Price for walnut slabs.

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Forum topic by bdresch posted 03-15-2014 03:11 AM 2744 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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156 posts in 2670 days

03-15-2014 03:11 AM

A guy near me has a bunch of slabs of kiln dried black walnut on CL. Some are 6/4 and some are 8/4. I have a couple projects I wanted to try using walnut but I’ve never bought hardwood by the slab before so I don’t know how much these are worth per b/f. What are others in WI or the midwest in general paying for rough cut black walnut slabs?


19 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2830 days

#1 posted 03-15-2014 10:26 AM

About $2 to $4 depending on the quality. Slabs, maybe $3 kiln dried.


View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3538 days

#2 posted 03-15-2014 11:56 AM

No way would I sell my 6/4 and 8/4 kiln dried walnut slabs for less than $6.00/BF.

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

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 3082 days

#3 posted 03-15-2014 12:04 PM

In minnesota, I would pay about $8-10/bdft for average slabs. Some Hugh character slabs would sell for $20/bdft

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 3504 days

#4 posted 03-15-2014 12:40 PM

Agree with the higher prices stated.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30614 posts in 3400 days

#5 posted 03-15-2014 01:57 PM

Varies greatly in all areas. Your best bet is to negotiate with the owners. I have seen entire tees go for $1000 each.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View bdresch's profile


156 posts in 2670 days

#6 posted 03-15-2014 02:09 PM

Okay here is a big newb question then. Is it usually more economical usually to buy whole slabs versus buying rough boards(assuming my time costs nothing)? I don’t have a bandsaw but I figure I could make boards with my circular saw and then joint them.

View lepelerin's profile


498 posts in 3387 days

#7 posted 03-15-2014 02:11 PM

Here is Canada, it’s approx $10/BF.

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2830 days

#8 posted 03-15-2014 02:31 PM

I buy the whole tree for $2/bf cut. Will show you some pics later.


View jdmaher's profile


472 posts in 3642 days

#9 posted 03-15-2014 02:45 PM

My experience is that the bigger the board (width, thickness or length), the higher the asking price – generally speaking. So, for me, slabs are usually MORE expensive than nominally sized boards.

More importantly, you probably won’t be happy re-sawing the thickness and then gluing up thin boards to make wide panels, for two reasons. First, long glue joints are hard to do, so you always have flattening to do afterward. Second (and to me more important), the resulting panel will NOT have a pleasing grain pattern.

Its tempting to believe that your labor has no cost. But there’s an opportunity cost to everything. In this case, your planning to trade your time for a cheaper material cost. Please consider that it probably won’t work out that way.

You’ll probably actually spend MORE per board foot.
You won’t enjoy the cut and glue-up process.
You won’t like the resulting panels.
You’ll avoid the work, making everything take longer.
You’ll become disillusioned with woodworking.
You’ll give up a highly rewarding life-long pursuit.

That’s a hell of a price to pay for “cheaper” material.

As a newbie, I recommend that you search for and buy the boards you actually need, as well-finished as possible. If you need 4/4 boards at least 8” wide and 8 ft. long, go find them. And get them AT LEAST S2S (surfaced 2 sides, 1 edge and one face). Even better, pay a few cents more per bd. ft. and get them S4S. It may take a little longer to find what you need at a okay price (higher than you expect). But it will take LESS time than the cut and glue-up, and it will cost far less than the consequences of building with “inferior” material.

That is, don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

As a newbie, concentrate on the project and build it as best you can. PAY for great material (its really not as bad as it seems). The rewards will last a lifetime.

When you start doing 4 to 6 projects a year, THEN worry about doing your own milling.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2611 days

#10 posted 03-15-2014 03:43 PM

8/4 & 6/4 is mainly what I use. I normally buy directly from the mill, rough, straightedged one side. Without checking, what you described would be 7-10 bd. ft. The more milling/labor, the higher the price. If I remember correctly, I paid over 5 ten years ago.

View bdresch's profile


156 posts in 2670 days

#11 posted 03-15-2014 05:39 PM

Okay. I’ll look around for boards. The menards near me has 1×6”x6’ walnut s4s for $30. So that works out to $10 per bf I guess. I need 5/4 or 6/4 for my project so I’ll keep looking around for boards.

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3538 days

#12 posted 03-16-2014 12:29 PM

Where are you located?

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

View bdresch's profile


156 posts in 2670 days

#13 posted 03-16-2014 12:54 PM

I’m in northeast wisconsin

View mikeevens45's profile


68 posts in 2638 days

#14 posted 03-16-2014 01:45 PM

try Niagara lumber online in east aurora ny. I buy from him locally and his products are a+ and he ships everywhere. and actually pretty fair prices.

-- as technology progresses, wood workers seem to regress...all my power tools and my favorite is a chisel and a hand plane

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 4020 days

#15 posted 03-16-2014 05:47 PM

Lumber can be cut from any log, slabs from only some; they just don’t always hold good slab wood. Also, slab logs provide lumber, to a point, along the way to getting slabs. This is why 2×12’s at the lumber store are more than twice the cost of 2×6’s. The greatest benefit for slab purchases for smaller projects is that the wood will all be the same color and look; the project will tend to look more “professional”. Most people won’t worry this aspect, but some do. It doesn’t add up to much if a person is making a hundred boxes (or whatever) for general sale, but it does if a person is making a set of cupboards (or whatever) for a matched set. I’m in Oregon, so our prices cannot be of much help (but for comparison between grades) but 5$ bf for standard, plain wood is typical, slabs of plain wood can be closer to $10bf, high figure or crotch wood is likely to go for up to $50 bf. Lastly, ( I know, it’s about time) I agree with JDMahers advice very much. It isn’t any fun to finish up a project that has taken way too long to do.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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