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Forum topic by ste6168 posted 09-18-2015 12:02 PM 1123 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ste6168's profile


255 posts in 1347 days

09-18-2015 12:02 PM


I have a chance to get this stack of wood fairly cheap (probably around $125). I hardly need to travel, as its just down the road from a friend who I am visiting with tomorrow, but I just want to ensure it is worth it. Was the guys fathers, and they are getting rid of some of his stuff. He was an intarsia artist, so I would guess several different species would be here. Son doesn’t woodwork so doesn’t know the wood types…

I am relatively new to woodworking, so I can’t really make them out either. Anyone have any (educated) guesses as to what is sitting in the stack? Whats the darker wood, cherry? I know it wouldn’t be the BEST deal in the world, but is it worth picking up?


11 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4006 posts in 1943 days

#1 posted 09-18-2015 12:19 PM

Looks like lumber yard scraps/leftover (pine and a few cedar?)from construction project.


View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2545 days

#2 posted 09-18-2015 12:38 PM

Looks like maple, pine, cedar, maybe some cherry or mahogany. I might offer 75 bucks if I wanted to make some cutting boards or something, depending on the wood type/quantity, maybe do $100. But, the issue you’re going to run into are the board sizes. If you want to make boxes, even cutting boards or something small, that may be useful for that. But, you probably don’t have a large enough quantity of same-species, decent-sized boards to make something larger, without piecing a lot of things together.

Do you own a planer? The thicknesses seem to vary all over the place. If you have a planer, you can easily make them the same. Build boxes, practice dovetails, small projects, jigs, etc. If you don’t have the means to mill the boards to the same thickness, you’re going to run into headaches doing joinery.

That being said, if I had free time and money, I’d probably spend a relaxing weekend pumping out enough cutting boards to give as Christmas gifts, and have that out of the way. Those are also a great beginner project, a planer will make it a breeze.

If Jinx is right, and it’s just pine (or other softwoods) or cedar, walk away.

Edit to add : If you have a jointer/planer, or are willing to invest in them, it will open up the door to getting great deals on wood. I pay $0.65/0.80/1.00 per board foot for rough cut, air dried 4/4 ash/maple/cherry, respectively.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2622 days

#3 posted 09-18-2015 01:50 PM

Those look like left over pieces from a few projects,if you can pick through the pile and get the long/wide pieces for
$$30-$40, it ’s not too bad but in general I would walk away from deals like that ,you won’t miss anything.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View bigblockyeti's profile


5257 posts in 1896 days

#4 posted 09-18-2015 02:38 PM

I would have to agree with the above posts, probably not worth $125, but if you know what you might use it for it would certainly be worth while to pick through the pile and get only that which you know you’ll use. Half the asking price might be more appropriate.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 3076 days

#5 posted 09-18-2015 02:47 PM

I agree that this is not worth $125. On the other hand, if they gave it to me for nothing, I would give up two or three hours of my time transporting the wood and organizing it for use later. With environmental and sustainability matters in mind, I try to use little pieces when I can.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View derrickparks57's profile


129 posts in 2047 days

#6 posted 09-18-2015 05:34 PM

I’m not picky, I would take it all. Try to bargain with him if you can I’d buy it for $100.

-- Derrick, Florida, DP Woodwerks

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1596 days

#7 posted 09-19-2015 02:44 AM

Honestly, as a scroll sawyer, I personally don’t see anything in that picture that would interest me. I’m no fan of Intarsia, but have done about everything from coffee cups to salad bowls to fine fretwork on the scroll saw. I’d walk away from it. You can surely find a mill & get a far better deal, better wood, & know what you’re getting.

-- Sawdust703

View Aj2's profile


1801 posts in 1974 days

#8 posted 09-19-2015 03:22 AM

I would pass on it also.Too many pieces that look to close to the scrap I throw out.Not enough of one species.

-- Aj

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1052 posts in 1242 days

#9 posted 09-19-2015 04:42 AM

Id offer him a Country Ham and a few jars of Chow Chow and $8.

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View ste6168's profile


255 posts in 1347 days

#10 posted 09-20-2015 11:06 AM

Well, honestly, let me just say, pictures do not do this guys wood justice. Not the ones above at least! I did not buy the stack, however:

I was shocked on two different levels. I was right down the road, so I figured I would stop by anyway. First thing first, all of the pieces are SMALL. He said his dad did intarsia, so I was expecting that originally, until I saw the pics. The pics make the boards out to seem 3/4” thick, and several feet long (in some cases). The longest board he had was probably 18” at best, and most was around 3/8” thick or so. That was a disappointment. For reference, that table was about 8’ x 4’.

Second thing the pics don’t do, is all of the wood is really nice species, and several different ones. Probably about 40% birch, with some mahogany, red oak, white oak, some polar, some Pau amatow (sp?), and there was one piece of something really dark, almost black – maybe wenge or african blackwood? All-in-all, probably about 500+ pieces of wood, and I think it would be a GREAT buy for someone looking to get started in intarsia.

The seller did show me several pieces that his father had made, and they were all tremendous. Eagle, car, a baseball game scene, lighthouse, and a hot air balloon. Amazing the detail that goes into such work!

View Tennessee's profile


2889 posts in 2690 days

#11 posted 09-20-2015 11:17 AM

I keep a rack of stuff like that.
Whether it was worth even $100 is up to you and the projects you do.

My scrap pile has multiple problems:
Not enough of any one species to do much of anything.
Variable thickness, even though I do have a planer.
Like that pile, it is always mixed and there never seems to be one good piece to do what I want.

In the end, what I mostly do with mine is glue up planks, plane them and stack them to make bandsaw jewelry boxes. It seems to be the one project where I can generate monies and the boxes always come out wild and crazy with all the grains. And it uses up all those loose pieces. But to be honest, the glueups take more time, and I don’t do it often.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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