Good deal on oak? How much do I need?

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Forum topic by sweets posted 07-09-2009 11:54 PM 1564 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 3835 days

07-09-2009 11:54 PM

I found an ad for about 140 bf of white oak for $1.95/ bf. Is this a good deal?

I am getting ready to embark on a project of building a kids table and chairs. I’m still designing in my head and looking at styles of chairs, so nothing is on paper yet. I’m thinking the top will be 30 in x 45 in; the plan is also to make 6 chairs.

Is white oak a good choice for wood?

Approximately how much wood should I need (6 kid chairs and 30×45 table)?

I’m thinking this is more than twice the wood I will need, but don’t mind getting it all for use on future projects if this is a good deal. The add says: “Planed hit or miss. This wood may have some checks, splits, or crook, 5/4 thickness, 5.75 in avg width, and 4 ft length.”

What do ya’ll think?

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

13 replies so far

View James's profile


162 posts in 3786 days

#1 posted 07-10-2009 12:39 AM

Is it quartersawn? Are you able to take pictures of it?

-- James, Bluffton, IN

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4905 days

#2 posted 07-10-2009 01:01 AM

I’ve seen some punk white oak and some great white oak. The price is ok if the wood is dried. *I want to get it for 1.00 BD ft if it’s still grean and I have to dry it.

-- 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]

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4444 days

#3 posted 07-10-2009 01:09 AM

The price is reasonable alright. Especially, as Karson says, it’s dry. And, yes, white oak is good wood, quarter sawn or otherwise. But, you should see it and see how much of it is actually usable because what you cannot use increases your price per board foot. If only half is worth using, then your actual price shoots to almost $4 a foot which is a bit steep in my neck of the woods.

-- Working at Woodworking

View a1Jim's profile


117721 posts in 4082 days

#4 posted 07-10-2009 06:11 AM

Sounds good if it’s dry

View sweets's profile


42 posts in 3835 days

#5 posted 07-10-2009 03:13 PM

I haven’t seen it, it’s about 60 miles away. I just saw the ad and am waiting to hear back from the seller. What should I look for to determine if the wood is usable. I’ve pretty much only worked with pine dimensional lumber, I’ve never dealt with rough sawn lumber, so this is a first for me. I’ve never bought wood anywhere except the big blue and orange stores.

Please show me the way.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4030 days

#6 posted 07-10-2009 04:05 PM

My first dive into roughsawn wood was with 500 bf of white oak that I bought on fleabay for 80 cents a foot. It was 1 common, 4/4, random width and all 10’. That price isn’t bad as long as it is a decent grade, AND hasn’t been dried too fast. White oak that has been kiln dried too fast will have an unbelievably high amount of tension in it when ripping it.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View sweets's profile


42 posts in 3835 days

#7 posted 07-10-2009 05:34 PM

The ad says it is prime grade, but that doesn’t mean it is.

Here is a link to the ad with a picture.

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

View Boardman's profile


157 posts in 4266 days

#8 posted 07-10-2009 07:11 PM

From the looks of the pic, it appears to be mainly clear which is a plus. As someone else said, the 4’ lengths will probably result in a lot of waste. It also says best offer – I’d offer less for sure. What would be your bf cost from a portable milll service, or lumber yard?

View sweets's profile


42 posts in 3835 days

#9 posted 07-10-2009 07:35 PM

From the local mill, oak is 3.45/ bf; I think squared on on side and not planed. I initially wanted to use cherry because my wife likes furniture stained dark brownish red, and all of our furniture is finished like that. So whatever I build will also be finished that way. Today I saw this ad for cherry. How does it look.

Is cherry a good option for looks and durability for a kids table and chairs and bunk beds. My hope is to build these items for my kids then my grandchildren when use them as well.

How much would I need for six chairs and a 30×45 in table? About 75 bf plus a little more for waste?

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3772 days

#10 posted 07-10-2009 07:41 PM

thats actually not cherry. its jatoba which is sometimes called brazilian cherry

View sweets's profile


42 posts in 3835 days

#11 posted 07-10-2009 09:04 PM

The local mill has 4/4 red oak two sides planed and a third squared ( is this S2S) for $3.45/bf. I think this maybe the better route as I don’t have a planer, although I want to purchase one. So it will be quicker and easier to complete the project, which will be my first piece of furniture for the house. But it sounds like I’m passing up a good deal on the white oak. What would you do?

-- Lee ---- South Louisiana

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3775 days

#12 posted 07-10-2009 09:42 PM

It’s time to put my 2 cents in. First of all…great advice from all. Second…I think you have to decide what you want to do with that…then see if it is a good deal.

I have usually found that non dimensional is great for a project that has alot of exposed area….but there is a cost…and that is your processing time. But, for this time you get a much better material to work with…and much easier to get good fitting pieces.

Also, as said above, you have to take in to account the waste ratio. I have seen some up to 75% and then that $1.00 a b.f. stinks. Simple math makes the price for b.f. go up for the waste.

Now if you don’t have at least a planer…forget it for now…or if one is in your budget…it might be a good time to get one. Ive seen the steel city planer on sale at around $499 or so and that isn’t a bad deal…there are cheaper ones….but be careful as sometimes you get what you pay for…i.e. tables that don’t line up…cutters that are too brittle and break…etc. Also, it would be a good thing to have a jointer to square off the sides and such…of course there is a debate about which tool is more useful…I kind of lean toward a jonter or a combo…planer/jointer.

Anyway thats my 2 cents…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3772 days

#13 posted 07-10-2009 10:09 PM

yeah if you dont have a planer or you are not well versed in using hand planes i think you are pretty much stuck with buying S4S material at a much higher price point. like reggie said if you are planning on building anymore furniture in the future you will be better off getting a planer so you can use rough wood like the stuff you posted

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