LumberJocks

Large purchase

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by _JR posted 06-14-2021 05:32 PM 906 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View _JR's profile

_JR

13 posts in 831 days


06-14-2021 05:32 PM

Trying to ensure I am being reasonable and fair to a local seller an that I am being fair to myself as well. The seller has in excess of 5k board feet of lumber that was cut by their father some years ago. The father has since passed and the lumber is taking up storage space. I looked at it initially about 3 years ago to possibly buy it all myself (I had no idea how much he actually had until I got there) and give the seller an idea of retail prices so he could sell it himself if I was not able to buy it. After seeing the quantity, I knew I could not afford to make a reasonable offer, so I informed the seller of reasonable board feet prices for the different species he had. This was all cut by the sellers father so it was not graded in any way. It’s just stacks of whatever he came across. Mix of long boards of red Oak, hard and soft maples, walnut and ash and some shorter boards of Cedar and stumps/logs that could be turned for bowls or cut into small biscuits. Nothing in the way of slabs or the like. Mostly 4/4 and 5/4 between 4 and 12” wide and 6’ to 12’ long. Everything I looked at looked okay – no major checking or cracking, no bugs, reasonable amount of knots – but there was no way to check even 1/10 of the boards due to the quantity and the way it was stacked.

So, the question is, what would be considered a reasonable offer for this general mix of unsorted and ungraded lumber of this quantity?


19 replies so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3248 posts in 3796 days


#1 posted 06-14-2021 05:50 PM

Don’t overpay. Air dried lumber is worth less than kiln dried. Mill run lumber less than graded lumber.

I have paid from $0.85 to $3.50 for air dried mill run cherry.

The $3.50 was my old retired pastor and I wanted to give him top dollar.

You may have already set his expectations by discussing prices though.

-Paul

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

View Phil32's profile (online now)

Phil32

1495 posts in 1062 days


#2 posted 06-14-2021 05:57 PM

The reasonableness of the deal depends on other factors. Location, transport costs, cleaning. I suspect most potential buyers would make an offer on the low side because of unknowns such as – what if much of the hidden sides are rotted?

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3248 posts in 3796 days


#3 posted 06-14-2021 06:24 PM

Condition is very important. Just having it stickered or stacked sloppily can greatly reduce the usable value of the lumber. Even wood I thought was pretty straight, I’ve lost quite a bit of thickness jointing and planing.

One way ot handle it is make a low offer. If it’s accepted and after moving the lumber you believe you seriously underpaid, you can give him some more money to calm your concience.

For this kind of deal I wouldn’t even talk about board feet. I would just mesure and count for my own purposes and offer a fixed amount of money. You may turn out with more or less lumber than you figured.

And if your offer is rejected, walking away is great too!

-Paul

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

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5444 posts in 2381 days


#4 posted 06-14-2021 07:15 PM

Of course this wood is not graded and that alone significantly changes the value. Charging what a hardwood lumber yard sells FAS or Select is way over priced.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3946 posts in 2956 days


#5 posted 06-14-2021 07:29 PM

I prefer air dried lumber to kiln dried. It’s a real treat to work air dried wood with hand tools.
Your going to have to grade it to know what’s it’s worth. You might find some of it not worth much and you might find the walnut very nice. You see air dried walnut could have good colors that are lost in a kiln.
Thick boards over one inch are worth more then thin.
On and on it’s goes.

-- Aj

View _JR's profile

_JR

13 posts in 831 days


#6 posted 06-14-2021 07:38 PM

Thanks for the great feedback and it pretty much aligns with my thoughts and gives me confidence that I am not way out-of-line. Their initial offer was $2/bf based on my estimate of how much they have (and it is a really rough estimate). I was blunt and said that was not going to happen. I think I am being more than generous at $1/bf based on the estimate and again, was blunt that I am not buying at a bf price, but based on what I am willing to pay for the lot considering the risk and effort involved. They understand the difference between retail and bulk sales so giving them the initial value of each individual board based on board feet I don’t believe to be problematic. I’m pretty firm on my offer and have no issues walking away.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

873 posts in 938 days


#7 posted 06-14-2021 11:37 PM

I go $1bf locally for self made air dried wood and that is for usable bf. I typically get 130% in BF of what I pay for, so nearly .70 BF on the truck. If you want more, you need to skip plane it and let me see it to grade and pick. If you want me to take the stack, well you have to price it assuming 30 to 40 percent of it goes in the wood stove at the end of the day. Also, at that price, I can buy all the varieties you mention from local mills.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4623 posts in 3506 days


#8 posted 06-14-2021 11:59 PM

Recently, I purchased some air dried oak, cherry, and walnut. Milling losses were at least 30% on the oak, 40% or so on the cherry, and roughly 80% for the walnut. Not only do you have to plane it, but you also have to deal with twists, cracks, and edges that aren’t remotely straight.

Don’t forget how much your time is worth. I spent nearly a month working on the boards. I also went through 2 sets of blades on the Dewalt 735 planer. I also had to pay for 2 pickup loads of cutoffs, scrap, and planer shavings to go to the landfill’s mulch heap.

Lesson learned, cheap boards generally aren’t that inexpensive.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View _JR's profile

_JR

13 posts in 831 days


#9 posted 06-15-2021 12:01 AM


I go $1bf locally for self made air dried wood and that is for usable bf. I typically get 130% in BF of what I pay for, so nearly .70 BF on the truck. If you want more, you need to skip plane it and let me see it to grade and pick. If you want me to take the stack, well you have to price it assuming 30 to 40 percent of it goes in the wood stove at the end of the day. Also, at that price, I can buy all the varieties you mention from local mills.

- BlueRidgeDog

What is your usual purchase amount? Around here, maple goes for $2.50, red oak: 2.50, WRC 3-4, walnut 4-5 from the private guys. Pretty much matches what the local mills want for small orders. But then, I just picked up 86 bf of prime African Mahogany for $2.50/bf, so it depends on the seller motivation. And, is what you are buying straight off the saw or fully dried? This has been sitting for probably 10 years so i need take that into account.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4667 posts in 2653 days


#10 posted 06-15-2021 01:16 AM

I’d be offering 0.80 bdft for cheap (red oak, ash, soft maple, cedar) species, and no more than $2.50 bdft for walnut. Guessing that would equal 1.00-1.25 bdft for everything?

IMHO – His $2bdft is not realistic. I can get FAS kiln dried soft maple wholesale for < $1.50 by full bundle. Full bundles of FAS shorts, of kiln dried Ash or Red Oak at mill run < $2 too. Air dried and ungraded is worth less. If you find pile is mostly quarter sawn red oak, that increases value. If that happens, then might offer to pay little extra for the oak. :-)

FWIW – The logistics of handling 5K+ lumber is not trivial. 5000bdft of 8-10% moisture oak weighs about 17,000-18,000lbs. 5K bdft of soft maple weighs little less, expect 13-14,000lbs. The biggest U-haul trailer only rated to carry 2500lbs, or ~500-600bdft. They will carry ~4K lbs before they tow like it’s missing tires, and maybe blow a tire. DAMHIK
A fully load 53ft semi-trailer only holds 7-10K bdft of 4/4 hardwood bundles due volume restriction, even though they carry 60-80K lbs.

One way to help your price negotiation is to offer $1.25-$1.50 bdft, if they sort by species & re-stack it. If owner is willing to sort the piles by species, stack in onto pallets for easy banding/forklift loading, unloading; that can be worth some extra cash. At same time, you can also refuse to buy lessor species, and cherry pick only what you want (or can afford). If do settle on price, and go pick up the wood; bring plenty of help.
It takes a long time to move 5K+ bdft of lumber, one stick at time. BTDTGTTS

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View _JR's profile

_JR

13 posts in 831 days


#11 posted 06-15-2021 12:19 PM

Your point on the logistics of moving the lumber is a good one. Originally though a full-sized U-Haul would do it but you are right. It will take multiple trips which will cost a bunch of money for both gas and mileage fees (45-minute drive each way). Would be cheaper to rent a trailer, but I don’t have my 2500HD any more to haul with, only a Jeep Wrangler.

View BillInInd's profile

BillInInd

9 posts in 363 days


#12 posted 06-15-2021 03:38 PM

Others have offered excellent input. I’ll add…don’t be swayed by current lumber prices. It’s temporary…and already we’re beginning to see a return to normal pricing. Good luck. Sounds like a nice haul.

-- BillInInd

View BlueRidgeDog's profile

BlueRidgeDog

873 posts in 938 days


#13 posted 06-16-2021 11:16 AM


What is your usual purchase amount? And, is what you are buying straight off the saw or fully dried? This has been sitting for probably 10 years so i need take that into account.

- _JR

I buy 100 to 200 bf of wet off the saw wood that I have to load in the muddy yard myself.

View Lazyman's profile (online now)

Lazyman

7419 posts in 2546 days


#14 posted 06-16-2021 12:15 PM

If it were me, I would sort through it and make a stack of the usable stuff I want and then come up with what you think is a reasonable for the pieces you want. You might even re stack it by grade to make it easier to pay different prices for different grades. Earl’s point about time and cost of hauling away garbage is a good one. With it only being milled to 4/4 or 5/4 at best, I predict there is going to be a lot of waste. If after sorting through it, you find that there is little to keep then you could offer to haul it away for free for the little bit of usable stuff you may actually keep (if you are so inclined).

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

617 posts in 4905 days


#15 posted 06-16-2021 01:52 PM

Then there is always the storage aspect. Unless you have projects lined up for it, do you have room to properly store the wood. You want to keep it dry, insect-free, and rodent-free. Or if you plan on reselling it do you want to deal with that hassle? Prices are on the way back down so the value is dropping every day. My hunch is that they are tired of having it sitting around and want to get rid of it and move on which plays into your advantage. How close are they to just giving it away to have someone else deal with it?

-- NorthWoodsMan

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com