cherry "shorts"

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 01-12-2014 11:40 AM 1245 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2486 days

01-12-2014 11:40 AM

I have an opportunity to buy kiln dried cherry shorts for $2.25 a bd/ft

3 to 5 feet long
4/4 rough sawn
width varies but it almost entirely 6 to 8 inches wide.

I don’t have anything specific in mind, but do you think it’s worth having 50bd/ft or so of this around?
I was looking at the kinds of things I’d like to build and I don’t feel like the shorter lengths would be an issue. And this same place always has cherry in stock in longer lengths for $3.20 a bd/ft if I needed a longer board or 2 for something.

It’s a custom millwork shop that sells lumber to walk-ins :)
So their stock is generally very good in terms of quality.

So…. thoughts?

8 replies so far

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3265 days

#1 posted 01-12-2014 12:19 PM

It depends on:

- how clear it is. Working around defects is small stock will dramatically reduce your yield. I wouldn’t buy shorts if they were not predominately clear, unless of course you plan to build some rustic pieces.
- whether you can pick through it. 3’ stock is a lot less valuable to me than 5’ stock, so if I can choose the larger pieces, that has more value.
- what you will end up building. The smaller the projects, the better the yield you will get from your stock. If you end up wasting a lot of the wood because you build 20” projects out of 36” boards, your effective cost per board foot goes way up.

So, if it is mostly clear, and you can pick through it, and you believe that is is likely that you will be building some smaller projects, then your 30% discount looks ok, although I would expect a bit larger discount than that for shorts. All that said, however, if they always have “full size” cherry available for $3.20, I don’t think that I would stock up on shorts without a project in mind for only a 30% discount.

-- PaulMayer,

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3305 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 01:14 AM

Sometimes I find a use for the extra wood I come across on deals. sometimes it takes up space. But I have it if I ‘need’ it. If your budget allows, I would pick up some. I would do as Paul says and be picky about it.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3888 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 01:28 AM

Not a large project builder myself, so I end up cutting my long stock into shorter pieces in the end anyway.
If you can complete your entire project out of one long board , you will have the most color consistency throughout your project if you’re going Natural. If you plan on staining the piece, doesn’t matter as much.
The price difference doesn’t seem to be much of an incentive in this instance. However, I can think of a lot of things to build that don’t exceed the 3’ to 5’ lengths available. Offer them $1.75 /bd.ft..

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View WDHLT15's profile


1792 posts in 2676 days

#4 posted 01-13-2014 01:53 AM

I think that it is a bargain. Go for it. I fell, skid, saw, and dry cherry logs into lumber. For most of my stock that is dried, I charge twice that price. If the lengths work for you, it is a good deal.

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

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2219 days

#5 posted 01-13-2014 02:24 AM

It’s hard for me to pass up a deal on lumber, so I say go for it (assuming its nice looking lumber)

View AandCstyle's profile


3178 posts in 2457 days

#6 posted 01-13-2014 02:27 AM

Charlie, long time, no see. I picked up a bunch of bubinga shorts. My thought was that they would be great for cutting boards, boxes, picture frames, accents, etc. They have been okay, but I feel like I am ending up with a lot of waste. I can make boards thinner, narrower and even fatter, but I can’t really make them longer. Considering the discount, I would probably go with the longer stock. FWIW

-- Art

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3265 days

#7 posted 01-13-2014 03:26 AM

Since you don’t have an immediate need for lumber, another suggestion would be to look around to see if you can buy some fresh cut cherry and dry it yourself. If you are comfortable working with air dried lumber (I prefer it, but some don’t), you might be able to find large planks for a lower cost than the price they are offering on shorts. I have occasionally come across some amazing cherry planks (up to 12’ x 18” x 5/4”) for $2/bf. I prefer that route, but I will occasionally buy shorts if the deal is right.

-- PaulMayer,

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3013 days

#8 posted 01-13-2014 04:15 AM

If it is dry, that is a good deal. Table legs, coffee table tops, and most aprons are usually less than 3’ long.
Jointing shorter stock is easier anyways.

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

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