Question on lumber pricing

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Forum topic by Jack Lewis posted 01-28-2019 03:05 PM 709 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jack Lewis

576 posts in 1817 days

01-28-2019 03:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: price lumber question

For the life of me I cannot understand why 5/4 and up lumber is priced per B/F higher than 4/4. It takes less manpower and handling for the larger size. Most mills cut at 9/4 I think and resaw to 4/4. Does the demand dictate the price?

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

9 replies so far

View Andre's profile


3460 posts in 2545 days

#1 posted 01-28-2019 03:12 PM

Harder to find good quality in thicker wood, what I find disgusting is to charge QS prices for flat sawn lumber. (and usually full of knots and cracks)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Snipes's profile


459 posts in 2983 days

#2 posted 01-28-2019 03:26 PM

a few more reasons—harder to move around, longer to dry, harder to dry without checks, often takes bigger logs

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View Sawdust2012's profile


199 posts in 2451 days

#3 posted 01-28-2019 03:54 PM

I’d be willing to bet there is an “economies of scale” issue also. Diesel fuel costs less to refine than gasoline, but is often sold at a higher price than gasoline. I have always heard that the reason is tha the sheer volume of gasoline allows for fixed costs to be distributed over a far larger base lowering the unit cost. I would uses that 4/4 is a much higher volume product.

View therealSteveN's profile


5594 posts in 1313 days

#4 posted 01-28-2019 04:03 PM

I am guessing it’s mostly a conspiracy to tick off Jack, but I also agree with all of the reasons listed too.

Andre, I agree. I don’t mind when it’s QS or even rift which has it’s uses, but having so much flat sawn “junk” included is a rude deal.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Madmark2's profile (online now)


1280 posts in 1327 days

#5 posted 01-28-2019 08:15 PM

4/4 is in high volume demand, 5/4 not so much. Economics of scale.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View ScottKaye's profile


782 posts in 2692 days

#6 posted 01-28-2019 08:23 PM

5/4 takes more kiln time, hence more cost

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View Logboy's profile


75 posts in 3969 days

#7 posted 01-29-2019 12:44 AM

It takes longer to dry for starters. A longer kiln schedule means more energy needed and greater cost. Also the thicker you go, the harder it is to saw a clear board from a log. I can cut and kiln dry 4/4 lumber in 2-3 months while my 12/4 slabs take 1-2 years. Are you saying I’m wrong to charge more for 12/4?

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3215 days

#8 posted 01-29-2019 02:15 AM

It takes 2.5 times longer to dry a 2” board versus a 1” board. Also, more potential drying defects in thicker lumber as thicker lumber is more persnickety to right. As has been pointed out, thicker boards require larger logs. Larger logs require bigger backs or bigger machines. Thicker lumber is heavier and harder to handle.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


698 posts in 518 days

#9 posted 01-29-2019 02:52 AM

Mills I work with slice a lot of 4/4 and dry it fast. Not seen them making thicker then resawing. When I need bigger, I often make my own.

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