Having spent over $300 today for 6 pieces of wood, I wonder why a
woodworker subjected to the same high prices would think twice about
spending a little bit more to buy premium (I don't mean extravagant
necessarily!) equipment. In the few short years I've been at this
hobby, I've spent thousands on wood. And the number of projects are
Just a thought.
I agree with you partly. It is silly to buy a Ryobi router rather than a
Bosch to save money; in the end it is a poor bargain.
But if my $200 used jointer is indistinquishable from a new $400 one, why
not save the money? I suppose some might argue that the time it takes to
fine good used tools isn't worth the saving, but that is part of the fun,
for me at least.
I agree whole heartedly. I always look used first and in most cases I
spend far more time researching an item, then I use when buying new.
I benefit from this research in a way that is priceless. Its fun
negotiating price and sometimes I find some real prizes. I enjoy
cleaning and polishing (left over from the USMC).
Plus my wife loves to hear "Saved by buying used". When I start by
telling her how much I saved by buying used the "final price" is
Also the quality of some of the old stuff can be amazing... take the
older Delta 14" bandsaws. Pick one up for 200 bucks or less and add a
Carter kit, clean it, and tune it. You got yourself a better 14"
bandsaw then can be bought new, at least in my HO.
This is how I aquired my Delta BS. I was looking around, found an
online ad for the local paper and called the guy. He was getting rid
of his 14" Delta that he maybe used twice. I got the fence and mobile
base and BS for $200. A minor gloat. I always look for good used power
tools if I can.
On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 14:08:24 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have been a sawdust manufacturer for 30+ years. I believe that higher
quality equipment costs less in the long run. Less maintenance and less
desire to upgrade in a few years. That should leave you with more money for
Curious - where do you buy lumber? I have been "shopping" a bit lately to
find alternate sources that would make it worth time and gas to go stock up
on quantity. I buy from a hardwood dealer about 30 miles from my home.
This dealer imports from the SE Kansas, SW Missouri area - about 130 miles
east. He does do some of the planing but little else. His prices are much
better than the BORG but creeping up. I have recently located mills in the
Kansas/Missouri are at offer rough-cut kiln or air dried Walnut, Oak and
Cherry at a fraction of the local price. Even if you add planing at .20 a
bdft it is still about 1/2 the price of local. Gonna find a trailer one of
these days and head that way.
4/4 walnut was $5.75/bf in San Jose. I didn't even ask what the maple
was--I needed it. I just asked the counterman to 'go easy on me'. He
knocked off a few bf in the count, which is what they always do, but
it's still a lot of money for so little wood.
Is this S4S and cut to size? If not, you just popped with reason
#37,319 why I'm glad I don't live in CA.
Around here, I buy green and rough and let it air dry for a couple
years for 4/4, more for other woods. I'm due to pick up some oak and
walnut and poplar and, I hope, locust, and I am afraid the price has
gone up since I bought 4 years ago. Probably up to 65 cents or so, from
50. Walnut and cherry tend to run 75 to 90 cents.
Keep in mind, though, that as much as 50% of that is lost in seasoning
and planing so double the price for top notch log run wood, dried and
ready to use.
definitely NOT s4s and cut to size. CA is not the place for good wood
With 50% loss, at the prices you quoted, they are still a hell of a
deal, compared to what I'm being charged out here.
I think that deserves a "you suck". :)
Where do you live Charlie? The local dealer I mentioned above sells 4/4 Oak
for around $3 depending on grade. Good 8/4 runs a little more than $4.
This is kiln-dried, planed and one edge. Walnut about $4.30 to $6 depending
on grade. I recently located a source for air dired oak and walnut that
sells in the $1.20 and $1.70 range (respectively). This is rough cut but he
planes for .20/bdft (seems like a bargain after you see his collection of
things that have destroyed his planer blades).
Your prices for air dried are in line with most I've heard...the lower
end. Personally, I prefer air dried walnut to a lot of the kiln dried
you find, too much of which has been steamed to even out the color. If
I had to pay kiln dried dealer cost on a lot of woods, I'd have a real
problem with paying for woodworking.
Basically, I drive 3 miles up the road and talk to the sawmill owner
about what I need. Sometimes he has it, sometimes not, sometimes he has
something else that's better. He's milling more pine these days, but
still does an appreciable amount of oak. Thing is, a lot of these small
mill operators are now refusing to deal with the little guy. They are
not interested in selling 100 or 200 or 300 BF because their usual
customers want bridge timbers and by in the mulitple thousands of B F
at a clip.
I'm in south central VA, about 65 miles north of the NC line, a great
area for woodworking.
I assume that you went to Aura. I've found that Global (101 & Zanker)
and Jackel (Watsonville) have better prices than Aura. Forget southern.
I've gotten QS 4/4 walnut for less than that at jackel.
Since the walnut and maple need to be trucked in from the eastern
half of the country, they are naturally going to be more expensive
out on the west coast. On the other hand, PO cedar, Alder, Claro
walnut, sweetgum, sycamore and other native trees can be found
more cheaply if one looks around.
Then again, I can work with the garage door open year around,
have RH usually well under 50% and 330 days of sunshine a year,
no air conditioning required.
Have any good sourses in SE Missouri? lol The saw mill that I bought from
this summer sold me a mix assortment of Hardwood 1x6 by 9ft rough cut green
for a buck a board (once I clear out my soon to be wood strorage area I'm
going to start stocking up on them...lol). However all the mills around me
only does 1 by stock.
I have yet to purchase a tool but from the advice I have gotten it seams
that midrange EQ meets mosts needs and it is just not ecconamical to go for
the best of the best if you don't use it much. after all why have a $1500
peice of EQ laying around you only use once a month or something.
I think it can be very short-sighted to skimp on tools but there still
are good answers to your question in certain circumstances.
A1: Because money spent on wood often yields more satisfying results
(end product, skills development, etc.) than the same money spent on a
premium tool. If I have $1,000 to spend, would I rather have $1,000
worth of wood I can work with, building furniture, or a premium
thingamajig to sit in my shop, which I can admire and imagine using if
I could afford the wood to put through it?
A2: Because an adequate tool is, well, adequate, while a premium tool
is a waste. E.g., I have a minimal set of carving gouges that are
perfectly adequate for my very occasional needs. A premium set of
carving tools would be a waste for me--better to spend the money on
wood. Now if my interests were to change to more carving and less
straight work with dimensional stock, I would likely sell some nice
planes to buy better carving tools.
Just some other thoughts. ;-)
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.
Just because in the long run you'd have been better off financially
buying a more expensive tool at the start doesn't mean you're better
off. What about everything you learned and accomplished with the
cheaper tool that you could afford at the time? The cheaper tool
sitting in your shop is worth a lot more to you than the expensive one
sitting at the dealer.
I have a $90 Ryobi 9" band saw that was all I could afford to get at
the time two years ago. I've sold enough stuff that was made on it to
buy two good 14" saws by now, but so far I've had higher priorities in
tool purchases than upgrading it.
There's adequate and then there is pure guano.
I had a plastic crapsman bandsaw that some well-intentioned soul bought for
me as a gift. *That* was truly a POS and landed in the trash can after the
2nd attempted use.
I think most of us have had one or two of those at one time or another.
I buy the tool because of it's quality, and it is within my estimated
price-range. I buy the tool so as to not spend my days cursing it
before I throw it over a cliff. It has nothing to do with the price
of the wood, which is expensive according to (a) the type of wood, and
(b) how well you know the seller [do you do a lot of business with
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