Hardwood dealer shorting me on orders

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Forum topic by PhillipRCW posted 11-17-2015 02:50 PM 1196 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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511 posts in 1504 days

11-17-2015 02:50 PM

So I’ve placed two maple orders with a local hardwood dealer recently. Both of them have come up 10 bf short. One of the orders was 26 bf of 13/16th maple that had been surfaced. I measured it out and calculated it as 1” lumber and it only came up to 16 bf. I placed another order yesterday for 35 bf of 6/4 maple and it only comes up to 24.5 bf. I understand it won’t be exactly 35 bf because I’m calculating at 6/4 and it’s only 5/4 after surfacing, but I still feel like 10 bf off on both orders is extreme.

I called this morning with my second complaint about this. I was told that I am doing something wrong with calculating the bf. Both my calculations and a bf calculator come up with the same bf, so I don’t feel that I am doing anything wrong.

Anyone else have these issues or any advice on what to do? I just the left the lumber in my trunk. I’m heading up there at lunch to have them measure and see what they come up with.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

18 replies so far

View David's profile


76 posts in 2266 days

#1 posted 11-17-2015 03:07 PM

If you feel your calculations are correct, I would fined another sources. Something to think about. Maple has a tendency to twist when dried. That fact alone means that 13/16 S4S can come from 6/4 stock not 4/4. Also if you are having the yard square your stock (the ends) this will add to your BF, that you can’t measure. If I am buying stock and having it S4S, I don’t have them square it just for this point. Hope this is helpful

-- "A man that works with his hands, knows his soul" " Have Fun, Go Fast, and Take Chances for Christ's Sake!!"

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1416 days

#2 posted 11-17-2015 03:11 PM

Some vendors measure anything between 1+ and 2 inches as 2.

I think you have the correct idea of taking the wood back to them and having them show you how they calculate bf and then you need to show them how you calculate bf. I would look for and print a couple of references to take with you to support your method.

I found one vendor that if the wood was wider at one end than the other always used the measurement at the wide end and calculated as if the entire width was that wide. Another vendor does the width measurement in the middle.

In any case it looks like there is way too much of a difference in the bf calculations.

Keep us updated and if it looks like they are over calculating the share the vendor’s name with us so others can avoid them.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View PhillipRCW's profile


511 posts in 1504 days

#3 posted 11-17-2015 03:18 PM

Will do. I wouldn’t be so frustrated and confused if it weren’t for the fact that these are my first two orders through them, they were different amounts of bf, and both off by almost exactly 10 bf. How does that happen? I will post after lunch with what happened. I’m supposed to be picking up a decent amount of walnut from them next week too, but if I can’t get this fixed then I’m not going to order from them again. I shouldn’t have to verify each load I pick up to make sure I’m not shorted by 10+ bf

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1920 days

#4 posted 11-17-2015 03:27 PM

The second order is high at 28% loss plus the difference in the additional thickness you added and the first order seems very high at 38% loss plus. I usually assume about 15-20% loss in rough stock to final part dimension but that includes breaking down parts into their final size. I find that I am often a bit short using those numbers and often end up taking a 2nd trip to the lumber yard to add a board or two so probably upping that to closer to 25% would be better. Some things consume a lot more lumber than others. For instance taking 8/4 boards down to 1 1/2” final thickness results much higher loss by the time you rip the boards to width and length.

If they are worth doing business with they will take the time to explain how they got to their numbers with you. If they don’t or you don’t like the explanation they give you it might be time to look for alternatives. A good trusted lumber provider can be a woodworkers best friend.

View splintergroup's profile


2511 posts in 1462 days

#5 posted 11-17-2015 03:31 PM

A lot also depends on who measures (as WoodN points out).
My dealer has a fellow who lays all the boards side by side and takes a ‘total’ width measurement of the lot.
This is very efficient (and fair).
Another worker there measures each board and rounds up to the next inch. Lengths are rounded up to the next foot.

I’ve noticed a difference of 10 bf with the second guy and my conservative measurements, although this is out of a 200 bf order (5% error).

Best bet is to do as you plan, measure your self. Be conservative, round up widths to the next inch and perhaps count tapered boards at the fat end.

Thickness should always be as you order. 4/4 is 4/4, be it actually 3/4 or 1-1/8.

View PhillipRCW's profile


511 posts in 1504 days

#6 posted 11-17-2015 03:42 PM

Yeah. I measure the widest end and calculated at the next half inch. Then I just measured it all at 60” I had the 10’ boards cut in half. It was surfaced but no straight-edging. 10ft short over 200 bf is one thing, but 10 ft short on a 26 bf order and a 35 bf order is completely different. I go to a saw mill every 2 weeks to pick up lumber. I completely understand the amount of waste in rough lumber. I pay for every bit there and lose a ton while milling it down to usable pieces. Maple is hard to come by at this saw mill though so I came here for maple and exotics.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2609 days

#7 posted 11-17-2015 04:25 PM

Even if that extra 10 ft was lost due to milling (which to me seems a bit ridiculous on that size order)...If you asked for 26 board feet milled, you should get 26 board feet. You should still end up paying for whatever it was pre-milling (i.e. 36 bdft), but if I asked a shop for 26 bdft of milled lumber and they gave me 16 and said they lost 10 in milling, I’d be pretty annoyed.

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

View PhillipRCW's profile


511 posts in 1504 days

#8 posted 11-17-2015 04:33 PM

So I have 6 boards at 6.5” wide, 6/4” thickness, and 60” long.

(6.5×6) x 1.5×60 = 3510

3510/144 = 24.375 or 25 bf. I’ll round up.

I’m not sure how that could be calculated differently enough to accommodate a missing 10 bf?

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View PhillipRCW's profile


511 posts in 1504 days

#9 posted 11-17-2015 04:35 PM

Even if they measured it at 8/4 I’d still be a few bf short.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5819 posts in 3053 days

#10 posted 11-17-2015 04:38 PM

I think it is difficult for hardwood retailers to give us exact numbers on small orders. However, you should only have to pay for what you get. For instance if I ordered 35 b.f. and they sent 40, because that’s as close as they could come with the boards on hand…well that is fine. But they should never charge you for 35 b.f. and deliver 25.

Hey, I would write them a letter that you expect 20 b.f. delivered at their cost. If they don’t oblige, then use a different retailer. You may be making small orders this year, but who knows next year you may be making larger orders. This is exactly what determines whether a company grows and succeeds, or withers and eventually fails.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View PhillipRCW's profile


511 posts in 1504 days

#11 posted 11-17-2015 05:06 PM

If all goes well, I will be making weekly orders at this point of 20-30 bf. After the first one of the year I’m hoping it jumps up to around 150 every two weeks. I’m doing a ton of cutting boards and other small items that I can batch out and sell quickly. But I’m also doing a new furniture piece about every 2-3 weeks. Plus I’m about to roll out my own line of furniture. There is real potential that by this time next year I could be completely self sustaining off of my business and not working my regular full time job I am now.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View ThomasChippendale's profile


244 posts in 1171 days

#12 posted 11-17-2015 05:23 PM

6,5 inches wide with rough edges is considered 7 inches, so you are 8,75 bd ft short of 35 bd ft on that order. The length of the planks is quite short, maybee you asked for 5 ft. long boards and they charged you for the waste ? 1,25 inches after surfacing both sides is normal and per the chart, it is calculated as 6/4. Otherwise your calculation method is correct for surfaced 2 sides, not cut to length not trimmed to width.

-- PJ

View PhillipRCW's profile


511 posts in 1504 days

#13 posted 11-17-2015 05:27 PM

I was told they were 10’ boards. I just asked them to cut it in half so I could fit them into the car.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View bonesbr549's profile


1579 posts in 3306 days

#14 posted 11-17-2015 06:11 PM

No way an order that small should be off that much. To be honest I give a dealer once to screw up and you may jack me once but not twice. I generally buy 500bf at a time, and most times its over what I order. I’ve only had one dealer short me, and that was a one time deal.

I check a vendor the first time and after that, I eye ball it.

If they did not make it right, I’d not buy another splinter from them.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View PhillipRCW's profile


511 posts in 1504 days

#15 posted 11-17-2015 06:55 PM

They were very cool about fixing the issue, also gave me a discount on some other stuff I picked up today too. I just don’t buy their reasoning behind it. They said 20% waste is normal when straight lining. I never asked for it to be straight lined, but whatever. 20% loss for cutting a straight edge is insane. Then they said if anything I was only 1 board short. 1 10’ board in a small order is massive. It was about 30% of the order missing. They took me out to the warehouse and showed me how he measures and stuff. I’m not stupid by any means, I can figure bf pretty quick. I should have just measured while I was there after the first issue. I’m going to try one more time and hope this was just a week of flukes. Unfortunately there aren’t many other hardwood dealers in the area. I think I’ll still stick to my local saw mill for everything else. I can’t wait until he starts bringing in more maple trees.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

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