Reply by greenacres2

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Posted on Dealing with rough cut lumber?

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337 posts in 2647 days

#1 posted 11-15-2014 01:57 PM

I like Menard’s, pretty decent screw selection and definitely try the Sprecher’s Root Beer they carry. But, the current price of a 1” x 4” x 6’ (nominal) is $18.36, equating to roughly $9.18/bf. Johnson’s Workbench in South Bend, IN is currently at $3.37/bf for 4/4 (full 1” thick) Select & Better 6’ to 7’ lengths (100 bf price, $4.39 for less than 100 bf). For the difference on just 100 bf (not a lot of material), you’d be approaching the retail price of a Dewalt 735 planer. (Number 1 Common grade from them is currently at $2.72/bf, and on their grading—that is still really nice lumber)

Having your own tools opens up other options—a few years ago i bought over 1,500 bf of cherry (50%), white oak (30%) and ash (20%) from a CL ad, all over 20 years old, for $500 delivered to my house (he was moving). Last year i picked up a 300 or 400 bf load of 12” wide poplar for $250, much of it 8/4 and it came off the trailer mostly in flitches. I recently found a guy 20 miles from us that harvests lumber as a hobby and picked up 65 bf of black walnut shorts (4’ to 5’, his mill only has a 12’ capacity) for $100—and it is prime stock. He’ll be a steady source of red cedar, walnut white oak and maybe a little osage orange—as he just loves to cut wood.

As an alternative to buying machines, the retailer mentioned in the first paragraph will plane 2 sides for $0.09/bf, or plane 2 sides & rip 1 edge for $0.17/bf (both with 100 bf minimum). I’d rather mill my own so it’s as consistent as i can get it. And, they won’t normally plane/joint wood that they don’t sell (to protect their blades.

Those tools seem expensive when you look at the catalog, but once you start looking at the cost of processed hardwood—they become profitable even for a hobbyist. At least that’s what i try to tell my wife to slow down the rolling of the eyes!!


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