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Selling Lumber by Weight instead of Board Foot

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Forum topic by tool_junkie posted 05-20-2018 05:27 PM 1851 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tool_junkie

325 posts in 2557 days


05-20-2018 05:27 PM

All,

How common is it to buy and sell lumber by weight instead of board foot? I came across a local craigslist ad and the guy says he has about 1000 pounds of walnut lumber. He claims it is about 300 BF but he will sell it by weight. In my mind weight is dictated by several things, moisture content being the biggest factor.

How do you guys feel about this?

Thanks!


16 replies so far

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JAAune

1802 posts in 2345 days


#1 posted 05-20-2018 05:38 PM

It’s a poor way to advertise and sell lumber. Maybe he has a scale and doesn’t want to do the measuring and the math?

If I were thinking of buying, I’d just measure the stack and calculate the price in board feet so I’d know if the price were right or not.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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jbay

2347 posts in 927 days


#2 posted 05-20-2018 05:45 PM

Figure out the bf and compare the price he is asking to the bf price your willing to pay.

To answer your question though, I would never buy wood by weight without figuring what I’m spending per bf.
(That is unless you can tell it’s an amazing deal just by looking at it.)

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TheFridge

9608 posts in 1514 days


#3 posted 05-20-2018 05:47 PM

Sounds dumb.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Rich

3025 posts in 617 days


#4 posted 05-20-2018 06:24 PM

Agree with above responses. One exception is oddly shaped exotics. For example, around here ironwood is often sold by weight. For regular lumber though, I’d go board feet for sure. That’s the only way I have any idea what I’m paying compared to wood at my hardwood dealer. From an individual, unless it’s a great deal, I’ll pass and use my dealer I trust.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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tool_junkie

325 posts in 2557 days


#5 posted 05-20-2018 06:47 PM

You guys affirmed by feelings. I am going to pass on this, unless the guy agrees to sell by BF. Thank you all, for the advice.

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jbay

2347 posts in 927 days


#6 posted 05-20-2018 07:01 PM



You guys affirmed by feelings. I am going to pass on this, unless the guy agrees to sell by BF. Thank you all, for the advice.

- tool_junkie


I wouldn’t pass so fast if it’s something you can use. It may still be a good deal. You just have to look at it and figure the footage yourself, then decide on his price.

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Rich

3025 posts in 617 days


#7 posted 05-20-2018 07:29 PM


You guys affirmed by feelings. I am going to pass on this, unless the guy agrees to sell by BF. Thank you all, for the advice.

- tool_junkie

I wouldn t pass so fast if it s something you can use. It may still be a good deal. You just have to look at it and figure the footage yourself, then decide on his price.

- jbay

I agree. Check out some BF prices, go measure the BF of the stack and do the math. If it’s a good deal, jump on it.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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jdh122

1018 posts in 2846 days


#8 posted 05-20-2018 07:55 PM

If the wood is well-dried, the guy’s calculation is pretty close. Wood-database gives 38 pounds per cubic feet as the average dried weight of walnut, so 1000 lbs should be 26.4 cubic feet or 315 board feet, if my math’s right. But of course if the wood is at more than 12% the BF will be lower than that.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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therealSteveN

671 posts in 602 days


#9 posted 05-20-2018 08:09 PM

Sounds like a great way for you to buy water. If I even went to look, I would sure include a moisture meter I trusted with my kit. I always bring a block plane if it’s rough.

I have been buying hardwood for almost 60 years, and I can count on one hand the times when the ad, introduction to the seller, whatever that first contact was…...If it was a mess, usually the wood was too. Tread carefully.

-- Think safe, be safe

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WDHLT15

1748 posts in 2504 days


#10 posted 05-20-2018 11:47 PM

Dude sounds like a shyster.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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jdh122

1018 posts in 2846 days


#11 posted 05-25-2018 04:40 PM

What happened in the end? Did you buy any of the wood? by BF or by lb?

oops – just saw that you said you were passing on it. Sorry.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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msinc

430 posts in 532 days


#12 posted 05-25-2018 07:46 PM

“A BF = 12” x 12” x 1” = 0.0833 ft^3, so 1 BF of black walnut at 8% MC will have an average weight of 3.06 lbs”.......

I don’t know the going rate for walnut by the board foot where you live, but around here for rough cut black walnut “at the mill” you can typically expect to pay somewhere around $6.00 to $9.00 per board foot. Walnut is tricky because the more figure and sometimes the thicker the boards the price can go up considerably. But, on average for straight grain clear clean black walnut with minimal sap wood, yep, around $6.00 per board foot.
All that said, if the guy wants around $2.00 per pound then it would be about right and I would buy it if I needed it. You haven’t disclosed any prices yet, only that the guy wants to sell it by the pound. That is different, that is unusual, but that could also be the cheapest you ever get it for. Bottom line, in matters of buying and selling, do not close your mind too soon, the person getting the “short end of the stick” so to speak could just end up being you. Personally, I don’t care of he wants to sell it by the molecule on a high tide and waxing moon after midnight, as long as the price is what I want to pay or less. I am not afraid to deal with anybody, but I am not delusional enough, like so many these days, to believe that the rest of the worlds job is to protect me. If I felt that way then I should not be dealing with any one anyways.

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JayT

5679 posts in 2239 days


#13 posted 05-25-2018 08:15 PM

A few months back I purchased some walnut by weight. It fit a couple of criteria mentioned earlier, however. The wood was 12/4 to 16/4 walnut cutoffs from a guy who made custom target rifle stocks, so were very irregular in shape. It was easier to weigh the pieces than to try and figure out BF. Add to that he was selling for the equivalent of $1.00 per BF, so I wasn’t going to quibble about measurements possibly being off a bit. I ended up taking about a dozen pieces plus a piece of curly maple that was buried in the stack.

If the lumber is in plank form, then yes, selling by weight seems a bit strange. Being on CL, however, it could easily be someone who isn’t comfortable in calculating BF, so is using a method they can kind of understand.

If the price is right and the lumber is decent quality, then I’d agree with the others that are saying take your own measurements, get a rough BF and then decide what is a fair price to you and whether it is worth purchasing.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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AxkMan

65 posts in 154 days


#14 posted 06-16-2018 01:07 AM

Could be selling it like that because of shipping…

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AlaskaGuy

4215 posts in 2337 days


#15 posted 06-16-2018 01:28 AM

The business in my area that caters to the cabinet making companies use to sell mesquite by weigh. Looking at some of the stock they were selling it would be very difficult the measure it to get the board feet.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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