bending to approximate straightness and then finishing up with a tablesaw or a planer doesn't work, because as I said, these boards start immediately warping again as soon as they come out of the machines due to released internal stress.
You can't imagine how frustrating this is. I haven't seen a straight board since the last time I visited USA. The stuff we get in Lithuania is beyond horrible.
Fellow woodworkers, do you have any advice for me? How do work with such lumber without wasting so much time and money? I can't afford shipping lumber from other countries or continents...
Thank you for your time.