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How Much S. Maple to Buy

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 05-13-2021 08:01 PM 591 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HorizontalMike

7927 posts in 4033 days


05-13-2021 08:01 PM

OK, I know this is a simplistic question (usually) but please bear with me…
  • A decade ago I found a local furniture maker going out of business and selling off his then “current” inventory.
  • I convinced another local LJs-member to also check this out. He even drove!
  • Bottom line, this guy was selling off his last hardwood stock of 12/4 Soft Maple.
  • He had a full pallet left.
  • My LJ’s buddy bought 400Bf and I bought 200 Bf.
  • We got it for $2.00 BF…. Yeah, I know today this sounds unbelievable, but… Back then it still was “good” deal, but not like it is now…!
  • Fast forward a decade (yeah, ten of those trips around Sol).
  • I still have 45 Bf of this Soft Maple left, in TWO 12ft x 7-1/2in x 12/4 rough cut boards.

QUESTION:
So just how much Soft Maple should I purchase in order to NOT waste this 12/4 precious commodity?
I am 69, not in business, and build for myself only (at least that is my plan). In other words, how much 8/4 should I buy to efficiently use this 12/4 Maple without wasting it? FWIW, I do have a Midi-Lathe.

Check out my current projects and make suggestions, if you so desire. My home is pretty much full of furniture at this point, HOWEVER… Not ready to settle into the “make-small-boxes-only” scenario just yet.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."


14 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3133 posts in 3757 days


#1 posted 05-13-2021 10:10 PM

It is a strange question. You should, of course, buy as much as you want and can afford, whether you need it or not.

Just for reference, I have lumber stacked on my front porch because my lumber racks in the shop are full.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View SMP's profile

SMP

4156 posts in 1025 days


#2 posted 05-13-2021 10:33 PM

Smoker or non-smoker?

View sras's profile

sras

6175 posts in 4248 days


#3 posted 05-14-2021 12:26 AM

I usually hang on to random pieces until I know what I want to make. Then I buy a little extra and end up with some left over again. Yeah, I know, I didn’t answer your question.

I guess I would suggest you get a project in mind and then buy. I’ve got a couple charities that I’ll make things for since I’m not always in need of what I want to make.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View RClark's profile

RClark

139 posts in 3304 days


#4 posted 05-14-2021 12:48 AM

I’ve read your post several times now, and I”m still not sure what you’re asking. Right now, my answer would have to be, “It depends.”

You won’t be wasting any wood until you start cutting on it, and then how much gets wasted depends on your efficiency in using it.

If you don’t have any particular projects in mind, why be concerned that you might waste some of the 12/4 lumber?

From time to time, I buy wood with no particular project in mind. Most often, that occurs when I find a screaming deal or some particularly attractive stock. Right now, I have a stick of 10/4 of Honduran Mahogany that is over 9 inches wide and 11 feet long. I managed to find it when a business was closing and I paid $100 for it. Perhaps not the deal of the century. But it’s been in the wood rack for 6 years or so; it will tell me what it’s going to be when the time comes.

Now, if you just want to buy some more maple, by all means, proceed! If you need someone to cover for your need to buy it, I’ll swear to whomever that the purchase was the right thing to do! Us woodworkers gotta stick together!

-- Ray

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3413 posts in 3896 days


#5 posted 05-14-2021 01:25 AM

Buy what you can afford and safely store. For my kitchen drawers, I used about 400 – 500 bf of soft maple. When you get into a project, it goes fast.

I have a bunch of slabs of oak, some nice boards of cherry, mahogany, and ash that I will be using soon. Stuff goes like water.

cheers

-- David in Palm Bay, FL

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Aj2

3891 posts in 2917 days


#6 posted 05-14-2021 02:17 AM



Smoker or non-smoker?

- SMP


Ha I see what you did there. :)
12/4 maple is hard to find around here so I would by it all. It’s good for arts and craft table legs.

-- Aj

View Don W's profile

Don W

20095 posts in 3687 days


#7 posted 05-14-2021 11:24 AM

I have so much maple! Come and get some.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7927 posts in 4033 days


#8 posted 05-14-2021 12:03 PM

OK, let me throw ANOTHER ringer into this situation. I have a 1993 Toyota 4×4 pickup (bought new) that I am going to restore, with fancy paint, chrome, etc… maybe $7-9,000. so more than just fixer-upper. A major motivation is the current microchip shortage restricting the number of new vehicles that can be sold. My old truck doesn’t have that crap and won’t be affected by these new computer-age maladies, don’cha know ;-). FWIW, I’d rather drop $10k on a restoration than +$50k on an new truck!

Part of that restoration will also remove my old bumper and camper-shell hang glider racks, thus eliminating or severely restricting my ability to buy full length rough-sawn lumber.

So bottom line, I am trying to purchase enough S. Maple now, to run out the/my clock. Maybe another 3-4 pieces of furniture, but nothing as big as a full dresser for now.

P.S. And Aj2, +10 on the ”...It’s good for arts and craft table legs…” I thought about making another drop-leaf dinner table, HOWEVER, the better half will not let me replace our current ~200yr old Cherry drop-leaf dinner table… Huh?...;-) Maybe another bookcase, but sure would like to build something that I could turn some 3in legs for. So far my max has been 2in. Also thinking about turning one or more 3in columns and spitting them for surface mounting on some other piece of art… Looking for ideas…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1243 posts in 506 days


#9 posted 05-14-2021 02:27 PM

I like the truck. If an EMP goes off, you’ll be one of the few still driving! :)

-- Darrel

View SMP's profile

SMP

4156 posts in 1025 days


#10 posted 05-14-2021 03:22 PM

I used to have a 1994 Toyota p/u like that i bought new. I remember, they were $7699 brand new. Seems crazy to think that recently you could buy a brand new truck well under $10k, and now they are more like $40-50k

View sras's profile

sras

6175 posts in 4248 days


#11 posted 05-14-2021 04:11 PM

Good call on the truck restoration. I’d love to see how it turns out!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7927 posts in 4033 days


#12 posted 05-14-2021 06:35 PM

Well, I just called to check on current pricing during this housing boom and I am pleasantly surprised… 8-)

Soft Maple 8/4 $3.31 BF
White Ash 8/4 $3.01 BF

HEY DON! I’ll have to pass on all that free Maple you are offering… Gasoline costs more than the Maple! ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View madts's profile

madts

1957 posts in 3459 days


#13 posted 05-14-2021 07:10 PM

Just buy 30% more than you think.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20095 posts in 3687 days


#14 posted 05-14-2021 08:57 PM

Going to have some beech soon to. Waiting on a drive belt for the mill.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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