Hardwoods and price differnce between 4/4 and 8/4

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Forum topic by Manderson posted 02-04-2009 04:13 PM 1230 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 4510 days

02-04-2009 04:13 PM

I have several projects in que and I’m off to buy lumber at the local lumber place.

Intending to do my own resawing and resurfacing I wanted the greatest volume for the lowest price.

Can some one explain to me why I will pay more for 8/4 rough sawn than 4/4 sawn?

I’d expect that 8/4 would be cheaper a board foot since it would be in rougher form.

Help…..brain hurting…must …get ….wood.


8 replies so far

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 4010 days

#1 posted 02-04-2009 04:23 PM

For one, the thicker lumber is harder/slower to kiln dry.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4703 days

#2 posted 02-04-2009 04:25 PM

It’s not odd if you think about it. Why is a 1 carat diamond more expensive than ten 1/10 carat stones? Because the bigger the stone, the rarer it is.

You can mill a lot of 1×2 pieces from even a crummy log. But a log you can cut a nice 2×12 from is a lot rarer, relatively speaking.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Manderson's profile


13 posts in 4510 days

#3 posted 02-04-2009 04:30 PM

so throwing out needed thickness. So The cheapest form would be to buy 4/4 and resaw for thinner and laminate for thicker?

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4703 days

#4 posted 02-04-2009 04:45 PM

Mark, unless you are milling your own lumber as Rob suggests, buying 4/4 is probably the cheapest way to go. You just have to decide if having a visible joint when you laminate will be acceptable to you for whatever project you’re working on.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4306 days

#5 posted 02-04-2009 04:49 PM

You could save money by laminating the thinner stock but how much is your time worth? This is of course discounting the glue, clamps, “mistakes”, etc.

I had to do this recently because I did not have any 8/4 stock available. Basically I had to mill it twice. Once to get it squared up and get one face of the lumber ready for glue-up and them again to prep the rough face and re-square of the other sides. The pieces came out fine but there is a glue line that I can see which will be hidden in the final build. But if I had not gotten a good glue-up then the piece would have been recycled and the process started again.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4703 days

#6 posted 02-04-2009 04:59 PM

Maybe I’m lucky, but I’ve done laminating a number of times with 4/4 S2S lumber, and I’ve never had a problem, even without running it through a jointer. The glue line has been visible, but only because of grain variations. I’ve found it a pretty easy process.

But, as Scott said, I did it because I had no 8/4 stock readily available. If I could have driven down to the local yard and picked some up for just a slightly higher BF price, I’d have done it and saved the trouble.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4238 days

#7 posted 02-04-2009 06:24 PM


If your intent is to resaw down to 1/2” or 1/4” 4/4 stock will be your cheapest route.

As with anything in life Bigger is better….and therefore more expensive.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Karson's profile


35198 posts in 4885 days

#8 posted 02-09-2009 05:35 AM

The problem with resawing to 1/2” is you need to cut it to about 5/8 or a little less so you can clean it up to 1/2”. So it you were trying to get 2 1/2” pieces its usually not possible.

Start with 5/4 and maybe it’s OK. but start with 8/4 and you get three pieces easily. It some cases it might be cheaper to buy the 8/4 instead of 3 4/4 boards to get the 3 1/2” finished pieces.

Just my 2 cents. I did resaw a 5/4 board into 4 – 1/4” slices and sanded it to 5.2MM to put in a stile and rail door with a metric slot. The router bits were made for metric plywood. I was able to salvage a lot of wood that way. I made all of the kitchen cabinet door panels with maybe 16BD ft of some superb looking wood. I was able to make 4 bookmatched doors from one board 1 X 12 30” long.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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