Fair Price for Black Walnut?

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Forum topic by DerekJ posted 02-24-2016 05:10 PM 1649 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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125 posts in 1807 days

02-24-2016 05:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: current walnut price mill lumber price bf price


I’m curious if anyone has an idea on a fair price for milled black walnut? My dad’s friend bought a mill like 15 years ago and did a lot of work milling and selling cottonwood for pallets. When he came across hardwoods, he’d mill them with the intent of doing something with the lumber but never did. I don’t know exactly what he has, but he’s had it for 10 years (is this a concern?) and I just want to have some type of “fair price” in mind when I talk to him about offloading the walnut he’s had to store for a decade.

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

12 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6237 posts in 3732 days

#1 posted 02-24-2016 05:35 PM

Just look at hardwood retailer price lists in your area. “Barnfloor” deals might be 30-40% of retail. It’s not a concern that the lumber is aged 10 years, as long as it was properly stacked. Improperly stacked hardwood, especially 4/4 thickness, is often worthless. I’ve seen homeowners do such a poor job stacking that the boards were beyond repair. If he was a sawyer he probably knew what he was doing.

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

View JayT's profile


6414 posts in 3130 days

#2 posted 02-24-2016 05:39 PM

Pricing would depend on a lot of factors. Location, grade, thickness, width, color, etc. Best advice I can give is to price some out around your area and compare.

Here in Kansas, I can buy locally milled 4/4 walnut for $3.50 to $5.00 a board foot. I know it’s more in other parts of the country and a couple of LJ’s have reported buying from sawyers for less.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View DerekJ's profile


125 posts in 1807 days

#3 posted 02-24-2016 05:44 PM

Thanks guys. I’m in Nebraska so probably pretty comparable to KS. I’ll do some research on local pricing per BF and see what I find.

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View Dano46's profile


86 posts in 4089 days

#4 posted 02-24-2016 05:51 PM

$9.50 bf, FAS in southern IL. Kinda high eh?

-- You can't trust a dog to guard your food.

View mds2's profile


310 posts in 2863 days

#5 posted 02-24-2016 05:52 PM

Thanks guys. I m in Nebraska so probably pretty comparable to KS. I ll do some research on local pricing per BF and see what I find.

- DerekJ

Mill prices around Lincoln is $5 b/f for rough cut.

View DerekJ's profile


125 posts in 1807 days

#6 posted 02-24-2016 05:56 PM

Thank you MDS2, that’s very helpful, I’m in Omaha. Just out of curiosity, are you in the industry or is there somewhere I can look to find pricing like that?

-- Derek ~ Omaha, NE

View xmargman's profile


5 posts in 2132 days

#7 posted 02-24-2016 08:30 PM

Big Red Sawmill in Palmyra NE has been very nice to work with. Brian is great to work with.

-- Frank, Nebraska

View Tobyt's profile


4 posts in 2169 days

#8 posted 03-17-2016 08:28 PM

careful, the longer walnut sits around the more susceptible to bugs (borers). look it over before you make the bid.

View bobasaurus's profile


3707 posts in 4103 days

#9 posted 03-17-2016 09:23 PM

I just paid $12/bf for 5/4 kiln dried walnut here in CO. Very expensive, but I needed it to complete a project. From a sawmill a bit further away it’s like $8-10/bf for air dried. Wish I didn’t have to pay so much for one of my favorite woods.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2496 days

#10 posted 03-18-2016 01:45 AM

I don’t tell people how much I pay for walnut, someone always says they’re going to bring a semi and buy it all, aint letting that happen haha.

View seriousturtle's profile


101 posts in 4250 days

#11 posted 03-18-2016 01:49 AM

i pay about $3.25/ bf roughcut in bucks county,pa

-- ~the turtle

View JAAune's profile


1892 posts in 3236 days

#12 posted 03-18-2016 02:00 AM

My commercial supplier charges $9/bf for small, knotty boards called “architectural grade” but I can get it from a local guy for $8. The local seller would probably have taken $4/bf if I had offered it but I like to treat suppliers well so they’ll be eager to do business with me on a repeat basis.

-- See my work at

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