Valuing and pricing old lumber

      Lumber pricing is like everything else: Whatever the market will bear.

by Professor Gene Wengert

An elderly relative has a quantity of quite old wood from trees on the family farm and would like to know its value. There is chestnut wood from before the blight (some boards are very wide), cherry and black walnut. Do you have any idea of what it is worth and how to find a buyer?

The first piece of advice when dealing with small quantities of lumber is never take the first bid. Second, kiln dried lumber of these species could easily sell for $2 per board foot or more (especially if the lumber is quite wide). If you want to take the time to market it yourself, then you could probably get $4 or more. The quality and moisture content will be important in determining the price. Third, if you can get someone (or do it yourself) to measure the lumber and get the volume (preferably in board feet), that would help establish what you have.

What you should be looking for is a company that handles small quantities of wood, probably with a retail outlet. Many states have a wood utilization specialist who could give you the information for your local area. (For example, here in Wisconsin we have a directory of over 800 wood using companies, including Kettle Morraine Hardwoods, Wisconsin Crafts, and Lamb Forest Products who handle small quantities, as well as Work Bench Tool Company here about 3 miles from me. In Norfolk, VA I know about Yukon Lumber who would be a good lead; and Harris Hardwoods in Washington Court House, Ohio. And so on.) In Wisconsin we have a Forest Products Marketing Bulletin, published six times a year by the Dept of Natural Resources--this would be good if you want to market the wood yourself. Let me know where you are and I will check my directory here for someone in your state.

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Click on Wood Doctor Archives to peruse past answers.

If you would like to obtain a copy of "The Wood Doctor's Rx", visit the Wood Education and Resource Center Web site for more information.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Business: Marketing

  • KnowledgeBase: Business: Sales

  • KnowledgeBase: Lumber & Plywood: Buying

  • KnowledgeBase: Woodworking Miscellaneous: Woodworking

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2021 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article