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Author Topic: Rough lumber pricing.  (Read 1306 times)

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Offline reswire

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Rough lumber pricing.
« on: January 02, 2014, 07:51:09 pm »
I was wondering what "drying of lumber" does to increase the value of a board.  I know this sounds elementary, but I've only been selling "green" lumber to friends, and milling for folks that pay me by the foot.  I've got a buyer for some red oak that has been drying for a year or so, in my shed.  It is in 1x8 by ten foot in length, and has no cracks or warping.  I would say it could be graded as #1, there are very few knots at all in each board.  I have sold red oak that has just been cut for $1.00 per bd. foot, just not sure what value drying will add if it hasn't been planed or sanded.  If any insights, I'd appreciate it. :new_year:
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Offline POSTONLT40HD

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 08:04:50 pm »
Green lumber……a customer has to wait for it to dry before working with it.
Dry lumber…….a customer can take it to the shop and start working with it.

I sell green lumber also, but I've had customers looking for dry lumber wanting to go ahead and start the T&G process to install a floor within the next month.

Its just a "TIME" thing. Time is money. If you air dry in your shed…….time is space….space is money. If you dry in a kiln…..it takes up space and power for fans if you use them…..$$$$$.
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 08:54:44 pm »
take your $1 /b.f green oak board .for me dried i'll sell that same board for$ 2 /b.f. does it cost me a buck per foot drying? not even close. if i turn that board into a finished product the price goes to $2.80 /.bf and up.
i sell dry lumber because it puts me in another catagory from the green lumber guys, also i offer finished products which raises your sales base even more.
 
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Offline reswire

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 08:56:15 pm »
I guess I'm looking to see what percentage of increase it is worth.  10, 20, or 30%?  What is reasonable?  My drying process is passive as of now, but I'm considering putting in a powered kiln in the spring.  I was wondering what the increase might be worth.  I realize it might just be a supply and demand issue, but the local lumber stores are high as heck on their finished boards.  Where do backyard suppliers like me fit in? 
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Offline reswire

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 09:06:01 pm »
take your $1 /b.f green oak board .for me dried i'll sell that same board for$ 2 /b.f. does it cost me a buck per foot drying? not even close. if i turn that board into a finished product the price goes to $2.80 /.bf and up.
i sell dry lumber because it puts me in another catagory from the green lumber guys, also i offer finished products which raises your sales base even more.

Thanks, that helps a lot. Suppose I need to advertise as well, to get the top dollar.  I did pick up a used Woodmaster planer/molder, and I hope to purchase another to finish and increase the value of my boards.  It all takes time, and unfortunately a pretty good financial investment it seems.  Thanks for your input.
 
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Online Ianab

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 09:08:30 pm »
Each step in processing wood should add value to it.

Start with the tree standing in the forest. say it has 100 bd/ft of lumber in it. The landowner gets say $25 dollars for it.

Logger fells, bucks and skids the logs to the landing, this costs, but they are now worth more, lets say $50

Trucker hauls them to the mill, again this costs, but they are worth more at the mill than on the landing. now it's $75

Sawmill saws them into boards, you can sell those green at $1, and make your cut too. But those boards aren't ready to use.

You can take them to a kiln and dry them, or stack them up under shelter to dry. Both take time and cost money. So maybe they are now worth $1.25. Air drying isn't "free". You have to stack the wood, it takes space, and you aren't getting paid for 6-12 months. Just that has a cost, ask your bank manager about overdraft rates while you wait for the wood to dry.

Plane them so they are ready to make furniture etc, now they are $1:50...

If they then pass though a wholesaler and a retailer, up goes the value again. But that reflects the cost of  marketing and shipping the wood to the end user.

But if you then make them into high end furniture, then the sky's the limit. That $25 tree can easily end up as a $1,000 table.

The fact they you might process your own trees doesn't change anything. You should still look at each step in the process to decide it it's worth doing. What are the costs, and what is the gain. So most business' end up more specialised and just doing part of the process. They may ONLY operate a kiln, or a kiln and planer / moulder. They buy green wood off the sawmill, and process it into more valuable dry and finished boards.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 09:24:58 pm »
I guess I'm looking to see what percentage of increase it is worth.  10, 20, or 30%?  What is reasonable?
Although air drying adds value to wood, for me the real value of a kiln is being able to provide a sterilized product to the customers, and they are willing to pay for the security of it. 

For example, green red oak in these parts goes for $1/bdft.  I sell it kiln dried, sterilized, and skip planed for $3.50/bdft. Kiln drying, although costing electricity, is relatively low labor and provides a large profit multiple for the effort. 
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 09:28:44 pm »
Where do backyard suppliers like me fit in?
If your product quality is high, people will drive by the big box stores to get to you.
YH
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Online Ianab

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 11:06:14 pm »
Where do backyard suppliers like me fit in?
If your product quality is high, people will drive by the big box stores to get to you.
YH

Also, you can market stuff that big stores wont carry.

Live edge boards, walnut and cedar work well for this. For table and bar tops
Large "Book Matched" boards.
Logs sawn and kept together to dry. All the wood then matches as it came for the same tree
Good quarter sawn oak etc
Oddball sized and custom sawn beams and fireplace mantles.
Different species and specialised woods.

As a small operator, look for those niche markets that aren't well catered for by the big suppliers.

This stuff might only be 1% of the market, but a small slice of that is all you actually need.
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Offline ancjr

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 12:39:16 am »
My favorite mill charges .30/bf for drying. 

Don't discount yourself as a small operation.  As a customer of such a mill, the best part is that I can get: Black Locust, Sassafras, Osage Orange, Eastern Red Cedar, Elm, Gum that can't be bought anywhere else but a small mill, cut to my spec, green, air dried or kilned.  Small mills with good service are worth a lot to their customers!

Offline reswire

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2014, 02:17:37 pm »
Thanks, I appreciate the info.  I've cut a few mantle pieces, and quite a bit of walnut for a good friend of mine.  I suppose advertisement is second to "word of mouth", when starting a small business like this.  I intend to visit a few wood working shops, and once I get my molder in order, I hope to visit some picture framing shops as well. Thanks for the insights, I really enjoy this forum and all it's members.
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Offline Mountain Guardian

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Re: Rough lumber pricing.
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 01:27:04 pm »
Uhhmmm.....  The red oak log should be no where near dry after sitting there for a year...

I have many elm and poplar logs that have set in my deck for close to a year and a half and they are no where near dry inside yet, dryer yes but not dry.

Myself I use green lumber all the time for building, I just keep in mind that it is going to shrink.  Bat and board is designed for using green wood, it allows it to shrink and dry.  Ship lap was also commonly used by old timers and allowed them to use it before it was completely dry, the more I study old buildings the more I realize that the old timers were just as impatient as I am, they just came up with ways to get around it.