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Thread: What's a cherry slab worth?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Decatur, Alabama

    What's a cherry slab worth?

    I found this add on craigslist, a guy near me has a bunch of 5/4 cherry and a 3" x 18" x 10' slab from a 125 yr old cherry tree. He wants like $1.50/bd ft for it, but that might just be the 5/4 stuff. It's been air drying for 1.5 yrs, sticker stained, and looks to have some cup. It's probably all #1, but some very interesting pieces from what I saw.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So, my question : what's a 3" x 18" x 10' slab worth? I'm sure it's still green at 1.5 yrs old also. If it's got the pith in the center, what problems does working with that cause? I'm guessing it's a center cut slab from the pieces I did see laying around.

    Would I be committing a horrible sin to cut something like this up? I really don't know what to do with something so big, I'll never have a saw to resaw it without cutting in half first. I even thought about a workbench top but it's going to take to long to dry. Also is anyone who'd be willing to pick it up in alabama interested in it? pm me if so.

    I'm going to look at it in person saturday. It sounds to good to be true, but I won't be shocked if I show up and it's all cupped/twisted to bad to be used for much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    If it's half way decent I buy it all at that price, If I was you.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan
    I agree with Chuck, decent stuff, get it all

  4. #4
    I tell you what Jeb I would have been there already to buy and asked the question later after seeing the picture of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Decatur, Alabama
    Yeah, well it's not exactly next door. Saturday is my first real oportunity to go get it. I'm definitely going to get all the stuff at 1.50 that looks good.

    What I wasn't sure about was the slab if he wants a more for it, what it's really worth. I wont' buy if it's not a bargain, but not sure what to set as a limit when I go over there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    A buck-fifty is a pretty good price.

    I doubt the sticker stains are actually stains. Just the presence of the stickers, blocking the light from the cherry, will cause lighter colored areas. Likely, once planed, and set out in the sun for a couple days, you won't be able to find where the marks were.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    My lumber guy sells #2 for $1.75 bdft, #1 for $2.35 bdft, and Select for $3 bdft. He's the cheapest around and has good material.

    As far as the slab, figure up the board foot in it and figure the price for the category it falls under then probably double the price for the thickness. Looks to be the way my lumber guy is doing it based on his price list.
    Attached Files Attached Files

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    I'd find the cash somewhere to buy it all at $1.50 bf
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    What's it worth???
    If I'm selling it, a million bucks or as close to that as I can get for it.
    If I'm buying it, as close to a buck as I can get it for.
    Depends on which side of the fence you are on I guess.
    Seriously though, to some it isn't worth the time and effort to dry, joint, plane and work with.
    Others see beauty in it like you and those are the ones you bid against.
    If it is to be marked and put away, the cheapest you can bargain for, if you have a select project in mind that this will help it be the greatest creation that has formed in your mind for a particular person, it is priceless.
    This answer is a little sarcasm, but also a little like Toni's answer to the Michigan slab, they are unique pieces for unique projects to enhance their looks. Takes unique craftsman to enhance it. So to be honest, I look at this type of wood as an investment, I have a little stashed away and quite honestly, some of that stash will probably outlive me, I hope someone else finds it as a diamond in the rough and treats it as so. So, if a project dictates this, buck fifty seems quite reasonable. It cared for properly will probably even resell years to come with a better return than a savings account now does.

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    Jeb the photo you posted has too little detail to make a careful assessment of the wood. Things like knots and splits can significantly limit the use of a board. OTOH, if you can work around defects, so much the better.

    Just about whenever I've seen a good deal on rough wood, I've jumped on it. I have walnut I bought 26 years ago, and cherry 20+ years ago, that I still haven't used. As Jonathan said, they have gone up in value.

    $1.50 a bd ft for rough, possibly ungraded, and rather green cherry is a good deal, not necessarily a great deal, depending on defects. Certainly worth looking at. A lot depends on whether or not you have the room to sticker and dry it for a few years too.

    Don't forget to post a picture of what you do end up buying.

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