Which wood is in, which wood is out?

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Mark Jerde wrote:

I laughed my ass off a few years back. Going around a curve behind some big, bright red 4WD behemoth in some pretty treacherous snow. The guy was teetering on the brink of wiping out, kept almost losing it again and again. I didn't have any trouble negotiating the same curve in my little wussy front wheel drive car.
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It comes down to the decorating Market then it filters to the stores that are selling and designing. All woods hold there own in the market place, Some just burn them selves out Pickeled Oak aka whiewash drove me crazy with people clamoring over it. Light to Med stained oak is always a big seller, and i believe Natural Maple has run its course as a leader but will stay as the light to medium oaks as a big seller. Here on the west coast Alder maintaine a fair demand. Cherry will not become a leader because of the cost Right now I personally do not see any wood that is in a leader, its pretty much like the fashion industry Anything Goes Anyway we decided to do our Kitchen in Paint, Oh ya it will knock most socks off.

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wrote:

This is one of those apparently simple questions that doesn't have a single simple answer.
On a national level, the stuff that comes out of High Point, North Carolina indicates what the market will be for a good chunk of the mass furniture market.
On the kitchen cabinet side, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association has a bi-weekly newsletter on design trends within their industry.
The two industries have sufficient volume needs that they can drive prices this way and that. They also buy in anticipation of the market and can create a shortage/price increase before the trend is actually in place.
Sometimes this leads yards to buy too much of a certain wood before their local market can absorb it. They sometimes buy high (or try to anticipate the trend and buy low, but mark up high) and then have to discount the wood when it doesn't move.
Cherry has been on a roll for a number of years and has driven the price up to where it is beyond that of walnut, which used to hold the volume position that cherry does now.
Local markets are driven by the volume of the sub markets in their area. I build mostly high-end traditional style built-ins, in the Main Line area outside of Philadelphia. This market's design trends don't come from High Point or KCMA but from Architectural Digest and interior design magazines that feature the current work of designers.
However, the volume of this market is not enough to sway national pricing, although it has some effect on regional stocking and pricing.
On a very local level the price of wood that can be acquired from independent sawmills is driven by local supply. In Pennsylvania we grow a lot of cherry and we can get it a lot cheaper than someone can in California but our Western Red Cedar costs are much higher.
The saddest result of market changes is when it goes from clear finished wood to painted wood (particularly in kitchen cabinets). I've torn out what must have been beautiful, clear finished wood cabinetry, when it was built - because it had been sprayed over with an opaque finish and now the trend had gone back to clear finished wood.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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snipped-for-privacy@CLUETOKEN.snip.net says... ... snip

Just my luck. I've always liked cherry, my wife likes cherry and that is what we are planning to use for the new kitchen cabinets in the next several months. Yep, buy at the peak of the market, that's me. OTOH, I'm not going to use something that I like less on a project that, Lord willing, will last the rest of my lifetime.
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If we use rising price as an indicator of demand, then I'd have to say that this is the year of plywood and OSB.
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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Currently "in" species for me include cherry, ash, basswood, hard and soft maple, yellow birch, black locust, and red oak.
Why?
Because they are all logs sitting in a pile next to my Wood-Mizer, waiting to be sawn into a couple of thousand board feet of free (*) lumber to be used in my new house.
I'll take whatever I can get, but I ain't paying for it any more. Kinda like marriage....
Jon E
(*) - free does not include my labor, the cost of gas and blades, and a new log chain for my tractor. OK, maybe 5 or 6 cents a board foot. :)
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