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120 a cord split

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by webbie, Jun 15, 2006.

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  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    On the side of the road - Rt 141 going from Holyoke, MA to Easthampton

    A dumptruck with a nice load of split hardwood and sign - $120 a cord.

    At those prices, wood burning will start to pay off even if you have to buy your wood and don't want to split it yourself.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You think that's the delivered price?

    If it is, better stock up while the guy's still in business, 'cause he won't be for long.
  3. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    There is a place down here in Limerick (right down the street from the nuclear plant) that sells hardwood for 99 bucks a cord, you pick it up.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I didn't call him, but the truck is sitting there with the wood in it!

    Could be a bait and switch. Sure, 120 a cord, but you have to drive here and take it from the truck.

    It is possible that there is a glut around here right now. Your average stove customer in western ma buys a Pellet stove, so there it not much new demand. The landscape business is going crazy, and the wood is all considered a waste product (or a little extra profit).

    For instance, my neighbors and I are right now (I hear the chipper) having the THICK woods in our backyards thinned out. The crew will be working for a WEEK on just the very back of our 3 - 1 acre lots. They are being paid by the hour, and I can't even guess how much wood is being cut.....mostly pine. They are chipping mountains back there as well as hauling away some big logs (probably to the sawmill).

    They asked us if we wanted the wood chips, but my wife said no since we already have a foot deep layer in the woods from the original lot clearing.

    So, maybe there is just a glut of wood around being as everyone wants their spring tree work done? Supply and demand.

    BYW, I think we got a good deal. 700 bucks for them to do quite a number on the woods....it looks so much better now and the trees will be able to grow without fighting each other.

    (Wife says they are really rugged guys! Ain't no man like a wood man!)
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Maybe it's like one of those "150,000 Mortgage for $450 per Month" deals that are always popping up on my computer screen.

    Could be a glut of wood, since you don't have much of a pulpwood market in Mass, but it's more likely somebody who either doesn't know his true costs or someone who needs some quick cashflow to make equipment payments. The firewood business tends to attract some marginal types--guys who don't cover their employees with workers' comp., steal wood, skimp on safety (their crew's and the general public's), will only accept cash, deliver short cords, etc., so you get some variation in pricing.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to rain on this guy's parade, but I personally think processed firewood should sell for at least $150 per cord in this day and age, and I'd be pretty suspicious of someone who claims to be selling it for less. But like I said, if everything's on the level, then it's a good opportunity to stock up before the prime drying season kicks in.

    I'm approaching this from the professional, respectable logger's perspective: You play by the rules and obey all applicible laws and abide by decent standards of business conduct, price your product fairly, and some fly-by-nighter comes along and undercuts you in the marketplace because he's not doing any of the above.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the key is the quantity available. When you look at it from a local landscapers perspective, he might be getting paid $1,000 a day for 2 men and a dumptruck to remove a couple cords.

    It becomes different when you are actually in the firewood biz.

    I would liken it to the retired handyman who might come to your house and hang some pictures, fix the door knobs and everything else for $20 a hour. Nothing wrong with that (I'd even give him cash, and would not check for insurance), but I certainly would not want him building my house or office building.

    We have sawmills, but I do not think we have a pulpwood market right here. Maybe after they build (if they do) that electric station.

    Tell you what, thought...that pile of wood chips got me thinking about a residential system to burn them! Problems are many, including high moisture content, handling, etc - but there is certainly an abundance of wood chips!

    Maybe I should look to start one of those pressed log factories! We could really use one around here. Anyone know the total economics of these? (startup costs, number of employees needed, etc.).
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Actually, an inventor up in White River Jct., Vermont named Cliff Valley made and patented a residential chip gassifier back in the mid '80s that apparently worked pretty well. He was bought out by a company that's still in business called Chip-Tec, but now they engineer and manufacture equipment for larger commercial applications like schools and small businesses. Gasification is a great approach to wood burning, as anyone who has ever witnessed the miracle of secondary burn will agree.

    I do know a guy in Middlesex, VT, who has one of the original Cliff Valley rigs, and he claims to heat his entire house all winter with it. Actually, I know a few guys in Vemont who have them. I think what killed them in the marketplace is that the the units are a little picky about the chip they'll take (need to be uniform size), so they don't work very well with regular whole-tree chips. Plus, a reliable source of any chips can be tricky to line up in most places. But they burn green chips just fine.

    The residential gasifiers simply converted the chips into gas, which was then mixed with air, ignited and burned in a conventional boiler. Think of the gasifier as an oil gun, except with less pollution. Beautiful technology. IMO, making the world safe for this kind of effective but relatively low technology is where our national wealth should be going, rather than pouring it into situations like Iraq.
  8. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    Strange though. All the wood has double the normal BTU output and produce a green flame. :)
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    And don't breath the smoke, or you'll end up like Chevy Chase when he got those devilish Telekenetic powers!
    Modern Problems Movie

    Of course, around Limerick you don't have to worry about the Nuke. Heck, the radon in the ground there will make your basement glow in the dark.....

    -------------
    In 1984, Stanley Watras, an employee of Limerick nuclear power plant in Pottstown, PA, set off a radiation monitor as he was leaving work. Returning to work the following morning, Watras set off the monitor again. Safety personnel were confused and concerned. Unable to find the source of the radiation at the power plant, they went to the Watras' house and found it had a level of several thousand picocuries per liter(pCi/L) of radon gas. This was the beginning of testing for radon gas.

    ------------------
  10. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    I may be down that way tomorrow - I'm guessing you may be talking about somewhere around the log cabin (or whatever it's called now) - definately a good price for this area - won't be buying any - maybe just take a little look.

    I'm pretty sure I can't fit a cord in the saddlebags on the bike :)
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, actually toward Holyoke from there.....about 3/4 way down the mt.

    So from Easthampton, you would pass the summit and log cabin and head downward about 3/4 of a mile, the truck will hopefully be on your left.

    Are you gonna stop in Easthampton Harley Dealership?
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Come Nov. around Boston expect cord wood pricing to exceed $300 for seasoned wood. On Cape Cod once you cross over the canal $325-350 per cord. If one had space and stacked it to continue drying, expect to double or tripple you money come late Fall into winter. The fire wood comodies market
  13. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Probably not. I'm taking part of the day off tomorrow, and going into work a little later in the morning, since it's supposed to be nice today. Figured I would take the bike just to save gas, of course :)
  14. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    HI Guys,

    Aren't you forgetting something??

    Maybe this guy is just confused. Remember how many ads in the newspaper say '$55 per cord delivered.'???? What they mean is face cords, not full cords. I have learned to ask before you get deliveries. These fy by night woodsellers often don't know the difference between a cord and a facecord or a rick or a pickup load.

    Be carefull, that might be $360 per full cord wood.

    Just my opinion, I learn from my mistakes.

    Niels
  15. VT-Woodburner

    VT-Woodburner New Member

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    Hi guys, New here.
    I've been using wood stoves for almost 20 years and it's amazing how the price of wood changes from area to area. Around here there are ads in the newspapers for wood for as little as $100 a cord. And that's a full cord. Nearby in New York state, wood is advertised for upwards of $280 a cord. I paid $135 a cord last year for 3 cords. I got a mixture of different woods and it was good burning wood. So I guess $120 a cord might be a going price right now. But in November it'll probably go up to $200+.
    Right now a number of neighbors are getting in the log lengths they like so much. They're paying under $100 a cord.
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