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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am going to show my ignorance here, but I need some advice. Since I started making/selling my wood lures I have been contacted 100 (?) times by pen turners wanting to buy blanks. I have been telling them I don't have any to sell (liar, I have 1000's, and can make more) just to avoid the hassle. A few guys seem like decent dudes, and I should sell to them if nothing else to help them with their work. My question is, I have no idea what they sell for. I know I could check ebay, but I don't like that place and my customers deserve better service. I have seen what they get in the turning catalogs for blanks too, but the stuff I have to sell is not like what you see in them for the most part.

Specifically I am talking 1"x1"x5" curly maple, quilted maple and spalted figured stock...like the stuff in my gallery.





Wow, the pictures are little. I goofed up, here is a link http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=101&cat=500&ppuser=11
 

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Daren,

My gut reaction was to say whatever the market will bear.....But that ain't much help. What are you getting for your lures? I would think that you could get 3/4 the price of a lure for them. If you look in the catalogs you don't see anything in there like you have.:no: :no: :no:

I've seen turning blanks go for anywhere from 8 to 20 dollars a pound. I would think the same theory would apply here.Supply and demand will dictate wether anyone will pay what you ask.
Are you going to drill the blanks? I would charge extra for that. I would assume that no one will buy just one blank. How many blanks are in a pound? Volume discount????? If you have something per lb. that no one else has, and I wanted it, I would pay whatever you ask.....:yes: :yes: :yes:

Frank started at $1000.00 a linear foot for the burl logs I got from him.....We did some negotiating on that one...:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Daren,


I've seen turning blanks go for anywhere from 8 to 20 dollars a pound.
Are you going to drill the blanks? I would charge extra for that. I would assume that no one will buy just one blank. How many blanks are in a pound? Volume discount?????
No I am not going to drill them, but they all want them cut (I have 4/4 lumber, so there is labor involved and some waste, but not much of either) I saw one time if I remember right a pen blank was 1/10 of a lb, so if I go by weight for pen blanks we are talking $.80-$2. That is not to accurate, because of the loss and stuff cutting them small. I won't mess around with anything less than 20 (?), just not worth the time of putting it in a box and shipping it. I have seen blanks on ebay for $.25 and the same blanks in catalogs for $2.50... I guess somewhere in the middle would be fair? But there is a heck of alot of middle ground there, I would prefer to be on the top end if possible or I will just keep them... or use them for kindling like I did :censored: until I found out there was a market for wood less that 20" wide:cursing:
 

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I would shoot for the top end, or make a top end, since you are not mass producing pen blanks, and you have only (one off) blanks....since no 2 will even be close, I would sell 5 for $15, maybe $17.50 if you included free shipping. I always look twice when I see 'free shipping"...that is a marketing hook that gets my attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Could you just figure what the wood is worth a board foot and then figure your labor to mill it and divide by how may blanks per board foot?
I was thinking along those lines at first, but it just didn't add up. I sold some of the lumber for $14 bft (lets say $15, for easy math here) with waste I should get 30 blanks, $.50 for material. I would think I could cut 100 in an hour pretty easy, $.40 labor. I don't know, but $1 each seems kinda cheap, maybe not.
 

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I was thinking along those lines at first, but it just didn't add up. I sold some of the lumber for $14 bft (lets say $15, for easy math here) with waste I should get 30 blanks, $.50 for material. I would think I could cut 100 in an hour pretty easy, $.40 labor. I don't know, but $1 each seems kinda cheap, maybe not.
Don't forget to add shipping and handling charges. Lord knows they aint cheap.
 

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No way would I sell them for $1 each. The way I would figure it is I try to make $300 - $500 a day whatever endeavor I am involved with. If I can't I move on. that's not to say ytou should limit yourself to $500 a day I have made much more than that at times, but this gives you a goal to shoot for production-wise, not necessarily saying "I'm going to price them at $2 each and see how many I can sell."
But here you go again you know, you are going to have to start all over by reaching the audience you need to reach which is pen turners. unless you can get in front of a whole slew of them every day, enough retail or bulk wholesale packages to sell $300+ worth a day then maybe it doesn't pay for itself.
Maybe sell minimum orders like 5 per kit. Sell then in kits of 5, 10, 15+
Onsies and twosies I wouldn't think would be worth it inless you charge so much handling it costs more than a single or even two blanks.
 

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Daren, I'll cut to the chase...I turn pens and I would gladly pay $5.00 per blank for your wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Daren, is that some of the burl I sent you?
No, it is my own stock I have had stashed for some time and some I have been spalting for a couple years also and just now sawing. I have recently been working with a local firewood cutter getting some amazing figured maple/elm/walnut/cherry... we trade my split seasoned firewood for his little treasures he finds in his travels (some guys from previous forums may remember a guy named "Curly", I finally got Curly on the right track and he is my bird dog and man does he have a nose for figured logs :thumbsup: )

I have not found the time to do much with the burls you sent (other than admire them once and awhile). I did cut one open and take 2 sliced out of the middle. I made a clock, it was originally going to be for sale but my wife wanted it so it never left the house. The other little slice I still have most of, I did make a yoyo for my nephew (one of my previous posts) from curly maple and a burl inlay. I have to admit it may not leave the house either, I kinda like it. I made him another one from figured walnut. As a side note I was offered $80 for the yoyo... if the offer was $100 it would have left the house and so would as many more as I could make :laughing: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I thought that the yo yo looked familiar.:laughing:
I wish I could have got a better picture ,I bet I tried 15 times, you just can't do that burl justice with a cheap digital camera like I have. That little piece of burl literally turned a childs toy into something woodnuts could just hold in thier hands and stare at. (a couple slobbered on it, yuck :laughing: )
 

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Daren-I remember your pics of curly maple from "curly". From what you had said, that guy will bury you in curly logs!. What a great connection. I've got a good buddy with a tree service that I always have cash in hand for when he stops by. He just called me this weekend, said he was hunting on his 100+ acres and came across a black cherry burl. He estimated it was about 4' around. It's headed my way!!!!!!!!!!. This will be my first venture into burl cutting.
 

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That sounds like a nice one....:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

We better see some pictures of that one..:yes: :yes: :yes:
 

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I thought the mention of a burl might catch your eye.....

From what he said, it's pretty impressive. Once I get it, I'll post a pic before, during and after the milling. Actually, you would be the one to ask, should I go with 4/4?. I usually do my hardwoods at 5/4 just to make sure that I have plenty of wood for the shrinking during drying, planing etc. This will be the first time I've really tried milling a burl.
 

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Just turned out some more spalted, I found the log stewing in the ditch about a mile from my house...

I'm turning into the wood vulture of Northern Vermont.....(Kirk)
 

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Hey JP.....sorry I didn't respond sooner but I had a computer meltdown a few days ago and I'm just up and running again.....

I have had a hard time drying burl lumber. It depends on what it is. I have found that cherry and maple are the easiest. Air drying at 5/4 seems to work well. If you can run a box fan or 2 on them that is good. Stickered close...12" or so. Lots of weight on top. Then you have some room to plane the twists out. Narrow boards dry better than wide ones. I've heard that vaccuum drying burl is the way to go...I've been thinking about that, but haven't gotten any farther than that. Maybe the tooth fairy will drop some cash on me and I can so all the stuff I want to..:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
 
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