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Author Topic: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?  (Read 6094 times)

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Online Dave Shepard

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At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« on: December 14, 2006, 06:26:28 PM »
Unless that's all you've got of course. I stopped in at the local big box for a spy mission and got a real shock. KD S4S red oak (clearish, if you don't mind traction marks from the planer) =$6.50 bf. KD S4S white pine=$3.00 for kinda-sorta-really-knotty, to $4.50 for somewhat-sorta-almost-not-quite-clear. So, why would I go to all the work of trying to get $1200mbf oak logs into finished lumber, when I can take free to $100mbf pine and get almost as much without the processing hassles and losses (degrade and lower quality byproduct lumber) of oak?


Dave








I am being a little sarcastic, but it does make you wonder!





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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2006, 09:23:49 PM »
90 views and no replies. I can see no one is going to touch this one with a ten foot pole! :)


Dave
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Offline beenthere

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2006, 09:34:23 PM »
I tried a couple times to follow the logic you were asking about, but didn't figure it out yet. I'll keep workin at it.
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Offline Brad_S.

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2006, 10:01:17 PM »
If you can get the same price for your product as HD or Lowes get for theirs, your logic is correct. In my experience however, only rank amateurs buy hardwood and premium pine from the big box stores. Once they smarten up, which is usually very quickly if they do much woodworking, they go looking for more cost effective sources. That's when they call sawmills. I would much rather make less profit per item and deal with educated customers who know what they want and are in and out than to make the long dollar and have to spend considerable time to educate each and every customer who walks through the door who is as ignorant of lumber buying as the BORG customer.

IMO, using the BORG as your price benchmark won't give you a very accurate idea of what products to handle or how they should be priced. It's doubtful you will ever be able to get as much for your products as they do for their hardwood and select pine and if you try and price match their dimensional lumber you'll be broke in no time flat.
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Offline Dana

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2006, 06:31:42 AM »
I am guessing BORG stands for Big Orange Retail Giant? ???
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2006, 07:10:13 AM »
There is a very respectable lumber company in brentwood NH called highland hardwood.  The link below is to their retail price list.  It is a PDF document.

http://www.highlandhardwoods.com/price_lists/Retail.pdf

this is a link to the main site for them

http://www.highlandhardwoods.com/


Many of my repeat customers for small amounts of nice lumber have spoken of Highland with good regard.

For those of you who dont want to click, their FAS rough 4/4 red oak is $3.20 and their D4S 4/4 at 12" width is $6.30.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Online Dave Shepard

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2006, 07:58:21 AM »
To summarize my point, white pine is almost free, or is free, and doesn't suffer the degrade and processing woes of oak. We sell run of the mill pine green off the mill for $1 foot. If we select the clear and dry it you can triple that. If you buy premium oak logs, which is at least $1200mbf here, you still have a bunch of lower grade wood you have to market along with the clear, and you have to KD it and probably surface it too, just to sell it. There is no profit in selling green oak for half of what you pay for it, which is about $0.50 bf, if you can find anybody that wants it. I was only trying to show my surprise at what retail lumber was selling for. And this wasn't quality lumber, there was a lot of damage and you would really have to sacrifice a lot of the board to get good lumber, and this was from the best grades they had to offer!


Dave
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Offline Brad_S.

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2006, 08:23:59 AM »
The supply/demand in your area is much different than in mine. I have to pay at least $300 mbf for white pine around here or the loggers won't even bring it out of the woods. Their argument is why should they when they can be out cutting cherry, maple and walnut for twice the pay, and I can see their point. Conversely, I can only get 60 a boardfoot for green pine off the saw and people grumble at that saying the Amish/Mennonites sell it for 25% less. I make that same 30 a boardfoot custom sawing without the risk of bad logs or tying up my capital on logs, so I cut very little pine.
If I were in your marketplace and based on your numbers, I too would consider cutting strictly pine.
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Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2006, 02:17:51 PM »
Ya seem to make sense to me Dave :)......Do the pine, youll make more and they are easier on the back to lift ;)
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Offline RacinRex

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2006, 03:44:55 PM »
Brad, we have the same issues here. I pretty much have to drag out my own white pine off my own land for barn repair projects and stuff. White Pine is sometimes a real pain on the band mills and really discourages me from cutting it anyway. Took me a long time to figure out that you can cut less bdft with a blade in white pine than you can in oak... because the knots are so DanG hard.

You combine the issues of getting it and the lack of margin when you do and I'll cut nice red oak all day around here and make a solid dollar at it. We drag all of our own out anymore and drag out mostly oak since it is very dominant on our property.

The loggers here are, in general the un-desirables. Between Loggers and Dirt guys around here you find most of them crooked enough to hide behind a corkscrew.

I leave the Pine cutting to the circle mill guys on Frick 0's and Irelands around here that can get along with the loggers in the area.
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Offline DR_Buck

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2006, 11:43:49 PM »
Quote
KD S4S red oak (clearish, if you don't mind traction marks from the planer) =$6.50 bf.


I think you need to look again.   At the 'box stores' down here, the price is $6.50 LINEAR FOOT. not board foot.    And that goes up significantly the wider the boards get.
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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2006, 09:14:54 AM »
The price was marked in linear foot for 1"x12". The math worked out pretty much the same for all the widths. I was more offended by the quality of the boards, you would have to sort through them to actually get the grade you where paying for. These where not just handling marks, but marks from power feeders from processing the wood, and should not have been shipped, IMO.

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Offline twoodward15

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2006, 09:43:10 AM »
Dave, I am in New Jersey and can buy air dried white pine, any width (up to about 24 or 26 inches is the widest in his pile) any thickness to 8 inches for a dollar a bdft.  If I was inclined I could talk him down probably to 75 or 50 cents a bdft, but I understand he has to eat and I enjoy his conversation, so I just buy it at that price.  It's worth it to me, so that is what I pay.  He also throughs a lot of wood from his off cut/trimming pile for free when I see him, so I don't mind a bit.  In any case, I am amazed that you can get $3 a bdft for white pine.  I just don't see that kind of demand at that price.
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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2006, 05:44:01 PM »
Maybe I should take my location off my profile. ;)

True clear brings the big bucks, you can't buy it at the big-box or the lumber yard. That's why we sort it out. Even the lower grades of pine at the big box are bringing over $2.50 board foot. Why shouldn't we get all we can for the absolute premium grades of lumber? It takes more time to sort it out and handle it, and there are no quality sources for really good lumber around here. You can buy all the structural stuff you want, which we are not trying to compete with, but you can't seem to find lumber for furniture/cabinet type projects. The amount of defects that are allowed in commercial lumber is absurd. I know I keep going back to the handling marks on the store lumber, but hey, if you buy an S4S board, shouldn't it be usable on all sides? We offer a better product at less money. Period. I am just getting this operation going again, the former sawyer retired some time ago, and I am going to offer the best possible products and services I can, and I expect to get compensated for it. Not to scalp people, as I mentioned our prices are less than it is available anywhere I know of, but to make a profit and supply the need for good service. The laws of supply and demand never go away. If we can't keep lumber in the yard, we must be doing something right.


Dave
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Offline Captain

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2006, 08:11:59 PM »
Our "mill run" white pine sells for .66/BF.  The higher grade stuff that we air dry will bring $1.25.  We rarely, however, have an abundance of clear completely defect free stuff.  Might be worth it to haul it to Alford... :)

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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2006, 09:22:28 PM »
Alford? Where's Alford? Must be a typo. ;D

Just to put actual numbers on the pine D/BTR was $2.93-$3.66 board foot, and Select was from $3.37-$4.27 board foot. So, if they can get $3-$3.50 for "Knotty Pine" boards, what do you think I should charge?


Dave






PS I realize this is getting near the "beating a dead horse" stage, but I do feel I need to quantify, if not qualify, my first post. This thread has also been an education for me. I am so accustomed to having a pine forest at every corner I didn't realize that pine isn't as readily available to everyone. Live and learn.
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Offline Captain

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2006, 08:21:51 AM »
Don't worry Dave, too far for me.  I did not even know where Alford was until I mapquested it.  I do however get on the road a bunch with my full time job, and always like to visit another FF member.  We'll have to catch up sometime.

Captain

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2006, 09:33:38 AM »
I am guessing BORG stands for Big Orange Retail Giant? ???
I didn't see an answer but I was wondering what it meant too. That's a good guess. I was figuring it was some hardwood assoiciation I hadn't heard of yet. ???
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Offline Brad_S.

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2006, 12:53:33 PM »
I picked that up from posters at the woodworking site WoodNet where it is used often, and being as computer illiterate as I am, I assumed was universal common computalk. :-[ My apologizes.
"Big Orange Retail Giant" (Home Depot) is the most common explanation Ive read, but I've also read it stands for "Buying ORGanization", referring to any large company with the power to name their price when purchasing from vendors.
The term BORG as used in most contexts also has duel connotations. "The Borg" in the Star Trek series "Star Trek, The Next Generation", were heartless autotrons that swallowed up smaller civilizations whose paths they crossed. They would "assimilate" the inhabitants and technology they wanted into their "collective", destroy the individuality of the smaller civilization and leave a wake of destruction in their path. This of course is how many feel Walmart, Home Depot, et. al. operate and probably has a lot to do with it's popularity as an acronym.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: At these prices, who'd want to saw oak?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2006, 07:01:25 PM »
just for grins............................ :D

my first wifes mothers maiden name was Borg :D :D :D :D :D
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM


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