Pricing walnut?

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Forum topic by Tennwood posted 04-08-2011 06:12 PM 1631 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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112 posts in 3791 days

04-08-2011 06:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut wood pricing wood

I have the opportunity to purchase about 1200 feet of walnut. I have not seen it yet so I don’t know the condition or size. It has been stacked in a shed for about 10 years. After I look at it, the guy told me to make him an offer. I have no idea what a reasonable offer would be. “Assuming” it is 4/4 lumber and and say 6 to 8 inches wide, and in decent condition, what would be a honest offer to make (say per board foot)?



-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

14 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13572 posts in 3303 days

#1 posted 04-08-2011 06:17 PM

Well, that’s a hard one. I’ve paid up to $10 a board foot for dimensioned walnut and as little as $2/BF for raw. I’m really jealous of this opportunity and I’m not sure what to offer him without offending him. There are plenty of raw wood brokers on this site and I’m sure you’ll get some better advice.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View drewnahant's profile


222 posts in 3699 days

#2 posted 04-08-2011 06:25 PM

Im in Massachusettes, walnut is going for about $8 /bf rough around here. I recently picked soime up off of craigslist for $4 /bf. I think it depends on the condition, and the guy, does he want the money, or does he want to get rid of it?

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 04-08-2011 06:26 PM

IMO it is up to the seller to tell you what he wants for it and then you can negotiate from there if you feel that you have to. He is the owner, it is his responsibility to set a price and then you can decide if you want to buy or to haggle (I hate to haggle) or just to leave.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4829 days

#4 posted 04-08-2011 06:32 PM

You might want to call a few lumber dealers in your neck of the woods and see what 4/4 rough walnut is going for. That would give you some idea of what is fair.

My first reaction was to offer him $2 per bf and see what happens. But if it seems like he is not real savvy about lumber, you might do better just giving him a lump sum price. For example, “Well, some of this is split, and there are quite a few knotholes… I’ll give you $2,000 for the whole pile.”

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bertha's profile


13572 posts in 3303 days

#5 posted 04-08-2011 06:35 PM

I was thinking $2/BF too, but was too shy to suggest it. I like Charlie’s angle a lot. If you get 1200bf of quality walnut for $2000, you’ve got a mastergloat on your hands. If you’re the flipping sort, you may be in business shortly. Walnut is my favorite wood and TN isn’t far from WV! On that subject, I lived in Knoxville for 4 years and I’m terribly fond of TN.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4432 days

#6 posted 04-08-2011 08:45 PM

Jim, for your area $2.00 a board foot is a fairly average price. I am in Kentucky and can get walnut for this price anytime I want from my regular supplier. I have seen it go for as little as $1.50 on Craigslist.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3607 days

#7 posted 04-08-2011 10:00 PM

Walnut up here is around $8-$9 bd ft. That is usable, dried, relatively knot free. If his pile is all usable and you NEED that many bd. ft. you can pay more money. I think if you are buying it because it is there paying 1/4 of retail price is a good deal on your part.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Bertha's profile


13572 posts in 3303 days

#8 posted 04-08-2011 10:16 PM

$1800 has a nice even ring to it.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3880 days

#9 posted 04-08-2011 11:07 PM

My philosophy has always been to bid what the wood (or whater you are buying) is worth to you…..If the seller is insulted – so be it…..A fair price is what makes both parties happy…..if you feel like you paid more to assuage the person’s honor…then you didn’t get a fair price. The seller should start off telling you what he/she wants….if they don’t then most likely he/she does not know what the value is….being there is the internet…and everyone can use it to get a base value (like you are doing)...then let them beware if they get lowballed. Business is business…. I don’t say this to mean take advantage of every one….but if they are selling something….they really should do their research….and getting a deal is not being dishonest or cruel….just prudent.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4502 days

#10 posted 04-08-2011 11:55 PM

I’m with Charlie. Offer him $2 bdf. I just paid $4.75 today for 4/4 rough walnut which is my supplier’s 500 bdf price. The worst thing he can say is no. You should get a lower than market price anyway because of the quantity.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3685 days

#11 posted 04-09-2011 03:11 AM

The quality of walnut varies greatly. I’d gladly pay $10/bf for really good quality walnut and some isn’t worth even $2.00/be.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 4381 days

#12 posted 04-09-2011 02:17 PM

Tennwood, I suggest to inspect the walnut closely. If it has been in a shed drying for 10 years, it has also been exposed to insects that whole time. A friend bought a similar quantity of cherry a couple of years ago. When he got home with the wood, he found that the wood in the center of the stack was in bad shape. Most of the wood was burned in his wood burning stove. So regardless of the price, look through the pile. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3791 days

#13 posted 04-09-2011 08:02 PM

Thanks everyone. I am going to look at the wood this week. It sounds like he just wants to get it out of his shed so I think he will be pretty reasonable on the price. He thinks there is going to be around 1200 bf. That’s a lot of projects. :) Fortunately my neighbor has a barn he said I can keep it in.

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

View Eutree's profile


18 posts in 3270 days

#14 posted 04-15-2011 07:30 PM

Chiefk made a very valid point. If that lumber has been stored it may have insects living inside it. You can find a local kiln that may be willing to run it through for a day just to heat it up and kill the critters.

-- Come visit our shop, we always love visitors!

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