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Raw Materials Cost

by The720
posted 11-05-2018 01:29 PM

18 replies so far

View TimInIndiana's profile


161 posts in 950 days

#1 posted 11-05-2018 01:38 PM

Over at Benchcrafted, the Roubo split top bench plans call for about 100 BF of 8/4 lumber in the finished product. If choosing your own boards, plan to buy 150 BF to account for waste, etc. If ordering, order 200 BF so that you can select your boards from the pack and still account for waste.

Pricing is generally location specific. In the Midwest, 8/4 hard maple should be less than $5/bf… or at least around that price.

View bondogaposis's profile


5807 posts in 3162 days

#2 posted 11-05-2018 01:52 PM

If I wanted to spend $1000 on wood I would just go to Ashley Furniture and buy a ready made coffee table.

Except that the Ashley coffee table would be made from painted poplar and veneered particle board, whereas the one you build yourself will be solid hardwood. You have to compare apple to apples.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Kazooman's profile


1516 posts in 2763 days

#3 posted 11-05-2018 01:57 PM

Don’t forget that there is usually a discount for larger orders. I just checked the Hard Maple prices where I shop and for 8/4 material it is $5.50 per board foot. However it is 4.22 per board foot for orders over 100 bf.

View Robert's profile


3807 posts in 2291 days

#4 posted 11-05-2018 02:20 PM

What are you calling expensive, sir?

I just got off the phone with my supplier rough soft maple is $3.40.

The hard maple I purchased for my benchtop 4 years ago was almost $5 for 5/4 wood.

The total lumber coast for this dresser was close to $700.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Robert's profile


3807 posts in 2291 days

#5 posted 11-05-2018 02:21 PM

What are you calling expensive, sir?

I’m getting ready to do a big kitchen reface just got off the phone with my supplier rough soft maple is $3.40.

The hard maple I purchased for my benchtop 4 years ago was almost $5 for 5/4 wood.

The total lumber coast for this dresser was close to $700.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Tony_S's profile


1336 posts in 3893 days

#6 posted 11-05-2018 02:56 PM

Thats got to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20.00+/bf?? Your lumber yard is screwing you…hard. Plain and simple. Especially for rough sawn, random shorts.

No apples to apples…blah blah. Doesn’t even matter how high the grade….they’re screwing you.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View jonah's profile


2124 posts in 4109 days

#7 posted 11-05-2018 04:05 PM

You shouldn’t be paying anywhere near full price for offcuts or short boards like you describe.

As mentioned above, maple is incredibly common and costs about the same everywhere. Try looking on craigslist and see if there’s someone clearing some out for a bargain price.

I got the lumber for my bed project a few years ago off CL for a little more than $200. It would have easily run $400 or more at a hardwood dealer.

View MikeUT's profile


200 posts in 2170 days

#8 posted 11-05-2018 04:17 PM

The prices you are quoting for hard maple only make sense if you are buying on a remote desert island. Tony_S might be right, it’s possible that your dealer is screwing you. But unless you were blowing your nose with $100 bills while you were talking to him, I doubt someone would try to gouge you that hard. I bet it’s a miscommunication, like asking about 4/4 and them giving you the prices of 16/4.

Just like anything else in the free market, hardwood prices follow supply and demand. Big Pharma controls the price of drugs and can set prices artificially high through the use of patents and limited competition. There is no such thing as ‘Big Hardwood’ or ‘Big Sawyer.’

View splintergroup's profile


3870 posts in 2033 days

#9 posted 11-05-2018 06:17 PM

I think MikeUT is on to something. My HW dealer commented on a call he had from someone requesting 4/4 cedar (pronouncing it “four-four”) and they though he was looking for 4” x 4” posts, not 1” thick (“four-quarter”) wood.

Check with a hardwood dealer (basically sells only wood) versus a lumber yard which sells construction supplies.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1100 posts in 721 days

#10 posted 11-05-2018 08:12 PM

What type of lumber yard are you getting your prices from. When I’m jointing & planning the boards myself I go to Woodstock Supply a local hardwood supplier sells primarily domestic and exotic woods. I get a nice contractors discount. If I want 4 sided finished boards, There are hardware stores like Menards, Lowes, and Home Depot. but they usually only give a 2% contractors discount. But Lowes will give me 30% discount on maple or oak, if I buy a bundle at a time. A bundle is normally 2’ to 3’ x 4’ x 6’, 8’ 10’ or 12’ long. Of 1×4, 1×6, or 1×8 of 6’, 8’, 10’ or 12’ lengths. And you don’t get to pick through the bundle. You get the bundle as is. But unless you do mass production, I don’t want to put this kind of money out. Volume does give you the discounts. How much volume do you want to purchase at a time.

View Jared_S's profile


363 posts in 770 days

#11 posted 11-05-2018 08:29 PM

Is it a real yard? Or like a woodcraft?

FAS should be 6” x 7’ minimum

If you are being offered shorts and narrow Stock you should be getting those for pennies (for domestics)

View lumbering_on's profile


578 posts in 1300 days

#12 posted 11-05-2018 08:43 PM

Where do you live? If you’re in some remote location in the high arctic, then it may be reasonable. Otherwise, you’re either being misquoted or gouged. I can get spalted maple in a large live edge slab for $5/bf (CAD), and that’s on the pricey side. I would definitely be re-checking the prices, or looking online.

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3693 days

#13 posted 11-05-2018 09:03 PM

I pay ~$8.50/bf of cherry and walnut where I live. Yeah, it’s expensive but if I wanted to save money, I’d either use pine for everything or have a different hobby.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View pintodeluxe's profile


6181 posts in 3624 days

#14 posted 11-05-2018 09:22 PM

I have found the best way to save money on hardwood lumber is to buy straight from the sawyer. Often he has stacks of lumber that have been air dried for a year or more. I save money by kiln drying it myself.

Once you start buying lumber “by the stack” you’ll never go back to buying it by the board foot. I remember one time I paid $0.44 per b.f. for a stack of 5/4 quartersawn white oak.

Drying your own lumber only makes sense if you plan to do a lot of projects, but the savings is significant.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View shampeon's profile


2158 posts in 2994 days

#15 posted 11-05-2018 09:55 PM

Assuming you’re getting around 200 bf of wood for your Roubo, they’re quoting you $15/bf if they’re charging you $3000. That’s quite a lot for random length hard maple boards.

Shop around. If you’re anywhere near where the boards are sawn, you should be paying a lot less than that.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3379 posts in 2305 days

#16 posted 11-06-2018 07:50 AM

Dealing with hardwood pricing makes me nauseous. Doesn’t help that I am cheap.

FWIW – The key to lumber pricing is your distance to forest, and how many people have touched the stack of wood. So, If you want lowest cost hardwood:
1) Buy it from person/company cutting the logs
2) Buy lumber in qty, price breaks are always available for 100+ and 500+ bdft lots.
3) Buy all the lumber you can afford to store when you find above average quality at a low price. You will always pay more if you wait till you need it.
4) When you need lumber for utilitarian purposes, like a workbench; be sure to consider alternate species. Yes, maple makes a great work bench, but so does ash, hickory, cherry, oak, or purplehart.
5) Do not forget to check the ‘used’ or 2nd hand lumber markets like CL, or wood finder. There are always folks moving their wood shop and lumber is usually too expensive to move; that or you find some one who has stumbled across 1000 bdft for cheap and wants to sell enough to cover their costs. :)
6) Shop for wood in areas of recent natural disasters. Tornado season in mid-west always generates piles of downed trees and surplus wood for smaller sawyers. Hurricanes on central east coast created a lot of excess wood as well. With Ash borer issues in US, I constantly run across units of ash available for fire sale prices due yard needs to make room.

PS – Even here in AZ, 2000 miles from nearest maple forest; I can buy (hand picked) 8/4 soft maple for $4 and hard maple for $5 bdft. Your quote on lumber for your bench seems ridiculous to me?

Best Luck in your shopping.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View CWWoodworking's profile


890 posts in 989 days

#17 posted 11-06-2018 12:05 PM

I actually think wood is cheap. 1-5$ bf for lumber is what I pay. Dressed for free.

I make solid wood end tables and other stuff. Most solid wood end tables retail for 300-600. Some of my tables only have 20-30$ in wood.

View Robert's profile


3807 posts in 2291 days

#18 posted 11-06-2018 02:58 PM

Go back and make sure you were both talking apples and apples.

If its for real, I would report them to the BBB and your state fraud bureau.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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