Question about pricing of lumber - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question about pricing of lumber

I called about the price of walnut along with several other species. Is $4.25 a good price for Walnut 4/4, 1 straight lined edge, random width they select is $4.25, If I select my own boards its $5.25. There reason was with walnut and cherry it cost more because people pick through the boards to the point that they severely downgrade the quality of the remaining stock.

Is this normal or what do you think?

Is that a fair price for walnut?

Is $2.50 a good price for hickory 4/4, 1 straight line as above, and would it make a good workbench top? it is the hardest wood at the lowest cost. next up is Beech $2.85, ash $2.35, and cypress $2.00 which I couldn't even find what the Jenka rating was for cypress.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm confused about types of wood. I am since until now I used oak, maple, Birch, and poplar other then construction grade lumber.

Last edited by rrbrown; 04-28-2009 at 03:18 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 03:21 PM
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Man that seams high to me, but I am used to buying it from a sawyer or off of Craigs list. Walnut around here is going for what that Hickory is.

http://louisville.craigslist.org/mat/1128274413.html

http://louisville.craigslist.org/mat/1136207774.html

http://louisville.craigslist.org/mat/1140252453.html


I do know Ash would make a great workbench top.

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post #3 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 03:39 PM
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All depends on which area of the country you are in. I recently bought some beautiful 4/4 cherry from a mill for $2 bf. I bought some ash and white oak for $1 bf. all air dried 4 years.

Cherry and walnut, kd is over $6 locally, ash and oak $3.50 or so.

I stick with smaller mills.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JackC View Post
All depends on which area of the country you are in. I recently bought some beautiful 4/4 cherry from a mill for $2 bf. I bought some ash and white oak for $1 bf. all air dried 4 years.

Cherry and walnut, kd is over $6 locally, ash and oak $3.50 or so.

I stick with smaller mills.


I'm buying from a wholesaler, they are cheaper then the other lumber yards but I might have to look into the small mill or sawyer.If I was buying 100+ BF I would get a better price but, this is just a hobby that I make a little money at every once in a while.

where are you located at to get those prices.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 05:14 PM
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I'd say the extra charge for handpicking is not worth the trouble of dealing with them, to be honest. Every mill or lumber store I've been to sets a price for lumber and that's what you pay, whether you handpick or not.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 06:12 PM
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rrbrown - that sounds pretty decent. Whenever you post a price someone, somewhere in the country will post how they got it for diddly-squat money at some time, but stick with price comparisons in your (LA) area.
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Boardman View Post
rrbrown - that sounds pretty decent. Whenever you post a price someone, somewhere in the country will post how they got it for diddly-squat money at some time, but stick with price comparisons in your (LA) area.


I didn't get it for that, that is what I have scene on Craigs List. The bottom has fallen out of wood. Kinda like Copper, a year ago copper was selling at roughly $6 a pound. Then it plummeted, now you can get it for $2 a pound. That said the wholesalers are still sitting on $6 copper so that is what they are selling. Why would I buy $6 copper when it is at $2 a pound. All I am saying is there are deals out there for wood, you just have to look. Sounds hi IMO with where the economy is, I guess things are better in LA............
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 07:12 PM
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It's too high. And regarding the picking charge, it is not your job to cull or grade his lumber. Keep looking.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 07:47 PM
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In illinois I can just look up the Department of natural resources website, and there is a list of all the registered owners of small mills in the entire state broken down by county. You might want to check your states dnr website. I have found some of the best deals from that list.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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It's too high. And regarding the picking charge, it is not your job to cull or grade his lumber. Keep looking.
That is the best price in about a 50 mile radius unless I can find a small mill some how. See the economy isn't as bad here as the rest of the nation. "Knock on wood"

The extra dollar is if you want to pick through all the wood and find that perfect piece. I can say I have never got a bad piece of wood from them but I have only got maple, birch, poplar, oak, curly maple and purple heart and have looked through all the wood myself for those. Didn't see any bad wood while looking but for the walnut and cherry they add the dollar because they said people pick all the clear stuff and leave the sapwood then other customers complain.

I'm going to look for a small mill again but the place I use is Hogan Hardwoods they have everything exotic and domestic ahd it is good quality. Oh did I mention that they are like 25% cheeper on most things then everyone else.
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 08:51 PM
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I don't see how they justify charging more for hand selecting boards. How would you get grain matched lumber for fine furniture if you just asked for x amount of boardfeet without picking it yourself.
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post #12 of 21 Old 04-28-2009, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Boardman View Post
rrbrown - that sounds pretty decent. Whenever you post a price someone, somewhere in the country will post how they got it for diddly-squat money at some time, but stick with price comparisons in your (LA) area.
I agree with Boardman. A lot of the deals you hear about could be a real fa cocta grade and the buyer doesnt even realize it.
Sometimes you have have to pay the going price in your area. If you find a good score by accident, nail it, but if you have to hunt it down it's not always worth the effort.
When I was in Slidell and Biloxi, Acadian Hardwoods in Ponchatoula would deliver for free with a minimum order. Their loads always arrived in good condition with a consistant quality. I would tell them the approx board footage I needed and also told them to send the longest and widest boards. I felt that it was a way of getting the best quality as far as grain and stability.

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #13 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 08:12 AM
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You have to balance your time and expense (gas money) for traveling for a good buy vs. having it delivered and ready to go. For instance, I get the wholesale price at a lumber yard and pay $2.85 for "skip planed" red oak. In reality it's 98% fully planed at 15/16ths and I can sort through the pile to get the boards I want. This minimizes waste. I could probably get rough sawn for about $2bf if I looked but somehow it just doesn't seem worth the time and effort to go pick it up and then have to plane it all.

I could get curly soft maple for $2.45bf but it's about 250 miles away.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 08:43 AM
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where are you located at to get those prices.
I'm in RI. A fellow ww'er and I recently went to upsate New York for what was advertised as some prime cherry. I came home empty, I wouldn't buy it as firewood. This was after several emails, a phone call or two and assurances from others who had bought from him.

I found a guy in central Mass on Craigs list. A farmer with a wood mizer mill. He has a old dairy barn literally stuffed to the rafters with wood. The cherry I got is closer to 5/4 then 4/4 and almost 12" wide. $2 bf air dried 4 years.

I am seriously considering making a bulk purchase of 3-400+ bf of cherry and selling it locally for $2.50-$3.00 to supplement my tool fund.

He aslo has red & white oak along with ash for $1.00 bf. And pine,,,
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys


Boardman I agree with you and actually I stated that it was 1 straightline but it is skip planed also and good quality.



Tony I called acadian they were .20 - 2.00 a bf more depending on species. Walnut which is the main one I wanted was 2.00 more.


Julian the woodnut thats kind of what I was concerned about for in the future. However I think with the exception of one or two species that's only .20 a bf cheaper most or .50 - $4.00 a board ft cheeper than some of the other mills that are just as far if not further to drive to. My thinking here is if I keep a good relationship with them that they will work with me if I need matching grains or something special. hopefully the economy here stays ok but it has slowed and these prices or a reflection of that. They were .30 - .50 higher a year ago for poplar, maple ect.

Oh I looked at the Louisiana Department of natural resources and hey have nothing about mills but I may call them anyway just to see. Never leave a stone unturned.

Again thanks for the help
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 03:31 PM
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I recently bought some Quarter sawn white oak from Hogan Hardwwood in Baton Rouge. They said the don't let people pick through the lumber piles but I took a chance anyway. I bought 40 bd. ft. and brought it back home. Very disppaointed! About 25% was either warped, split, had water stains or some type of problem.
The money I saved per bd ft ended up costing me more once I put the bad lumber aside. I would rather pay a little more and not be concerned about what I might get.
I took a chance buying lumber online through www.woodworkerssource.com and paid a higher price but I got excellent quality lumber delivered to my door. Very satisfied!
I also buy lumber from Riverside Lumber in New Orleans where anyone can spend all day sorting through the lumber piles to pick their lumber. I just recently bought 50+ bd. ft. of walnut, 20 bd. ft. of leopardwood and about 15 ft of cocobolo. I have been doing business with them since about 1973 and they are a 1st. class lumber yard and have been there since the 1920's.
My best choices so far are either drive to New Orleans or order online and have it delivered.

Who Dat...Every step of any project should be considered your masterpiece if you want the finished product to reflect the quality of your work. Have a nice day, unless you have other plans! "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 03:47 PM
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my cost out in central Oregon for Black Walnut is over 5 bucks. Sounds good to me.
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrbrown View Post
I called about the price of walnut along with several other species. Is $4.25 a good price for Walnut 4/4, 1 straight lined edge, random width they select is $4.25, If I select my own boards its $5.25. There reason was with walnut and cherry it cost more because people pick through the boards to the point that they severely downgrade the quality of the remaining stock.

Is this normal or what do you think?

Is that a fair price for walnut?

Is $2.50 a good price for hickory 4/4, 1 straight line as above, and would it make a good workbench top? it is the hardest wood at the lowest cost. next up is Beech $2.85, ash $2.35, and cypress $2.00 which I couldn't even find what the Jenka rating was for cypress.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm confused about types of wood. I am since until now I used oak, maple, Birch, and poplar other then construction grade lumber.
It alll depends upon where you are.

That would be a VERY good price here in the Panhandle of Florida.!!!

I am sure that it also varies a lot in most parts of the country.

G
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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I recently bought some Quarter sawn white oak from Hogan Hardwwood in Baton Rouge. They said the don't let people pick through the lumber piles but I took a chance anyway. I bought 40 bd. ft. and brought it back home. Very disppaointed! About 25% was either warped, split, had water stains or some type of problem.
The money I saved per bd ft ended up costing me more once I put the bad lumber aside. I would rather pay a little more and not be concerned about what I might get.
I took a chance buying lumber online through www.woodworkerssource.com and paid a higher price but I got excellent quality lumber delivered to my door. Very satisfied!
I also buy lumber from Riverside Lumber in New Orleans where anyone can spend all day sorting through the lumber piles to pick their lumber. I just recently bought 50+ bd. ft. of walnut, 20 bd. ft. of leopardwood and about 15 ft of cocobolo. I have been doing business with them since about 1973 and they are a 1st. class lumber yard and have been there since the 1920's.
My best choices so far are either drive to New Orleans or order online and have it delivered.

Hey GregL sorry you had a problem, I'm from chalmette originally and have bought from riverside and paxton I agree that riverside is a good company. I thought paxton was high. I nave bought from hardwood lumber in Zachery several times and they are pretty good reasonable price but they do not carry as large a variety of wood species, they are about a 1/2 hour further then hogan and slightly higher in price. I called acadian they are really high and riverside was much higher walnut 7.50 that's 2.75 higher then hogan, ash 3.80 which is 1.50 more then hogan. Maybe I have ben getting lucky but out of maybe 5 trips to Hogan no problems until they quoted the extra $1 for picking through the walnut and cherry. I check what they are putting in the truck as they do it so I will watch for trash since you mentioned it happen to you.

The first time I ate at Semolinas I was not impressed. I gave it another try and a different location and it became one of my favorite places to eat. It's up to you but if you give them another try and let them know they stuck you the last time they may surprise you. either way I will watch what I get from them just incase someone there is trying to get rid of trash wood that way.
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-29-2009, 06:26 PM
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rr - try plugging LA into this page:

http://www.manta.com/mb?pg=3&search=sawmills minnesota
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