Grading Lumber

In a week or so I'm going with a friend to a place where there's a lot of ungraded rough cut lumber racked, stickered and shed dried, and try to ascertain about how much it's worth. I'm pretty sure it'll all be 4/4. Most of it will be white oak with smaller amounts of cherry and probably other local Wisconsin hardwoods. I think we'll be able to determine what species we're dealing with, and how much twisting/ cupping/splitting/knotholes we find. Judging it for figure I think is going to be a problem.
I've got price lists for several of the lumber houses in the area. I'm thinking rather than try and grade the whole barnfull, put a price on it lower than the usual price of something like No. 2 Common for that species and tell the buyer it's a mix. Anybody got any suggestions.
I'm afraid that for now I'm constrained to keep quiet about the exact location and amount available. I know I'll still get "You better throw that on my pickup" suggestions and actually that might yet happen, but I'm looking for tips on how one might go about inspecting a large amount of stacked lumber and get an idea what's there.
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Hi there!
I think that probably depends on the time you will have to inspect.. IOW, I don't know how big is the lot, but probably you won't have the time to inspect all the lumber piece by piece... I believe that the yard guy won't be very happy about that :)
I believe I would pick random lumber form the rack (not form the easy top), and inspect cupping, twisting, etc. Once I'm sure that the quality is average OK, I agree with your approach of making an offer a little bit cheaper than the usuall the price, and see what happens! Do you use the square foot there, to measure lumber quantities? Something that usually happens to me, is that the vendor always tries to round the quantities up... something like "hey.. this is.. mmm... N by N.. so, it would be.. something like... NNN square foots of OAK".... so, I would recomend you to ALWAYS have with you a calculator, and don't be shame to verify by youself ;-)
Good luck!! Nautilus

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There are no short cuts, if that's what you mean, so I can't help you there. Just make sure that before you make an offer, preface it with a truly anguished look on your face and, "I'm sorry. I really don't want to insult you with a low offer. You have some nice wood here and I'm sure that _with time_ you'd _probably_ find someone who _might_ offer more for it, but...I'm afraid this is the best I can do. {Insert low-ball offer here} I'd entirely understand if you wanted to _wait_ in _hope_ of getting more money, so no hard feelings, okay?" And make like you're about to start walking back to your truck. If he stops you, you just got yourself a deal of a deal.
R
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You're not a grader. It's a specialty. "Log run" is a recognized way of selling lumber. Comes in below #1 common, perhaps #2. Buy log run and close-stack the lumber, measure length/width of each tier, multiply by X/4 and you have your BF. I use the distance between wheel wells in the pickup, and most lumber here is 100", so it's 32 per tier times thickness.
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