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Thread: Wood Purchasing Questions

  1. #1

    Wood Purchasing Questions

    I have some questions to ask about your wood purchasing.

    First, a little background.....
    I have a close friend who has just purchased the company he has worked at for the past 29 years. It's a wood import business that in the past has supplied vendors with moulding, wood flooring, and specialty architectural components.

    Now that he owns the company, he would like to branch out into selling exotic woods for general/hobbyist woodworking. This is where he wants me to come in.

    In one of our discussions I said that I wouldn't mind marketing wood to woodworking and turning groups. This would also include direct sales like in the Classified Ad forum (competition's a good thing, right guys? ).

    So, my questions are:
    1. Are there any particular sizes of wood that would be most beneficial to you?

    2. Are there any particular cuts of wood that would be most beneficial to you?

    3. Is there anything in particular you would like to see in purchasing wood?

    I will make note of all comments. I feel this is a good (small) opportunity for my friend and a good way to supplement my disability income.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon USA
    Posts
    290
    Hi Joe,

    Depending on where he is located, I think a better bet would be targeting woodworking and turning clubs, other suppliers such as a local Woodcraft or Rockler, and specific targeted mailings to local furniture makers.

    From there, branching into internet sales may work, but there are certain problems--unless it is incredibly cheap, freight will kill a lot of potential sales. Also, unless it is in some way spectacular [as in figure] what is the compelling reason say for me to purchase?

    I may live in a decent location, I don't know. But there is a lot of both "plain" and spectacular wood available within an hour's drive from my house from many vendors. Even with that proximity to good wood, I have bought the odd highly figured wood via the internet. But in general, I wouldn't buy non-figured wood that way. Exceptions would be simply rare woods to obtain in nice size pieces, such as African Blackwood and the like.

    Others may well have better advice.

    Take care, Mike
    Wenzloff & Sons Sawmakers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    In my case, from what I get at our monthly woodturning club drawing, garage sales and cut myself, the pile of "need to turn" wood just keeps getting bigger. I'm anxious to make something from some of Jim King's fall down, knock-out, stunning gorgeous stuff but being up to my eyeballs in wood now, I can't justify buying more. Well, mebbe.....

  4. #4

    Hobby wood

    Joe: If I were you I would concentrate on turning clubs , woodworking clubs and most importantly the local flea market by the used tools area .

    To talk to any of the chains such as Woodcraft and Rockler you need a few hundred thousand dollars in stock in the US and provide on time deliveries (they do not want to carry wood in inventory ) or they will not talk to you.
    To talk to Menards or another of the big ones you need at least a couple of million $ in stock. They get really grouchy when they have an empty space on a shelf.

    Years ago I shipped to a person in Houston and on many weekends he sold over $5000 worth of blanks and hobby wood at the local flea market. Then he died. But the fact remains flea markets are full of hobby wood buyers. Low entry cost to the business and good profits.
    Last edited by Jim King; 02-11-2007 at 05:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Beyond adjectives beautiful stuff there.
    Is that yellow and red platter pink flame? And is it an end slice from the log?

  6. #6

    Log slice

    Frank: Yes that is a pink flame log slice end grain turned down to about half an inch thick.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    Posts
    688
    Hey Joe,
    I don't know where you are located, but it seems to me there is money to be made by bring wood to places where it ain't. Price is high and selection is slim here in New Mexico, but there are lots of woodworkers - go figure

    There used to be a guy who came by once or twice a year with a truckload of cherry and sold out every time.

    Also, wood prices vary by location. For instance, the north has lots of hardwoods, there's no cypress, which is dirt cheap down south.

    Don't know if you could make this pay with the cost of gas and everything, but its an idea.

    The hardest lumber for me to find is 12/Q to use for legs. I usually have to have it shipped from back east. Maple and walnut especially.
    Don't believe everything you think!

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