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Thread: Rough cut black walnut value

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Mechanicsburg, PA
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    257

    Rough cut black walnut value

    So I'm helping an older lady I know clear out some of her late husband's stuff...

    She has half a barn full of rough sawn black walnut lumber that's been stacked and drying for about 5 years in various widths and thicknesses. Mostly 8' lengths. A few slabs for benches / coffee tables etc.

    I am going to acquire some for myself, but there is a lot here...

    If I help her sell, how much should I charge? I'd like to price it so that fellow woodworkers can get a decent price but also do right by the seller who is a close friend.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    I am sure the price is dependent on your location across the country, but around here black walnut goes for 6 or 7 bucks a BF for 4/4 stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Bloomington, IL
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    4,244
    Barn wood varies greatly in IL. Price is dependent on quality for sure.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Mechanicsburg, PA
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    What would be a price (around you) that would be cheap enough to not complain about perfect quality.... I think this stuff is pretty good though based on the furniture he make with it. There are some warped pieces etc.

  5. #5
    I have bought plenty of rough cut walnut at farm auctions for a dollar or less per board foot. Some of it is pretty good, some not so good. If you are allowed to sort it, it is worth more. I am in northern Iowa, it is prairie land here not a lot of walnut trees to cut either. by the time you plane it, sort it, throw away what is not too good, get rid of the shorts and limb wood you will have considerably more than a dollar in the real good quality stuff. Jared

  6. #6
    Usually, around here in Pa, black walnut, air dired, from a sawmill runs around a buck a foot. kiln dried from a sawmill around $1.50 a foor. From a retail outlet, around $5-6 a foot. Guess where I shop?
    Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Perry, GA
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    476
    A pretty good number would be about $2.75 - $3.00/BF in my area for moving it in volume.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    PA
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    11,596
    I am near Bob, apparently. Good stuff from a guy who delivers local (8/4) was $4 a board foot KD last time I got it. If you are south or west of me by much, you might be able to get that for air dried 8/4 and a little less for 4/4. If the lady has time on her hands, and it's FAS, I'd go with something like 2/3rds of whatever retail is near you and half of that if you won't let people pick their boards.
    Unleaded tastes a little tangy, supreme is kinda sour, and diesel tastes pretty good.

  9. #9
    There's a lot of 'home harvested' black walnut and cherry around my area. It tends to sell at a steep discount relative to branded wood from a dealer. My experience is that this is because home harvest is not graded, and hence is hit or miss. Your market is limited because people will have to come and inspect it themselves. Also, if you want to move the whole lot, you'll have to reduce the per bf price.

    You'll do best to take a lot of pics and post on CL. Since that's free, you might as well start high and then reduce if it fails to move.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2008
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    Another reason air dried wood tends to sell for short money is that lacking proper kiln drying the boards can contain bugs. Bugs which when brought into a shop can contaminate your other wood....bad situation when you find little holes bored into some of your choice wood

    Anyway can't help you price as I don't buy air dried myself, but the $1 a bd. ft. sounds reasonable as it's also about what kiln dried goes for at auctions around here. Of course you can always price it higher and drop as necessary....you never know what somebody will be willing to spend

    good luck,
    JeffD

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Mechanicsburg, PA
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    Thanks for all the comments guys. I really appreciate it.

  12. #12
    In my area - not less than $3 bf.

    Ya I paid $1/bf for some green cherry.... but it is pretty far between to find dried (even air dried) black walnut at $1/bf - assuming its even halfway decent.

    Sure some people can find decent cherry/walnut at $1/bf - but not that many. The thicker stuff is worth more. $6 to $7 for KD retail, so at 3 you are half off that - my bet is you get some takers at that price.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
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    1,603
    You got some good replies. Price will depend on quality and that depends on grading. If it is all sold as mill run then the price Danny quoted would be very good, indeed. I wouldn't pay that much but I have access to all the Walnut I can saw...free. (stealth gloat)

    Air dried lumber is still air dried, regardless of how many years it has sat. Being in a barn will help it get to a lower MC than being exposed to the outside air but it will still need further drying for indoor projects. The bug issue is also a concern but it won't take much investigation to determine if it is infested. If here are piles of frass around the lumber, it will need to be heated in a kiln to kill the infestation. Topical treatments like Tim-Bor aren't effective on larvae that is already inside the lumber.

    For the widow's sake, I hope you can sell it for a decent price but just don't get her hopes too high.
    Cody


    He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    New England
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    699
    Quote Originally Posted by Cody Colston View Post
    ... piles of frass ...
    Cool! Learned a new word.

    A good start to the new year.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Mechanicsburg, PA
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    Thanks again.

    I think I'll start at $3 and let anyone interested pick through for what they want. Then sell the lesser quality in higher quantity cheaper.

    I have to decide what and how much I want to get for myself too. I'm keeping the stuff in the 4x4" and 6x6" sizes for spindle turning for sure.

    I should take my moisture meter to it but I'm pretty sure it's dry to work with. It's been years stacked inside with spacers and a halfway decemt amount of airflow. I believe he's already built tables etc with this wood.

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