A vastly underrated wood?

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Hello all,
When I went to the local hardwood supplier this week to get a piece of butternut for my wife to use with her scroll saw, I had to do a double-take. I get contractor prices, but even so- the butternut was only $1.81/bf. For comparison, the 2/4 soft maple I grabbed at the same time was well over $2.50/bf.
Now, perhaps it's only a matter of personal taste, but I think butternut is a very attractive and easily worked hardwood. I just cannot figure out why on earth it would cost less than spruce!
Anyone able to fill in the gaps for me? Is there something nasty about butternut I'm not aware of, or is it just underrated? I would have thought maple would be the cheap stuff- it grows like a weed around here, but I've never seen a butternut tree in these parts.
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You a northern or southern cheesehead? You'd pretty much have to be on big water in the north to find butternut. Not hardy enough.
FWIW, willow is a pretty nice wood, too. Smells when burned or wet, but has a mellow brown butternut look.
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Northern. I just find it amazing that it is so cheap!

Not too many of those around here either. Seems like all I can find are Maple, Oak, Paper Birch, various pines, and the odd Cherry or Boxwood tree. Sure, there are others, but they are cultivated timbers that people have in their yards.
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Prometheus wrote:

to have that kind of hard wood everywhere, I HATE YOU!!!!! it's all pine here, if I want real hard wood I have to go chop down someones tree, thats where I got some cherry, maple and Willow last week. as far as buying the cheepest hardwood is popular at $2.50BF, alder was cheep but is now in the $4-$5+ same with soft maple and oak
I understand there is mountain mahogany in the Owaheeys a few hours south of here but I just haven't gotten then urge to go look for some, all I need is a $7/cord BLM lumber permit and some time to look
--
if corn oil is made from corn, and olive oil is made from olives, where dose
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On Mon, 06 Jun 2005 18:06:08 -0600, Richard Clements

Sounds like you need to consider relocating! I'd bet I mowed under about 50 or 60 maple saplings last week alone. If we didn't keep up with 'em, they'd overgrow the house. But of course, every blessing gets a little stale with time- some days I'd just about kill for some of the interesting looking southern hardwoods. You can keep the piney wood, though!

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Yep, mixed blessing, all right. Cutting a couple cherry for spoons, and the blackflies got me good around the ankles.
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Deep Woods Off is my friend... :)
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Prometheus wrote:

You know, I've had a lot of luck just by eating obscene amounts of garlic and spicy foods. The bugs won't have anything to do with me.
Come to think of it, neither will people...
-Mike
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Always thought it was sort of funny when sitting in the local watering hole as the piece cutters came in smelling a bit like the house of ill repute from Avon "Skin So Soft." Works, though.
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George wrote:

not here it dosn't, spent a week in the Sawtooths a number of years ago when "Skin So Soft" first came out, didn't do a thing, came out dirty, bug bittin, grumpy, and people where looking at me funny when we stoped for lunch, becouse the way we smelled
--
if corn oil is made from corn, and olive oil is made from olives, where dose
baby oil come from?
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Yebbut, that's for people with soft skin. I kinda like that hardcore Deet smell.
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I'm tellin' ya, eat garlic until the smell seeps from your pores...
Prometheus wrote:

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Do you have to wear one of those sleeveless undershirts and three gold chains, too?
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wrote:

I do that every so often, but then the wife yells at me. I just tell her to have some too, and then she won't notice.
Stinky stuff, but it sure tastes good- and has quite few health benefits.
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Hm...[nips outside for a second]
Well, I've got...lessee...a couple cottonwoods (i.e. poplar), countless red and silver maple seedlings, not to mention more than a few mulberries sprouting outside right now. Oh, and five black walnuts, from seeds buried by the squirrels before that particular yard tree was cut down, 4 years ago.
*grin*
Jason
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On Sun, 05 Jun 2005 06:18:44 -0500, Prometheus

I like it as well.
Here in CT, butternut is priced similar to red oak, at $3-$4 bd/ft.
Barry
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Ba r r y wrote:

The same here in Buffalo. 1C is running $3.85, clear is $4.60.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Prometheus wrote:

Please send me 1000 bf.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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wrote:

Heh. That'd be quite a shipment! If you're ever coming near the north-central WI area, give ne a ping on the list, and I'll tell you where to get it.
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I love butternut. Around here (upstate NY) it is twice the price of oak, and hard to find. My usual lumberyard rarely has it; they say the sawmill has to readjust everything for it because it is so soft, so they won't run it.
The big problem with butternut is that it is soft and weak. It dents if you breath hard on it, and breaks pretty easy.
I just built a large buffet table. I used oak for all the internal work for extra strength; even making oak-butternut panels in a few cases where only the end of the panel would be visible. I used walnut in a few places where it couldn't be hidden, but needed extra strength. The contrast was very pretty, and I regretted not doing it more liberally; walnut drawer faces would have looked great, but I sold it and the customer liked the butternut fronts. Not much you can do about denting. (any suggestions?)
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