Relative hardwood prices

hardwood prices

Going to the hardwood dealer can be very confusing, but it is the place to be for nice furniture woods. I’ve only been a couple of times and there is a lot to think about; sizes of boards, converting linear to board feet, picking the nice stock, trying not to look like a newbie…

There are some awesome guides on first-time hardwood store visits like the lumbering feeling video by the WoodWhisperer and Going to the hardwood dealer on Billy’s little bench blog.

But which woods should we be considering for a project? Which are in a sensible price range? There are no prices on the shelves so we can be in for a surprise at checkout unless we ask the staff to check prices every time we see a good looking piece of wood. And I feel bad asking too many questions when I know they have larger-budget clients than I to take care of.

So I put together the chart shown at the top of this post. I gathered pricing information from five online hardwood retailers and averaged them for each species of wood. Now the absolute prices vary from region to region, online vs. at a yard, and will surely rise with time, but the graphs give a good look at the relative prices of 4/4 hardwoods (that means 1 inch thick). 8/4 (2 inch) stock is usually a couple of dollars more expensive.

Using the graph, I now know that Ash is very affordable and that I shouldn’t make a Macassar Ebony dining table until I strike oil.

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