Walnut log Big bucks funny stuff

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Blog entry by gpastor posted 03-11-2011 03:13 PM 6907 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Seen this on youtube, funny stuff. “All too typical discussion between a clueless guy with a walnut yard tree and a man who runs a sawmill”

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

27 comments so far

View wasmithee's profile


58 posts in 2722 days

#1 posted 03-11-2011 04:47 PM

Painfully true.

How many logs get purchased by a mill, only to be found worthless once opened up…?

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3934 days

#2 posted 03-11-2011 05:14 PM

Yea, I made that video. Unfortunately none of that dialogue was made up just for the sake of making a vid. Every word has been spoken at one time or another by myself or the other party in situations like this over the years. Some of those logs were so ’’valuable’’ that no one could afford to buy them from the person selling. I have driven by some years later and the log is still laying there, rotting.

View gpastor's profile


184 posts in 3087 days

#3 posted 03-11-2011 07:15 PM

I think every skilled tradesman has had this conversation in some way. The next time someone asks me to buy a log I am going to tell them to watch this video.

We could use a video like this made for different scenarios, like “could you make me a …........(fill in the blank)........, I seen one a Wal-Mart for $29 bucks”

or “Could you replace my kitchen skin, I got all the parts off of eBay and oh Ya my husband said he would help ”

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 2858 days

#4 posted 03-11-2011 07:19 PM

I often browse a website where people sell all kinds of stuff and stumble upon the one or other log offer there. Sometimes they just want it out of the way and a bit of spare change for it really. Others are sadly amusing though as like this video is. The prices they imagine they get for it, amazing. Even better when they want you to cut the tree AND pay them money.

View Raspar's profile


246 posts in 3177 days

#5 posted 03-11-2011 11:28 PM

This is hilarious.

-- Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work.

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 2832 days

#6 posted 03-12-2011 07:15 AM

An enjoyable video :) One of a mentality you can see in a lot of professions as well. Someone people don’t understand work and materials cost money…

View rkoorman's profile


381 posts in 2853 days

#7 posted 03-12-2011 07:16 AM

I really like this and it very true. I sell some lumber from time to time so i’ve been there and seen that!!

Thanks for the great video



View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18293 posts in 3704 days

#8 posted 03-12-2011 11:56 AM

I have seen a lot of old guns like that that aren’t even good scrap metal ;-)) Wonder what ever happens to them??

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2867 days

#9 posted 03-12-2011 02:34 PM


-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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531 posts in 3214 days

#10 posted 03-12-2011 06:16 PM

This is great. The only thing missing is the proper ending where the clueless guy ends up paying the sawmill guy to haul the log off of his property.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View EEngineer's profile (online now)


1106 posts in 3642 days

#11 posted 03-12-2011 06:20 PM

Let’s do some fact-checking… a little quick searching, first source I find: look here

This link references a study done at Purdue University in Indiana in 1994. The report clearly states “It is prices paid by mills in Indiana for delivered logs.” In 1994, the price paid for prime Saw Logs (SL Prime on the graph) of walnut was about $900 per 1000 BF (MBF), just about twice what this cartoon suggests ($500 per MBF or 50 cents per BF). The lowest grade they tracked was worth about $250 per MBF or about 1/2 of what this cartoon suggest.

Now, 18 years later… The previous 18 years (from 1976 to 1994) showed approximately 2X increase in price. So, in 2011 I would expect that SL Prime walnut would go for about $1800 per MBF and SL3 for about $500 per MBF. So, in all, the cartoon is a little misleading. The sawyer is more likely paying ~$2 per BF of prime walnut lumber and $.50 per BF for the lowest grade walnut lumber he could expect to mill and sell. That’s delivered, on a truck, at his sawmill. He is understating the case a little.

Never accept these things at face value.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3934 days

#12 posted 03-12-2011 09:08 PM

EEngineer, you must be one of those guys at the coffee shop ;) I assume from your username you don’t sell shoes at the mall…but you don’t run a sawmill either. I am not in Indiana, this is not 1994 and ’’projected’’ pricing from old data means nothing in a commodity market. (see below, I put part of the quote in bold) The lumber market has fell flat on it’s face the last couple of years.

A quote from the University Of Illinois Extension Specialist in Forestry Jay Hayek’s timber blog ” Additional Comments: Overall, this one of the worst hardwood markets I’ve seen in 29 years. Some mills are still buying crosstie logs, but many grade/veneer mills have dropped prices so low that selling high-quality timber might not be a good idea this year. We will try to stay in the the low-grade timber at least during the first part of the year. Even the timber mat market for 18-24’ rough logs has severely eroded. As related to stumpage and mill-delivered log values, housing starts and new construction will have to rebound in order for the hardwood market to pull itself out of this downward trend.”

...Plus the numbers you are tossing around are for timber harvested logs…not some nail invested yard tree, the subject of the video. Two totally different animals.

The FACT of the matter is I am the sawyer in the video…and I pay $0.50 a bft for high grade walnut logs, less (if anything) for low quality. So I am not understating my case, I am telling exactly how my business works. Maybe not all do, but mine does and that is from which I speak.

Can this be accepted at face value ? Here is a load of walnut logs (and a couple cedars) that cost me a case of beer delivered…

This little load is from one of my blogs here…$0.50 bft delivered…

This is some of the lumber that came from the above logs…

I do thank you for your contribution to this discussion and am not picking on you…BUT fact-checking online IMO should never be accepted 100% at face value, this is a fluid/commodity based business. Nor should hearsay and anecdotal cases of one situation or another. Hey great, ’’some guy’’ sold his yard tree to some sucker for $XXX amount…I do not compete with that, that is not my business model to go and try to outbid clueless people. My log suppliers know the current market trends, so do I, we deal accordingly. People who expect to be paid more for a log than I will be able to sell the finished product (milled/dried lumber) I don’t ever deal with. I try to be nice to them/professional, just like in the video and offer other solutions, like milling their log so they can make the ’’big bucks’’.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18293 posts in 3704 days

#13 posted 03-13-2011 12:26 AM

One of my neighbors at the Tree Farm in Randle, WA told me the price for maple logs is so low iit isn’t worth hauling to the mill. I suspect with diesel hitting $4+ it is getting to be a real loser!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View EEngineer's profile (online now)


1106 posts in 3642 days

#14 posted 03-13-2011 04:38 AM

Daren -

“fact-checking online IMO should never be accepted 100% at face value”... right, and neither should anyone’s facts be accepted at face value who has an interest in the outcome. You obviously have a stake in this.

Did I mention this was the first reference I found?

Therefore, the timber buyer paid you $8.33/bd.ft for this 10-foot walnut log Jay Hayek, Visiting Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences here

Year 2010 LOG VALUE PRICE = $1.00 – $2.00 per board foot is an average market walnut log price. from someone who buys logs to mill here Yeah, I’m sure he’s doing this to lose money!

These are the next 2 out of 5. I am not cherry-picking the data nor am I being exhaustive. I say it looks to me like you are lowballing. Despite your pictures, all I have is your word for what you paid… and the first few examples I find contradict this! Who’s right? Well, I am not going to beat this to death nor am I interested enough to continue research but I will say you are obviously interested enough to generate a (poor) video supporting your cause, you have a vested interest in maintaining low prices and the few examples I find in 10 minutes of web-searching show something else!

That’s my opinion… anyone else can do the same searches I did and not depend on hearsay or “that guy in the coffee shop”. They also don’t have to depend on your cartoon that has nothing more than your word to back it up.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View TexasTimbers's profile


67 posts in 3844 days

#15 posted 03-13-2011 05:21 AM

“Engineer”- you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. You read an article or two (or twenty it doesn’t matter) that’s 16 years old or 6 years old – that doesn’t matter either, and you presume to understand something more complex than a helicopter?

A helicopter is a flying wonder. It shouldn’t fly. It takes volumes and volumes of intense study to truly understand the mechanics, aerodynamics, and various other physics to grasp why a helicopter can even fly. I mean to truly grasp it as if to be able to build one – not just fly one (or as in your case to just look at one and then pretend to be an expert on it). But you could explain it easily to someone couldn’t you? You’d say something like “It’s a bucket of bolts flapping some long skinny wings around. No big deal I read an article in popular mechanics about it one time in my sleep.”

That’s what you attempted to do with a market infinitely more complex than a helicopter. You are the Englishman in the cartoon, good sir. Unteachable. Maybe that’s why you took offense to it.

-- "Sure, listen to what the experts have to say, just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking."

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