THe price of wood

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Don't some of ya feel that the price of good wood is getting to be dangerous!
I mean, I have had to cut back on making the Really Nice Creative Things I like to do so much, because of the prices of wood! I plan to use mainly ash nowadays. Pretty decent stuff.
It's getting to be as bad as health insurance, or coffee, where the growers get (if I remember right) one cent a pound for their produce-
Is this middlemen raking in their cut, inflation, demand, or what? Sometimes it sure doesn't feel like this is such a rich country. Sure I know it is, but EVERYbody is after it.
curses-
James snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com
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Someone must be rich if they can afford to buy the lumber and the tools to work it, much less have the free time to do so.
Go to some other countries and see if your opinion remains unchanged.

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I have a friend who builds picture frames in there shop, they import most of there wood because the cost of domestic is so high George wrote:

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Richard Clements writes:

I'd love to see that wood your friend supposedly pays less for than he would, for example, for cherry or walnut or one of the oaks. Mahogany? Padauk? Satinwood?
Just WHAT wood does he pay less for than he can find a similar wood for here in the U.S.?
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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Charlie Self plantation Richard Clements writes:

First this is Idaho, we don't have any comershal hard wood here, so we have to import it from other parts of the country. Most of it's plantation stuff rubbertree, Philopine Mahogany, and the like, but they have a spray finishing process, that he keeps promising to show me, still hasn't, that can make it look like just about anything they want, with in reason
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brocpuffs writes:

To make you feel even better about it, consider that woods like greenheart and purpleheart among others are used in some general construction in their native areas.
Wood processing, though, is complex, transport costs are high even within the U.S., and ecological consideration here and overseas add to the cost. I doubt anyone is getting rich on selling wood to the consumer, when you consider buying it either by traveling to an area, or taking a chance on sight unseen, either drying it at its native site or drying it in the U.S., or whatever part of the U.S. native American woods are transported to, handling it again to stack it in storage, handling smaller amounts to place in retail displays, skip planing to show grain (or S2S for those who want it), downgrading probably half of each log's output because of faults that take it out of FAS, advertising it, handling it again when it is bought.
And part of the problem is that wood is not all that easily handled each time. Weight may be excessive, lengths are often unwieldy, thicknesses or variable, as are widths, and most of it will give you a severe case of the splinters if you're not careful.
And the tools used to prep it for sale aren't cheap. For kicks, see if you can find an estimate of a modest size kiln for drying wood along with automated gear to make sure the temps stay correct and the wood doesn't dry too quickly or too slowly.
I think wood is about where it should be, given the general increases in prices for everything else in the past couple decades, with some emphasis on the cost of fuels.
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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I remember reading an article that said a pretty fair amount of our best wood is shipped overseas to places like Japan. We get the leftovers on Native hardwoods.
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Can vouch for the birdseye raiders. Yanked them out up here, even if it took a helicopter.
We're a bit third world in some respects now. Wes ship logs rather than product, sometimes purchasing the result in return. Trouble is, veneer mills are as welcome as paper-making most places.
What money is made isn't made by loggers, that's for sure. Or sawyers.

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of their hardwoods from the tropics.
The traditional Japanese house is built using post and beam construction with a kingpost in the center to hold the whole thing up. (This was true even of their castles. The kingpost for a castle took a huge tree.) In house construction the kingpost is left exposed as a critical design element and is very carefully chosen and even more carefully trimmed.
These days almost all those kingposts come from northwest North America. Personally I think the ones the Japanese favor look kinda knotty and even a little crooked, but I'm just a dumb gaijin.
--RC You can tell a really good idea by the enemies it makes
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The price of red oak has been stable for years, cherry bounces a bit but is stable too. If any wood you are buying comes in from overseas, consider the USD has slid 45% against the Euro.
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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Where are you from?
I live in South Central Kansas. While prices have increased some during the past few years, they are really pretty stable. I buy a fair amount of Oak, Maple, Walnut and Ash from a couple of sources one is a hardwood dealer (http://www.woodsworksqh.com/index.html )about 30 miles from home. If you look at the site you will notice good discounts at various quantity levels. The biggest increase we have seen from them is in Walnut and Cherry and they are as likely to go down from time-to-time as up. I can beat most of his prices by $1.00 or more/bf by going 150 miles east to Southern Missouri or Northern Arkansas, and I do if quantity warrants. A local woodworker also handles hardwoods at a price competitive enough to keep us from driving south for smaller quantity.
Exotics are another story. The local shop handles some Purpleheart, Paduk, Birdseye Maple, and limited quantities of Burbinga and others to those willing to pay $10 to $25/bd ft.
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Whew... $10 or more a bf for Birdseye Maple? I bought a bit of that a few weeks ago at $4.25 a bf- it's a domestic hardwood, fer cripes sake! It's a nice looking wood, but for that price it's like a punch in the stomach...
Overall, I get a good price for wood, considering the quality of the stock the local place carries and the enjoyment I get out of it. When you start talking about pine 2 x 4s from the hardware store, then yeah, it's outrageous- but I expect to pay a little more for quality and beauty, so nice hardwood usually seems like a bargin to me. If you consider what it costs to get one of those crappy particle-board and contac-paper pieces of furniture compared to what you'd spend on the wood required to make one out of a decent material, they're often comparable if you've got a decent supplier.
Of course, all of that can mean very little to someone on a tight budget- but I suspect that what you're seeing is just about where it's at. Everything is getting more expensive these days!
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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Prometheus responds:

Not too long ago, I read about a guy who makes his living searching out patterned maple in log form for, IIRC, Martin. You can bet that kind of emphasis is what drives the prices of any domestic up.
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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The middlemen that I buy from seem to be stable businesses, but the employee parking lot is not full of luxury cars. The prices don't seem outrageous for what you get and the cost of processing.
I've also used wood for heating for many years. Right now, cordwood is $120 to $170 a cord. When I look at the labor involved in felling trees, dragging them out, cutting splitting, hauling, that is not a bad price. The wood we buy for projects is most likely handled with more automation, but there is still a lot of cost in the equipment, fuel, transportation, dollars of inventory tied up during the drying process, etc.
There is still a lot of free wood available if you are willing to do the work to reclaim it. Old furniture, crates, pallets, can have some rather nice material. I've built outdoor tables from dunnage is containers from Korea. My wife's sewing table is a scrap of melamine coated plywood from a display house.
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wrote:

You actually can get some nice stuff out of pallets- I see wood that makes my eyes bug out a little every once in a while at work. Most of them are junk, but every so often an odd bit of black walnut or an exotic hardwood I couldn't name if I tried to shows up in the stack. The bad part is they are usually already soaked with grease and banged up a lot, so I just let them go on their merry way, often with a little regret...
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Prometheus wrote:

Not much point in regret. Pallet wood is sort of like a bowl full of plastic candy. It looks good until you taste it. Spiral nails, embedded grits, knots, splits, and it's usually too thin to mill down into anything useful besides. I don't even look through the pallet pile anymore. It's too frustrating. So much work, so little useful wood.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Silvan responds:

I've got to agree. I picked up a tool yesterday for a test, and looked at some of the discarded pallets at the trucking company. Yuk. The ones that weren't filthy were made of some 3/8" scrub oak, with what grain was showing through the rough really ugly.
You'd spend hours getting enough wood for a small box, and then, more often than not, the box would end up ugly.
I used to use pallets for kindling with wood heat, but quit when my ash cleaning chores brought up so many old nails. Too much hassle to get them out of the grates.
Charlie Self "Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy." Edgar Bergen, (Charlie McCarthy)
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On Fri, 03 Dec 2004 02:11:18 -0500, Silvan

That's why it's a little regret! I look at them, sigh, and think about what it would do to my bits and blades if I ran into a nail or embedded rock, then let them go.
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Was searching the net and found this site: http://www.oshealumber.com/specials.html
If you buy in bulk you can get 8/4 poplar for $0.08/bft, 4/4 Walnut for $0.27/bf, and 4/4 ash for $0.09/bf.
All substantially less than I pay my supplier. Of course I only buy a few board feet per month not the thousands advertised on that site. Still gets you thinking about how the price could jump so much. Or makes you think you should be selling the wood instead of working it.

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Ron Short writes:

8 cents a bf for poplar and not much over 3 times that for walnut? How? It costs more than that on the frigging stump!
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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