When we create things with wood, we use primarily cedar. It's a softer wood, easy to work with, and we've got access to some locally that we think is really great stuff. The cedar we get is from a sawmill in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The person who sells it to us is a really great person too. He stacks the wood in his yard and you can go choose what you'd like. He's often not there but accepts payment on the honor system. He's on Facebook Marketplace but I'm not sharing his name here, he's too good a source.
We're using a LOT of the wood for a house project (shiplap anyone?). The cedar he sells is rough from the sawmill and it does take some sanding. So I have spent a lot of time leaning over sawhorses with a rotary sander in my hands, smoothing cedar boards. And honestly, it's not even a chore. I start with a really aggressive grit and as soon as you touch the sander to the wood, it releases a warm cedar smell. And as you work the sawmill kerf marks out of each board, you start to see the grain. Once you reduce the grit of the sandpaper to finish it out, the grain becomes apparent. And the years encased in the wood come to light. It's close to magical. Knowing where the trees come from, seeing the grain come out and smelling the warm cedar smell on a chilly winter day makes the whole process a pleasure.