In a previous post, we discussed the problem with securing 4/4 boards in exotic (and particularly African) hardwood species. Basically, boards in 4/4, 5/4, and 7/4 thicknesses promise to continue rising in price — and becoming more difficult to attain. That’s the bad news. The good news is that J. Gibson McIlvain has come up with a solution for our customers who require those thicknesses.
What We’re Doing
With a full millworks operation on site, we have the capability of making 4/4 or thinner boards out of the thicker FAS stock we can easily import, using our Resaw Bandsaw. As a less expensive alternative to Genuine Mahogany, Sapele is in high demand these days. Because of the added time and labor involved in resawing the thicker lumber, the cost savings involved in choosing Sapele over Mahogany is obviously mitigated; but at least we can offer our customers a nearly unlimited amount of high-quality 4/4 exotic lumber.
Why It Makes Sense
In fact, similar to the issue involved in the lower price point of odd-length decking, you’ll notice that often 5/4 lumber will cost more than 6/4; as will 10/4 than 12/4. The reason is the added cost associated with processing the lumber already sawn to European sizes such as 6/4 and 12/4. Whether the sawmill or the importer, the extra cost will be added on somewhere in the supply chain. If you have in house capabilities for resawing or can use common grade lumber, perhaps you’d prefer to absorb the extra cost, yourself; otherwise, you’ll have to decide where the added labor will take place.
What You Need To Do
Size isn’t exactly everything, but it’s always significant when it comes to lumber pricing. You need to be prepared to think outside the box, when it comes to industry standards, and especially the uniquely U.S. lumber-industry norms. If you need 4/4 boards in African species, you need to realize that there will be an added price associated with attaining those boards. We can help you determine where it makes the most sense for the added cost to be added in, but ultimately, you need to decide.
Perhaps quality isn’t as important to you as keeping the lumber under a certain price point; let us know, and we can work with you on that. Perhaps you’re a little flexible when it comes to species or size. Tell us. Here at J. Gibson McIlvain, we put quality at the forefront and specialize in providing high-end lumber to our many distinguished clients. We believe that the lumber-ordering process should be a conversation, though; the more you tell us about your project and the end use of your lumber, the better equipped we’ll be to fill that order in the most precise, economical way possible.
Read the Series
• Lumber Math: Fractions You Need To Know
• Lumber Math: Understanding the Board Thickness Dilemma
• Lumber Math: Possible Solutions for Board Thickness Dilemma
• Lumber Math: Plywood Ply Number Isn’t Always Important
• Lumber Math: Shorter Boards Can Be Better & Save You Money
• Lumber Math: Sometimes Less Is Really More