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Author Topic: how to price timbers  (Read 1840 times)

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Offline coppolajc10

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how to price timbers
« on: February 01, 2015, 03:03:18 PM »
I have a potential job coming up.  Customer wants hemlock for a barn he's building, mostly standard 2x and 1x material in lengths varying from 8' to 16'.  He would also like some 6x6 and 8x8 timbers in lengths varying from 8' to 16', total of 32 timbers.  Total of job is around 8K bft.  I plan on taking each timber from the center of a log.  I also plan on providing grade 2 or better, unless he specifies differently.  I will be buying logs from local logger. 

First, question - do you guys charge more per bft for timbers vs ordinary 1x and 2x material?  I foresee some extra expense handling them.  I'm also not confident that I will get 32 timbers from 32 logs due to varying quality of 32 logs, and may incur extra expense obtaining the right log.

Second question, how do most of you adjust pricing for length?  For example, if you charge $X/bft for anything say 12' and under, do you then charge 15% more than $X/bft for length greater than 12'?  I'm concerned about the amount of 16' material he's asking for and my costs on logs.

Third question, how do you guys deal with deliveries from local loggers.  Do you have many issues with grade and how do you handle it?  When I asked one of the local guys how he would grade the hemlock logs, he said he doesn't really grade logs, he would just make sure they "look good."  This worries me, should it?  I know hemlock is not making any logger rich around here, but I don't want a load of junk in my driveway with a guy expecting to get paid ... I obviously need enough quality logs for the structural components the customer is asking for.  This might not be an easy question, any tips on buying would be great.

Thank you,
Jake.

Offline beenthere

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2015, 04:31:37 PM »
Quote
I foresee some extra expense handling them.  I'm also not confident that I will get 32 timbers from 32 logs due to varying quality of 32 logs, and may incur extra expense obtaining the right log.

You are quite right in not expecting all logs to produce a usable timber. Until you open them up, only then will you know for sure.  Buy a load if you can, cut the logs up and see how many more you may need... one way...

Finding out what your loggers have available will be first priority. I'd think getting a load or two of all 16' (plus trim) logs would be a place to start and let the logger know what you will buy, or not buy. Let the logger know that what you will not buy he/she can leave or take with.

But likely the local logger who says he doesn't "grade" may be what you run into, and you will need to have a pretty good idea what the "grade" is that you will accept. IMO  They don't have a crystal ball to see inside their logs either, so going with outside bark appearance, straightness, and where the pith center is at on each end are some indicators you can go with.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Cedarman

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2015, 10:35:09 PM »
When sawing timbers you will always have excess lumber and some logs that will not make a timber.  That is why it is so important to have a market for this extra material.  If you don't you may well have a losing proposition.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline coppolajc10

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 05:47:57 PM »
Thanks for input guys.  I do have market for lumber other than timbers, this order includes a lot of 1x and 2x ... Good point though.  Any takers on pricing questions?

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 06:24:47 PM »
All I can say I buy logs by the BF so I sell timbers the same way. One rule of thumb is to sell  lumber for 2x what you paid for the logs up to 16' then it goes up. But here In NH I can buy hemlock for .20 to .22 a bf and sell a 8x8x16' for .70 to .80. If you look a lumber price short stuff you will get less than long stuff. For a 8' 8x8 I might get .60 to .65 a bf.
W Pine It cost me [nice logs] .32. Box wood [ logs with 2 to 3" knots] I pay .15 and can sell short stuff for .55 to .65 long stuff has no limit.
And with over run you can do ok. :D :D :D :D :D :D
Make the over run out of things that sell.
Like my hemlock the flinchs are always 2". I cut no 1" off hemlock logs.
2008 LT40 super,2008 edger, Cat telahandler, JD 5410 And can cut up to 45' long
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Offline jmouton

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 07:40:45 PM »
we sell our  1  inch boards  by the bf ,   and the 2 inch  boards  a little bit more ,,they are heavier ,,  then when we cut 4x4 or 6x6 or bigger  we get more  ,  not by the bf ,  we come up with a price thats good for everybody ,,  but its alot higher than bf prices,  more work ,  heavier ,  may have to cut multiple logs to get the beams ,  handling and storing until pick-up,,,, and it all depends on the type of wood ,,just cut a mantle  9x9ish  bark on one side 15 ft long  went through  2 logs to get it looking good ,  and it was priced  accordingly 
plus you have to handle beams carefully  no chains , straps  do leave marks sometimes ,  forks leave marks too ,,   



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lt-25 woodmizer,25 hp kohler,hyd loading,fiat tractor,bobcat,international flatbed,10 ton trailer, stihl 075,041,029,and a 2015 f-350,and a oldwheel loader ,grapple system coming soon!!

Online 4x4American

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 07:57:53 PM »
An old logger who I get logs from told me this about hemlock:

He won't sell hemlock until it has sat for a week or more so that he knows it don't have ring shake.  He told me he's seen a barn that was built with hemlock that had ring shake explode.  The wood turned to smithereens. 
Boy, back in my day..

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 08:24:53 PM »
An old logger who I get logs from told me this about hemlock:

He won't sell hemlock until it has sat for a week or more so that he knows it don't have ring shake.  He told me he's seen a barn that was built with hemlock that had ring shake explode.  The wood turned to smithereens. 




After looking at hemlock logs for years you will see the shake. Not all hemlock has shake. :D :D
2008 LT40 super,2008 edger, Cat telahandler, JD 5410 And can cut up to 45' long
http://www.forestryforum.com/sanbornton     NH Timberland Owners Association supporter.
And a license NH soft wood grader.
Sawing since 1987

Offline coppolajc10

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 10:58:18 PM »
Peter, your price on hemlock sounds about like here (non-Amish that is), except log price is more 250-275/mbf.  1x hemlock very common around here for barns, local Amish almost exclusively sell hemlock, but I don't even wanna pretend to compete with them.  They saw for 120-180/mbf and sell hemlock for around 450-510/mbf.  For hemlock, my only interest is to sell to customers either outside the range of Amish or who just don't wanna deal with Amish for various reasons, and so willing to pay more in the 650-750/mbf range. I haven't had someone ask for so many timbers yet, and wanted to get a feel for price considerations. I'm contemplating what jmouton does and just give a price per piece, but it just seems like the customer might do the math and realize cost/bft and may gripe about the difference compared to the rest of the order, but as long as it's justified/reasonable both of us should win. Thanks for the input guys, Jake.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2015, 06:59:32 AM »
coppolajc10
The only way I can see my cost and profit is to think in BF :D
Some lumber there's more profit than others. I also think of ways to make $ with all the parts of a log. Slabs, sawdust, and chips, hard or soft wood.
2008 LT40 super,2008 edger, Cat telahandler, JD 5410 And can cut up to 45' long
http://www.forestryforum.com/sanbornton     NH Timberland Owners Association supporter.
And a license NH soft wood grader.
Sawing since 1987

Offline Brucer

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 01:28:13 AM »
I sell my 2x for about 50% more than the 1x. Timbers are 80% to 100% more than the 1x. I price the timbers so they pay for the log and generate about half my profit. The other half of my profit comes from the side lumber.

My price per BF is the same for 8' to 20' lengths. After that, the price goes up by $0.06 per linear foot for every foot over 20'. If the timber is longer than 26', I add a flat $0.50 on top of the "per foot" surcharge. Those surcharges apply to the entire timber, not just the extra length.

I've sawn quite a bit of long stuff for these prices and no one has complained. A couple of customers went elsewhere, then came back and said the other outfits were charging similar amounts.

Most customers understand when you explain that logs are tapered and longer logs generate more lower-priced side lumber. They also understand when you point out the need for extra equipment to load the mill, and the extra time needed to deal with extra long slabs.
Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
"Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers."

Offline coppolajc10

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Re: how to price timbers
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 06:26:05 PM »
Brucer, those are the pricing specifics I was hoping for, thanks for sharing, Jake.


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