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Author Topic: 90ton of walnut  (Read 888 times)

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Offline JoshNZ

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90ton of walnut
« on: September 11, 2020, 02:33:41 AM »
I looked at a pile of logs today, 90ton of walnut and Australian Blackwood, two very pricey timbers in NZ.

The guy selling is an excavator operator and his usual mill can't take them, they're too full apparently. I don't know what to make of that.

He wants ~$65US/ton and I cover cartage. Seems to me like it'd be worth more than this as firewood, even if it were pine =/.

As some of you know I have a barely finished home built mill and am new to sawing but this seems a bit of a too good to be true type deal, I'd have to really balls it up to not come out on top. What do you guys think? I'm aware this is the very slope right here everyone warned me about :D.

They're all around 25-50cm small end, 30-80cm big end. Self pruned to 6-8m whatever that means, but they're clean, straight. Very few defects - except for some big cracks forming on the ends of some of them. Some look like they'd go well into the log and would have to saw around them.

I've seen paint marks on ends where guys are starting to pick logs out of the pile. If I'm going to pull the trigger it should be soon! I've got the land with a site to store them and mill them. If it was a total blunder I think at this price I could still live with myself.



 

 

 

 


Offline JoshNZ

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2020, 03:15:45 AM »
About 35 rings I counted on them. Forgot the most important detail! I have seen borer get into walnut sapwood in NZ, not sure why you do about that.

Offline woodyone.john

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2020, 04:18:43 AM »
Josh ,it looks likes they have been hanging around a while. I am sure you will get your purchase price back but I don't know how well you will be paid for your out turn. Best of luck. Cheers John.
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2020, 05:43:34 AM »
They're only recently felled, is that what you're meaning? Is borer the worry?

Offline Ianab

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2020, 08:01:20 PM »
There are some pretty big end cracks in some of those logs, but those could have occurred when they were being felled, walnut has a tendency to crack if it's not fallen right. 

I'm not sure about black walnut, but local borers will certainly get into the sapwood of Japanese walnut that grows wild here. 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2020, 10:24:40 PM »

Paging   @nativewolf 


$65USD/T makes it a bit more than 2x the cost of hardwood pulp in my area.  6 grand for 4 TTs of walnut is pretty cheap.  How much sawn lumber can you sell, store or stand to see rot?
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2020, 12:20:31 AM »
I'll leave the walnut question to those who know more but I'm getting $3k AUD a cube for KD Blackwood at wholesale. Figure retail at double that. Logs are costing me around $280 a ton landed in the yard, shotgun mix from justalogs to veneer grade.

Only thing is you really need to start on a load of junk pine and get any bugs ironed out in the system, and blackwood can be a bit of a problem child at times to saw... wandering pith, inclusions, and brittle if it gets too dry so it can start cracking along ahead of the cut but... all part of the game.

If they were down the road from me I'd be sending trucks, put it that way.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2020, 02:49:32 AM »
and brittle if it gets too dry so it can start cracking along ahead of the cut but... all part of the game.


I've sawn a little Blackwood, cuts fine on the swingblade, you just have to work around the occasional inclusion or other defect. But yes it can crack. We cut a really nice looking live edge slab, but too close to the pith. Got it loaded on the trailer and were admiring it, when there is this slow "ccrraacckkk" sound, and it basically split in 1/2 over about 30 seconds. "Gonna need some epoxy there.." :D

But it's beautiful wood, and you should be able to get good money for it here in NZ. It's one of the better trees that you can grow on a 25 year rotation. The walnut will be a bit small, with a lot of sapwood at that age. I want's more like 50+ years to mature. So not high grade stuff, but you should be able to sell it as good hardwood is hard to come by in these parts. 
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2020, 07:29:08 AM »
Pencil to paper seeing what the upside would be.
Pencil to paper seeing what the worst could be.
If you can live with the worst, than dive in.
Make a business plan as to what you can make out of the logs, markets, how much will make firewood, how to market firewood etc.
Then pull the trigger, or not.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2020, 08:03:57 AM »
I wouldn't buy the whole lot, I'd work a deal to buy the best.  I'd "high grade" the pile.  Typically I may only buy a small fraction of the logs, sometimes even only the top 5% available.      

Many times, paying just a little more the good logs will produce lumber with logs twice the value, and will box out other buyers.  Money talks and BS walks.  Your total cash output would be much less, you would have less logistical issues for storage timelines and sawing, and your net profit would go up.

I'd be out there with a can of spray paint and marking "my" logs before anyone else did.  It's actually my business model, and I do it every time I visit a log yard.  I don't want all the logs, just the best ones.

It's a strategy that results in less money up front, less sawing, less overall processing, better lumber, and more profit.    

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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2020, 08:04:55 AM »
Ive been sawing for about 5 years.  I can tell you I wouldn't purchase that volume of logs as its too much at one time.  As someone else said, you may see some of that rot before you get around to sawing it.  You have to consider how much space you have available for drying it.  How much time do you have to devote to sawing?  How fast can you sell the lumber?  I can tell you that I would pass.

I came across a huge amount of walnut on an online auction.  I was very tempted, as it sold for a cheap price, but the amount of work to travel the 200 miles to bring it home was gonna be huge.  I would have had to make 10 trips and possible rent something on that end to load the logs.  Good luck.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2020, 09:05:44 AM »
Josh,  not sure what your time commitments are like on your day job but here is what I'd do:

Strategy 1:  YH offers some sage advice.  It might be the person needs to get rid of it all, that or burn it.   Let him burn the worst and only take the best.  Or take it all and cut the worst for firewood.  Walnut burns just fine.

Strategy 2: Buy all and resell what you don't want to saw.  As many have said, that's a lot to saw.  Walnut is not going to rot so I would not worry so much but if you buy it and it is never sawn that is a huge waste of effort.

Price wise  $65/ton is not a problem.  Global pricing for low grade walnut remains fine, $0.80/bdft for the worst that you see there and more likely $1.00/bdft or better.  Our best sawlogs, not veneer, are going for close to $4/bdft.  You'll have to convert to a scale that makes sense to you, this is USD $ and doyle bdft.   A buyer is going to steam that lumber and thus the sap rings really don't matter.  Logs were bucked without taking care to put log savers in them.  Walnut does like to split.  The Vietnamese mills are cutting into narrow boards for furniture so they will use a 2" board for a leg, etc and the end cracks should not detract too much but it will detract.  

So, as cedarman says:  Pen to paper after that as I would say..phone to ear.  Call around for log exporters.  Find out if anyone on the islands exports hardwoods to Vietnam.  Vietnamese buyers are the buyers for that pile of logs and would likely pay 50% or more over and above your costs.  Other buyers of low grade walnut are China, Korea, and India.  Japan and many EU nations buy walnut but they want slightly better/larger than your pile.  Having a buyer would be a benefit in the future as well and so time well spent regardless.  Maybe Ianab can suggest someone to call?  There I can't help but I would think your pricing would be fine.   

Tips on walnut:  

The longer it sits the more beautiful the wood.  There is nothing as pretty as a walnut log that has been buried in humus and had the sapwood rot off, it is just ...really pretty.  Something like fine wines aging and all that.  If I had the extra cash I'd just buy the pile, lay them all out on the ground (lots of area) and spread a bit of mulch over them and come back in 10 years after the sapwood had rotted off.  

Never sell Walnut by the ton.  Really...it is light.  Walnut is all about grade and as YH says the best logs are worth much much more than the average logs.  Priced by the ton it is possible that 2-3 logs recoup the entire deal if you can find the right buyer.  So, find buyers.


Good luck!

@ianab do you have pics of that blackwood sawn?

Liking Walnut

Offline mike_belben

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2020, 11:40:22 AM »
He bought em all so that part is done.  


Josh since you arent yet a sawyer [i dont think] but are now a walnut seller, i would suggest selling the BEST logs until you are atleast repaid for the total purchase and risk of loss is erased.  Saw the worst yourself. Theres nothing wrong with sawing poor logs then cutting the boards into short sections by trimming out the defects and tossing them in the burn pile. Upgrading the lumber by shortening it.   

YellowHammer seems to have quite a niche selling short wood retail to hobby users. 


Peruse the buyers side of the log exchange here and see if you cant find someone wanting containers.  Quick flip ftw.

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Offline Ianab

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2020, 06:55:49 PM »
@ianab do you have pics of that blackwood sawn?


Pictures of the blackwood sawing in this thread.

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=105404.msg1641081#msg1641081

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Offline richhiway

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2020, 07:29:43 PM »
I like yellowhammers advice.  You could also buy them all ,keep the best and sell some as logs,if you had a market. That way you may be able to keep the best logs for next to no $$.
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Offline WIwoodworker

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2020, 10:33:49 PM »
It depends on whether you have a market for that much walnut. If not, try to buy the best logs. Even if you pay twice as much per ton for the best logs its still a good deal.
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: 90ton of walnut
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2020, 03:23:35 AM »
As Mike said the deal is done so maybe we should close the thread here for my sanity's sake lol.

If all I get from this is to floor and fit out my own place and a bit of firewood, I'll be happy. Realistically that is worse than worse case scenario so I can't see this going wrong for me. I've got a hydraulic splitter and there is a good market for firewood around here.

I'll be talking about it in the years to come, whichever way it goes hah.


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