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  • Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

    Hello everyone. Someone in my area has the following woods for sale and I am considering purchasing some of it. Here is the description:

    350+ Brd ft of walnut
    530+ Brd ft of oak (red? I think)
    333+ Brd ft of cedar

    I have not looked at this wood yet but this is what I was told on the phone. This is supposedly perfect "AAA" furniture grade, air dried for 50 years. This wood was cut and stored and then when the owner died it was passed to his daughter, and her husband is now in charge of selling it for her. 75% is 10+ inches wide by 10+ feet long. He will only sell each species as an entire lot, or he is willing to cut each lot in 1/2. That is I can buy 1/2 of the walnut or 1/2 of the oak, etc. He will not sell in smaller quantities. It is all a minimum of 13/16" thick, with lots of it at 7/8" or 15/16"thick. His calculation of Brd ft is that each piece is calculated as if it was 1" thick. None of the wood has ever been planed, and the walnut was cut with an exceptionally smooth bandsaw, so smooth he says it would only need to be sanded, would not necessarily need to be planed, but all three species will plane to 3/4" thk (I'm not so sure about that with the pieces that are only 13/16 thk). The oak and cedar were cut with circular saws but are also very smooth and straight. The walnut and cedar have natural edges, that is they have never been sawn, but there is no bark - it has all fallen off. The oak has been sawn on the edges, square. All pieces are exceptionally straight and flat. This gentleman is retired and I think he is being honest based on his knowledge of the overall quality of the wood. They are spending $45 per month just to store the wood and he needs to get rid of it.

    I am mainly interested in buying 1/2 of the walnut. My question is what do you all think would be a good price per Brd ft for each species? Thanks a lot for your input.

  • #2
    Re: Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

    Wood prices are highly dependent on location. I can't speak to pricing in Joplin. I'm paying about $3-$3.50 for 4/4 red oak S2S plain sawn - but wood is high here, and I buy small lots since I can't store much. For some reason walnut is crazy, crazy high this year, I'm not buying any. I don't use cedar.

    You need to check the lumber out in person. It's critical that it's been stickered and stored properly, or it will be cupped and twisted - yielding much less useable wood. This is especially true with the wide boards.

    Also don't forget that his 13/16 unplaned wood is not really 4/4 lumber so him figuring it as 1" isn't really accurate no mater what he says about what it will plane to. True 4/4 would be 1" rough, and plane to S2S at about 13/16. You can't call it 4/4 because you "think" it'll finish out ok. It probably won't when you consider cupping and twisting. So whatever you decide is a fair price, don't forget to figure the correct board footage! It'll be 75% of his number.
    Last edited by Andy_M; 02-14-2010, 06:06 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

      +1 what Andy said.

      Rough cut lumber at my local sawmill is a minimum of 1 inch, and there's always waste on the ends. Most times an 8 foot board is really 9 feet, which is fine because he sells based on 8 feet long and 1 inch thick.

      You need to make your offer based on rough cut sawmill measurements and take into account your wastage.

      Might be an opportunity to buy the lot, keep the nicest for your self, sell off the leftovers, and you might end up with really cheap or free wood for yourself.
      I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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      • #4
        Re: Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

        He is asking $2.00 per Brd ft for the walnut, $1.25 for the oak & $1.00 for the cedar. What do you think? Thanks.

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        • #5
          Re: Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

          What are those species retailing for in your area? That'll help you decide if it's a good price.

          Do check it out carefully. In addition to cup, twist and end cracks, also look for number of knots and cracks, sapwood/heartwood, insects, worms and mold.

          I don't like to store stuff so I would probably not go for a big load like that but if you have the facility to keep it and will really use it (or re-sell as Tinmack said) then it might be interesting.

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          • #6
            Re: Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

            Originally posted by gtmeade View Post
            He is asking $2.00 per Brd ft for the walnut, $1.25 for the oak & $1.00 for the cedar. What do you think? Thanks.
            Offer $1400 for the whole lot (~85% of his asking price) but be willing to haggle up to $1600

            The value is relative as has been said to availability in your area but around here (PA/NJ/DE) those prices would be half what one would expect to pay for properly stored (stickered, no twists, cupping, etc.).
            ---------------
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            • #7
              Re: Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

              Originally posted by gtmeade View Post
              He is asking $2.00 per Brd ft for the walnut, $1.25 for the oak & $1.00 for the cedar. What do you think? Thanks.
              Ultimately, it depends on what it's worth to you and what you can get the wood for from local suppliers. Keep in mind, this is basically found wood that the guy is trying to sell for a profit, it's not an ongoing business proposition where he has to make a profit and pay his suppliers. Everything he gets is pure profit. If you think those are fair prices after checking local suppliers and the wood is good, bite the bullet and go for it. If not, try to haggle down to something you feel comfortable paying.

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              • #8
                Re: Opinion: Good price for rough walnut, oak, cedar?

                I would buy it all even if I had to park my car outside. Those prices are less than 1/2 what I pay.

                Charles
                Charles

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