Cherry: How Much to Charge?

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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 04-08-2014 09:12 PM 1648 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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148 posts in 2853 days

04-08-2014 09:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cherry price

I have about 75 bf of milled cherry (i.e., not planed or jointed). I have a potential buyer for some of it; he wants 1×4’s and 1×6’s, about 8’-10’ long. How much should I charge for it, both as is and planed (I can plane it for him)?

I live in East TN, and I have no idea how much lumber is going for these days.

-- Jim in Tennessee

24 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3170 days

#1 posted 04-08-2014 09:30 PM

I bought a little over 535 BF of Cherry a little over a year ago.
Paid $500 for it.
It was green, not dried, 4/4 and 8/4 and widths to 10 inches and lengths to 11 ft.
Think I got it for about 1/3 the going rate, so you should be able to get at least 3.50 to 4.00 per BF for similar in smaller quantity. Places like Woodcraft would sell kiln dried single boards for about $12.00 per BF.

View jasoncarpentry's profile


148 posts in 2853 days

#2 posted 04-08-2014 09:33 PM


Was that planed or unplaned? Edges jointed or not?

-- Jim in Tennessee

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2147 days

#3 posted 04-08-2014 09:41 PM

Demand, location, and quality are all major factors. Where I live I can get clean rough sawn air dried cherry from a sawyer for $.80-$1.20 a BF and that is from a single board to all you want. What places like Woodcraft, and Johnson’s workbench charge are insane. That is why I typically work in locally sourced wood.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5285 posts in 1920 days

#4 posted 04-08-2014 09:45 PM

I can get rough clean, dry cherry for $1.50/bf. If I buy a lot I can get a discount of $0.25/bf, $0.50/bf if I buy a whole lot.

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

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1776 days

#5 posted 04-08-2014 09:51 PM

It goes for around $3 a bf here rough. If anyone buys their wood from woodcraft they have more money than sense. Sometimes they have deals though, i got rough ambrosia maple for $1.50 a bf, that was a deal compared to what I’ve seen it for around here but all the wood they sell is sky high. I’d say look around at mills by you and see what they’re asking for it.

View WDHLT15's profile


1792 posts in 2675 days

#6 posted 04-09-2014 02:13 AM

$3.00/BF is fair. You can find it cheaper in some places if it is green, and you can pay a whole lot more for it in other places if it is dry. I charge $.50/BF to plane lumber, but I am very particular and take great pains to plane it the same as if i was using it in a project of my own.

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

View DrDirt's profile


4510 posts in 3941 days

#7 posted 04-09-2014 02:25 AM

1-2 bucks a foot dry.

Don’t worry about jointing

Also depends on how nice the cherry is… if there is a lot of sapwood.

In the hardwood dealers here, Cherry is around 5 bucks a foot retail.
quartersawn 4/4 skip planed kiln dried in Kansas City is 8.49/bf at Metro hardwoods.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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1792 posts in 2675 days

#8 posted 04-09-2014 12:13 PM


If retail in your area is $5.00/BF and more, why would you sell it at $1 – $2?

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

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3170 days

#9 posted 04-09-2014 01:13 PM

Jason, that Cherry I bought was straight off the Wood Mizer sawmill. No jointing, straight line rip, planing or anything. Just sawed and stacked.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2244 days

#10 posted 04-09-2014 02:37 PM

It sounds like your buyer wants the lumber fully milled. Do yourself a favor and research the going price for rough sawn in your area, and add some extra for the milling service ($1 – $2?). Alternatively, consider ballparking and just undercutting the Home Depot price if your buyer is willing to pay some major retail pricing:


-- paxorion

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1720 days

#11 posted 04-09-2014 06:51 PM

I saw an ad today. A guy is asking $8/bf for rough-sawn 80-year-old cherry in beam sizes, if that info can be used for calculating a price.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3012 days

#12 posted 04-09-2014 07:03 PM

Don’t sell it. Don’t ever sell it.

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

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3266 days

#13 posted 04-09-2014 08:38 PM

I work mostly with cherry so I’ve priced a good bit of it over the years. A lot depends on grade. Is it FAS, #1,2, or 3 common, or is it curly cherry? What about color content. Does it have any sapwood (white color). And finally is the color good on both faces or just one. A lot has to do with where it’s from too. I live in PA now, and they realllyyyyyy value their cherry and it’s considered the best, and retail for good quality boards 6”-”8” wide will run 5-7/bf depending on finished condition all rough or is if Finished 2 or 4 sides or just strait line rip. So you can see it depends. If it’s good color relatively clear with few pitch pockets, and 4-8 wide, all rough and less than 250bf go in the 5-7/bf price range.

On the other hand, if a lot of sapwood, and knots, stay in the 3-5 range. Also call an area dealer and see what he’s selling for and go with what the local market will take. I buy in 500bf loads and never pay over 3/bf. Good luck.

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

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1302 posts in 1833 days

#14 posted 04-09-2014 09:16 PM

Here in NJ and Eastern PA its about 4.80 bf on average rough sawn and dried.
All stuff sold here by BF is rough, anything that has 2 sides or more jointed/planed is by linear foot..
So I think you need to charge by linear foot if you are jointing/planing.

-- Jeff NJ

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2889 days

#15 posted 04-10-2014 01:38 AM

Danny, Is that 50 cents a BF for skip planed or planed to final thickness?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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