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Author Topic: Costing dried lumber  (Read 432 times)

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Offline Charles

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Costing dried lumber
« on: February 04, 2019, 05:22:34 PM »
when I cost lumber I usually cost it out at what thickness it was when green .I had some 2 1/4 red elm that shrank to 2" when dried. I costed it out at 2 1/4 and the customer wants me to cost it  at 2" Who's right 

Offline WDH

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 08:07:58 PM »
If the wood was planed and a full 2" thick, I would cost it out at 2 1/4.  If the wood was still rough and 2" thick rough, I would cost it out at 2". 
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Online Southside

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 08:12:01 PM »
That's the same guide I use. 
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Offline Charles

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 08:43:52 PM »
Thanks for the good info guys that helped a lot 

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 09:26:55 PM »
THe thickness of hardwood is the actual thickness when the lumber is sold, graded, planed and-or dried.  Consider it this way...when you buy a gallon of gas, you are not charged for the volume before it was distilled, but the volume when sold.  So, 2-1/4 green that shrinks to 2", also called 8/4, is measured and sold as 8/4 and not 9/4.

Once in a while I hear of a company that sells hardwood lumber and they add perhaps 8% to the dry volume to represent the green volume.  This practice was ruled illegal over 30 years ago by the courts.

For softwoods, the nominal size, like 2x4, means 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" at the time of grading.  You could use the nominal sizes for calculating board footage, but almost every swells softwoods by size and the number of pieces.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 10:47:58 PM »
Im not sure when you set your price, or how you agreed on price, but for KD, surfaced, I price by true measure.  

For green off the mill, I calculate price on what it was sawn at, which is also true measure.

For air dried, I wont sell it, because the hard work of sawing and sometimes long waiting time is done, and the true vertical retail price lift occurs after kiln drying and surfacing.  So for me selling air dried means Im losing money on the final product.  It gets sold as KD surfaced lumber at true measure when it has completed the process. 
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Offline WDH

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 07:48:55 AM »
Im not sure when you set your price, or how you agreed on price, but for KD, surfaced, I price by true measure.  

So in this example, a board sawn green at 9/4 (2 3/8"), kiln dried, and planed to a full 2" is priced as 2" thick?  With the same logic, would not a board sawn green at 1", kiln dried, and planed to a finished 3/4" be priced as 3/4" thick versus 1" thick?
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 08:42:43 AM »
For hardwood lumber, the standard rule is that the board footage for any lumber including 3/4 and even 2/4 is determined by using a thickness of 1.00.  So, 1000 bf of 4/4 dry that is resawn into two pieces 7/16 thick becomes 2000 bf.  However, in most cases, the 7/16" material would not be sold by the bf but would be sold as 2000 square feet of 7/16" thick paneling, etc.  using bf in some cases is confusing for buyers and maybe sellers too.

I think this is also why when you sell or buy softwoods, like 2x4s, you buy or sell 50 2x4x8 pieces and not 266.6 bf.

Most of the time, the sawmill buys logs by the bf, so it is the sawmill that has to make to conversion, basically converting bf to another measure based on the traditional demands or traditional procedures in the marketplace.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Costing dried lumber
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2019, 09:54:37 AM »
Yes, we price a kiln dried and planed 2 inch board at the 2" thickness, even though it was originally sawn at 2 3/8".  As part of our process, we plane all our green sawn 2 3/8" (or 2 1/2") to 2" immediately after kiln drying, and edge them as necessary before we put them on the sales rack.  We also remove any significant defects to optimize a board to meet our high quality specs.  We do a routine analyses of our secondary processing losses of yield, and compare that to what I paid for the logs and determine our net sellable yield vs gross yield.  Then, taking all that into account, we analyze our cost for producing the 2" thickness (or 3" or 1"), keeping in mind that includes the costs of the secondary processing and handling done on each board and set the bdft price.  We put lots of tape measures in our showroom for the customer to use and some customers will measure every board to make sure that the bdft value we label on the board is what they measure.  So we've gone got the true measure approach to make the customers happy and stop of from having to explain it to them 50 times a day.  Its amazing how many still complain about the classic "2x4" Lowes issue, so we avoid it, if possible.  However, when we formalize the final $/bdft price it includes all the expenses to make that board.      

With the 4/4, good point, and we do as Gene mentions, I sell S2S at 1" or 15/16" and group anything from there down to 3/4" the same if it goes on the retail rack.  Since we literally put the 3/4" boards on the same rack as the 1" wood, the customer has the option to buy or not buy either thickness for the same price.  Its entirely their choice, and to some people, buying 3/4" at the same price is value added since they don't have to plane to 3/4" while to some, they would prefer to purchase the thicker piece.  Its entirely up to them.  However, we do everything possible to not drop a board thickness to 3/4" during our processing steps to avoid such a problem, and only do it to keep the quality up.  From our standpoint, if we do drop a board to 3/4" it means we had to perform a further process on it to have it meet our quality standards and actually costs us money for the extra step, but we don't charge for it.

If it goes under 3/4" we measure the actual thickness and sell by that, no matter what it was originally sawn at.  So, for example, if I had a board that started out at 2 1/2 inches and for some reason had to bring it down to 3/8" to make it a sellable product, its my problem and I eat the cost of the yield loss.

We lower our bdft price on boards under 2 feet long, and we also drop our prices when a board's grade drops.

So thats where I came up with the question on how the OP set his price, there are so many variables from the time the log hits the mill and when it gets loaded into the customer's vehicle, its important to be clear from the outset and make sure everybody is in agreement.

We really try our best to make sure the customer understands our prices and give them the options to make them happy.  

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