I want to do a project in cherry and it seems like the local prices I am
getting are very high. They are asking for $7.40 bf, rough, 4/4 FAS for
woodweb.com seems to say that 4/4 cherry would be $4.05 to $4.65 for
1,000 bf and 200 bf respectively for the Eastern US (I am in Florida).
I did a RFQ on woodweb.com and got a couple of quotes that are in $4.25
- $4.95 range but they are clear across the country! Of course shipping
costs from these locations will put me right back up in the big dollar
range per bf.
Seems that locally prices for hardwood are outragious. I assume that
cabinet shops would not pay this much but I do not know.
I am considering starting a part time woodworking business
(I just registered fine-woodworks.com) but if these are the kind of
prices I am going to have to pay for wood I could never make a go of it!
It does not seem to just be cherry that is a problem. An common wood
like 4/4 red oak is $3,85 where as woodweb.com list it at $2.10 for 200
bf. That is $1.75 extra. Quarter sawn white oak is $9.30 for 8/4 and
$6.50 for 4/4.
A rule of thumb says my costs should be about 25% for materials, 50% for
labor and 25% profit. It seems if I have to pay these kind of prices I
can not make any money at it.
What am I doing wrong. How does one buy wood at a resonable cost? Are
my price expectations out of line? Are the local dealers screwing me?
Do I have to buy wood by the truck load to make money? What do other
BTW, I have a friend that works in a cabinet show and he asked his boss
what he could get some cherry for. He came back with a price of $6.94
4/4 FAS rough.
One final question. woodweb.com seems to state that #1 common is what
is used for most furnature and when building cabinets. It also shows
that it should be $2.00 bf, rough, 4/4, #1 common for 200bf of cherry.
Seems that this is what would be "common" yet everyone only has FAS!
Even clear across the country they only have FAS in stock and #1 common
would take a week or more!
do what I did: approach a salesman at a local lumber outfit, and ask them to
give you better pricing. I got a decent price break at a local well known
San Jose lumberyard by explaining that while they were cheaper than the high
priced spread ( Southern Lumber), they were still way out of line with
prices that I had decided were reasonable by asking around the Wreck. Now I
get prices that are in line with expectations, considering I'm in CA.
BTW, I told them I was just getting into cabinet making, and while I
couldn't buy whole units, I would be buying all my sheet stock and hardwoods
from them if they gave me good pricing. It worked.
Dave Armbrust wrote:
That explains quite a bit. Not a lot of cherry trees in Florida AFAIK. It's
definitely cheaper in the areas where it grows native. I'll bet poplar and
sycamore are kinda steep for you, too. Around here (Indianapolis), they're
about two bucks a board foot.
Talk to the cabinet shops, see if you can buy wood from them.
Yeowch! That's pretty salty from where I sit.
You might need to move to the midwest. Really. There just isn't that much
hardwood lumber growing in Florida, not by comparison with what grows in other
parts of the U.S.
Lots of people don't want #1 common. To make effective use of it, you really
almost have to have a bandsaw, jointer, planer, and table saw; folks lacking
those tools (which is the majority of people on the planet) will want FAS S4S.
The lumber yards supply what most of their customers want.
Heck, I have a *good* hardwood dealer just five minutes from home, and I
*still* wind up buying more than half of my stuff out of town. Why? Because
most of their stuff is S2S-ed to 13/16" with a planer, *not* a jointer. If I
want flat boards, I either spend all morning picking through their stock, or I
drive an hour north to a place where I can buy it in the rough, and joint it
The place an hour north of Indy sells a lot of wood to guys like me. The place
five minutes from home sells a lot of wood to guys that don't have all the
gear that I do.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Save the baby humans - stop partial-birth abortion NOW
What's the place an hour north of Indy. I drive up to Fort Wayne a couple
of times a year (from St. Louis). I might stop in to see what they have,
maybe buy a little if the prices are right.
See my page @ http://www.wood-workers.com/users/timv/ (seriously needs
Actually, since you're in northern Fla, more or less, you're
not in too bad a shape. Cherry does grow in N Fla, and there
are small sawyers scattered around, from Ocala up thru the Perry
area, who you can search out.
Gary G, who occasionally posts here, has located quite a
number in the Gainesville area, and occasionally acts as a
middleman; search back in Google and see if you can find any
posts from him which give pointers. He's sold cherry to me
at $2/bf (rough, log run), so it can be had for less than
Alternatively, you can order from someone like Steve Wall.
His price will be around $4.50/bf, and shipping to Fla will
be around $60/100bf. (www.walllumber.com, not affiliated,
just a customer. etc).
Buying from a retailer anywhere in Fla will be expensive,
because they have to cover both shipping and the relatively
high "storefront" costs.
Craftsmen, which is what most hobbiests aspire to, are willing
to pay extra for large, clear planks. Commercial makers are
more willing to edge join narrower pieces to make up a wide
piece. So retailers aimed at the hobby trade tend to feature
FAS, those aimed at the commercial market (which buys in the
1000's of bf range) offer #1 common.
Note that if you buy direct from a sawyer, the wood likely
won't be graded, it'll be "log run" just as it came off the
saw. Particularly in Fla, where the trees apparently don't
get as big, you're not likely to get much which would grade
It pays to consider the nature of your project, too. If it's
a table, you pretty much need FAS for the broad wide expanse
of the top. If it's a cabinet, most of the pieces will be
small and can be gotten out of #1 common, maybe springing for
one FAS board for the cabinet top.
advantagelumber.com is an alternative. somewhat cheaper on cherry but
they're a bit further north from FL so the shipping might be a tad
higher. do the comparison.
On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 15:33:47 +0000 (UTC), John McCoy
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