Butt joints will work ok, for a hobbiest, use a good glue and 1 3/4 - 2 in plaster board screws.
Price around for lumber, get 1x12's 12 ft long, use the ripped excess for lugs etc..
Freight will Kill You, Mann Lake out of Hackensack, MN., I would think may be your closet supplier.
Yes Bushy does have free shipping in Dec. one catch, only east of the Mississippi River !!!
Home made, Lowes & Dumpster Diving