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Price of Walnut

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Forum topic by pontic posted 05-18-2019 11:26 PM 570 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pontic

693 posts in 1002 days


05-18-2019 11:26 PM

I have a mill that will sell me walnut 4/4 clear grade kiln dried rough sawn for 6.50 a BFT. Is that a reasonable price?
Cherry 4/4 clear grade is 4.65 a bft. Is that a reasonable price.
I must buy 100 bft to get these prices.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum


13 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2280 posts in 2191 days


#1 posted 05-19-2019 12:16 AM

For me it would depend on what the boards look like. I’ve seen walnut in the lumber racks that I wouldn’t want even if it’s free.
Good Luck and be picky

-- Aj

View TimInIndiana's profile

TimInIndiana

145 posts in 534 days


#2 posted 05-19-2019 12:27 AM

That’s roughly the same price as I pay in southern Indiana for ungraded stock (mixed grade/choose your own boards from the stack).

View JayT's profile

JayT

6211 posts in 2605 days


#3 posted 05-19-2019 01:14 AM

If it’s really FAS & Select quality, then those prices aren’t bad at all.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1379 posts in 1888 days


#4 posted 05-19-2019 01:18 AM

First, lumber prices vary a lot by location.
Further you get from forest where tree grows, the more expensive it gets. You should post where you are looking so folks can comment on local prices.

Second, where you buy lumber determines how much profit is added to the price.
Lumber is sold at retail (Rocker, Woodcraft, Home Depot); wholesale (lumber yards), and my manufacturer (sawmills). Each one of these has a different price with sawmill being cheapest.

Hence it is very hard to answer the question, is this fair price; without knowing many details on what kind of lumber you want, how much you need, and your capabilities to handle rough lumber?

Regardless of the above:

The retail price on 100bdft of walnut has been $6-7 or more for a couple years now, thanks to Chinese lumber buying frenzy. It not cheap wood. There are several existing posts on LJ related to this topic. :-(

As others have posted, the challenge is often the grades available. Clear #1 walnut is hard to find as it gets premium international log buyers excited. Typically see a lot of FAS grade, loaded with mostly #2 common (which I call rustic with knots/cracks) that can be hard to use in large projects. If you need more than hundred bdft, can still find smaller saw mils that sell lot quantities of Walnut lumber for $3-4, but it’s getting harder. Most are selling for $4-5 bdft now.

Cherry lumber prices vary a lot by region, but I can still find cherry for $2-3 bdft at various from various mills in mid-west and eastern states. Even lumber yard pricing is just over $3. So $4.65 seems expensive to me?

Profile shows Indiana?
Not sure where you are looking for wood, but have you checked various sawmills in Indiana? Southern side of state is littered with sawmills that sell to wood workers. There is; Cook Lumber, Indiana Hardwoods, Carlsons, Wilkerson, Helmsburg, etc.
https://www.google.com/maps/search/sawmill+in+indiana

Haven’t checked recently, but used to find cheap lumber from Frank Miller sawmill in eastern side of Indiana?
https://frankmiller.com/
They sell a lot more than quarter sawn oak. They often have small 100-200 bdft units lumber ‘shorts’ (6/7 ft) available for 1/2 of normal lumber price. Have to visit the warehouse, but they have bargain bin area and never know what you find for $1-3 bdft. Be sure to sign up for their semi-annual warehouse clean up email. Lots of killer deals twice a year. It’s amazing to show up and see all the cheap lumber hounds, and vehicles with trailers waiting for doors to open in morning. :-)

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View GaryCK's profile

GaryCK

48 posts in 443 days


#5 posted 05-19-2019 04:03 AM

I think that’s a pretty good price. It’s been too long since I bought Walnut from my local sawmill, so I can’t remember their pricing. I’m a bit surprised that you need to by 100 board feet to get that pricing, unless it is a discounted price from some other number for smaller quantities.

Some online sites I use for reference pricing are below.

https://www.bellforestproducts.com/walnut/lumber/
https://crlumber.com/store/?cat=85&thickness=140
http://www.theworkbench.com/hardwood.php
https://www.hardwoodstore.com/lumber-prices
https://woodshedlumber.com/products/11/black-walnut

Gary

-- Gary, Wisconsin

View pontic's profile

pontic

693 posts in 1002 days


#6 posted 05-19-2019 02:41 PM

Thanks Guys. Captainkluts I thank you for your exhaustive post on local saw mills in indiana. I am in Indianapolis. I have not checked out any of the southern mills . I will do so. I think this mill I deal with is a little hi in price anyway.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1379 posts in 1888 days


#7 posted 05-19-2019 09:44 PM



Thanks Guys. Captainkluts I thank you for your exhaustive post on local saw mills in indiana. I am in Indianapolis. I have not checked out any of the southern mills . I will do so. I think this mill I deal with is a little hi in price anyway.

- pontic

LOL, NP.
Lived/worked in central Indiana for 10 years a few decades past.
Even though I am in AZ now, I try visit a couple of the above places when ever I pass through the state on my annual travels to see family in the area. There is zero inexpensive wood in AZ. Never had a problem finding inexpensive ($2-3) domestic lumber in Indiana/Ohio/Michigan. Problem was always having the storage space for lumber I stumble across.

If north is better for your lumber hunt, there are another dozen mills heading north near Wabash, Kokomo, Plymouth, and South Bend. Folks that most often have inexpensive surplus/shorts lumber being near Plymouth. :)

PS – Woodmizer also has ‘find a local sawyer’ page on their website that is another way to find new wood suppliers.

Cheers!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2866 posts in 968 days


#8 posted 05-19-2019 10:08 PM

This is the place local to me He’s a little lower than you, but his “rough”“isn’t it’s all skip planed as well as I have seen, so usable is right near what you see in the racks. His PRIME, is just that. It’s the stuff you make table tops out of, and everyone goes ohhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhh.

When buying any quantity I drive further, but it’s sinfully low priced, and awesome quality. All of this is per piece, you buy quantity, price starts dropping.

Couple other honey holes that sell lower, quality is usually very good, quantity moves around a bit, priced to move, no middleman anything with them.

I believe if you are East of the Mississippi, and can’t find reasonable lumber prices, and great wood, you aren’t looking hard enough. Heading West of that you can start running out of trees, at least trees you want sawed into lumber.

-- Think safe, be safe

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6227 posts in 2659 days


#9 posted 05-21-2019 01:05 AM

” Heading West of that you can start running out of trees, at least trees you want sawed into lumber.”

I’m West of the Rockies and good hardwood lumber costs just about the same as any imported tropical stuff. It’s all imported to my neck of the high plains.

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

492 posts in 572 days


#10 posted 05-21-2019 01:21 AM



This is the place local to me He s a little lower than you, but his “rough”“isn t it s all skip planed as well as I have seen, so usable is right near what you see in the racks. His PRIME, is just that. It s the stuff you make table tops out of, and everyone goes ohhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhh.

- therealSteveN

That place seem to pick there spots. High on some stuff. Very good on others. I’m not that far away.

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

671 posts in 2329 days


#11 posted 05-21-2019 01:55 AM

Price isn’t bad for the area. Can find it cheaper and of course can find it more expensive but much of it has to do with how much leg work you want to do.

Air dried work for you? Can usually find it on Craigslist fairly easily in the Indy area and if you drive any direction
an hour out of Indy the 4 to 6 buck range fairly common as a lot of small time sawyers.

Seams always someone has various woods stashed in warehouses in Indy for a little lower than you prices you listed or can drive to Lafayette area and Cassen’s always reasonable priced.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2866 posts in 968 days


#12 posted 05-21-2019 04:03 AM



” Heading West of that you can start running out of trees, at least trees you want sawed into lumber.”

I m West of the Rockies and good hardwood lumber costs just about the same as any imported tropical stuff. It s all imported to my neck of the high plains.

- BurlyBob

Probably the wood costs near the same as I can get it for. It’s that darned trucking, almost doubles the cost. Out in Cali they have some awesome wood with those Claro Walnuts, and the Big leaf Maples. It’s just those who control them want to rub elbows with the moooveee stars, and charge extortion pricing.

-- Think safe, be safe

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

2866 posts in 968 days


#13 posted 05-21-2019 04:17 AM

This is the place local to me He s a little lower than you, but his “rough”“isn t it s all skip planed as well as I have seen, so usable is right near what you see in the racks. His PRIME, is just that. It s the stuff you make table tops out of, and everyone goes ohhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhh.

- therealSteveN

That place seem to pick there spots. High on some stuff. Very good on others. I’m not that far away.

- CWWoodworking

You don’t have a location picked. I always thought you to be an East Coaster.

Chad is a friendly guy, he does the best he can, and still have a little for him. His pricing is solely based on how much it costs him to obtain it. I’d say he probably operates on 15 to 20% overage, but out of that he needs to feed the biz. All the equipment is enough to make a grown Man cry, just paying to keep it running.

I go to him about 100% when I just need something, usually not a lot of bd/ft. He buys a lot from FML, and probably has a little better price there than I do, but if I’m getting quantity I go to Indiana, drag the trailer, and just bring home a pile. I’m at 25% off retail there, but the extra fuel/time doesn’t work out for a couple of boards. Chad does most often have a few of those special pieces, if you want to pony up the price of them. I look at them both as just a phone call away. I have to be real bored to just drive over to browse, they both have guys good enough you can browse over the phone. That I cannot say about every wood pimp I have been to see.

-- Think safe, be safe

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