Help me not take advantage and to not be taken advantage - b/f prices

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Forum topic by JSB posted 12-15-2012 08:19 PM 1109 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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737 posts in 2078 days

12-15-2012 08:19 PM

I stumbled upon a guy who has a bunch of various woods and wants them gone. Oak, pecan, and cedar. I asked for a board foot price. He said he had no idea how to figure that out or how to price it fairly. I can get him on board with figuring out board feet. Having never purchased hardwoods before, what prices would it be fair for me to offer per species? He happens to live 5 minutes from my mother-in-law’s house which is where we are spending Christmas.

rough sawn, do not know if it is dry. He said it was under tarps. Ill ask how long it has been sitting
He bought it all from a local cabinet shop going under about a year ago. Has been sitting in his barn and outside under tarps since. All kept dry.

1” oak ^

2” oak 8, 10, 12’ long ^

1” + 2” cedar ^

1” pecan ^

-- Jay -

6 replies so far

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3433 days

#1 posted 12-15-2012 08:31 PM

Prices can vary from location to location. Also, is it rough? Dry?? how long?

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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737 posts in 2078 days

#2 posted 12-15-2012 08:32 PM

rough sawn, do not know if it is dry. He said it was under tarps. Ill ask how long it has been sitting

-- Jay -

View woodman71's profile


162 posts in 3324 days

#3 posted 12-15-2012 08:59 PM

Well here what I would do first figure out the board feet on your own. Then looking at the wood and what condition it in such as rot, staining and how wet it might be . Then with that come up with a offer that you feel is fair. Remember that if you buy it and it is wet you will have to store it for a while and that take up space and it sounds like to me he bought this wood not know what to do with it and didn’t take the time to store it right. So my guess is that he didn’t pay to much for it and it was just to good to pass up.

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3577 days

#4 posted 12-15-2012 09:42 PM

From the photo this material looks pretty thin? Since you don’t know what type of wood your looking at or if it’s dry then the only route to take is to pay very little for it . But before you buy it I would try and think about what you would use it for and where you will store it. If it is thin material it has less value and fewer uses. I would suggest $2-3 a stick. unless it’sin very poor condition. Make sure you go through the pile before making any offers.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3303 days

#5 posted 12-15-2012 09:46 PM

This looks like a character builder to me. First, do you have the tools, fitness and ability to joint and plane this wood? You will handle it 6 or more times before it is usable. Your pics show a number of defects. Hardwoods only. Pass on the softwoods. If the wood is not lumber yet—planed, one side ripped, painted ends (limits cracks) and gradeable (8’ x6” with at least 2/3 of surface clearcuttings without defects) and limited water staining. I’d consider this a favor to the owner and offer $.20-.30/bf for the stack for the good wood only. Estimate bf by stacking boards on an approximate 4’x8’ area. Don’t count splits, rot, defects, shorts, sap wood on some species, get full measure >15/16” for 4/4 (thins), less is free. Count the layers (4’x8’) of 4/4 as about 30 bf or slightly less.

If it looks like it is picked over and is more work than it is worth offer firewood price—less than $90/cord (128 ft3) If the guy is already wound up—thank him for his time and leave. Its just not what you can use. There are real bargains in hardwood lumber when you keep your eyes open. Keep looking at woods whenever you can. You’ll get a good sense of what it is worth. I’ve learned my lessons on non-graded lumber/rejects. Don’t spend the grocery money. Good luck. steve

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29233 posts in 2338 days

#6 posted 12-15-2012 10:59 PM

I am with Jim, $2-$3 a stick.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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