Lumber Prices

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,218
Northern NH
I've been thinking very strongly about getting some sort of planer/moulder so I can make high value items from my rough lumber, but I don't even have a place to put a planer.
I have talked to several folks who started out with portable mills that ended up adding planing and moulding to make high added value product. There are two problems, I dont think wood is planed green so its time to call up Nyle Kiln and buy a kiln and then have equipment to load it and unload it. The second problem is you need three phase power to run the equipment that is sized for reasonable thruput. One guy I talked to just got a surplus 3 phase generator and ran it when he needed it.

Funny on the poplar, I have bigtooth aspens on my lot and there is minimal demand for the wood locally. I just dropped 2 big ones and have 5 nice logs ranging from 24" diameter down to 16". I will haul them over to my friends bandsaw mill to get cut up into boards. Nice wood for interior but its rots quick when used outdoors unless its torrified.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,848
Downeast Maine
I have talked to several folks who started out with portable mills that ended up adding planing and moulding to make high added value product. There are two problems, I dont think wood is planed green so its time to call up Nyle Kiln and buy a kiln and then have equipment to load it and unload it. The second problem is you need three phase power to run the equipment that is sized for reasonable thruput. One guy I talked to just got a surplus 3 phase generator and ran it when he needed it.

Funny on the poplar, I have bigtooth aspens on my lot and there is minimal demand for the wood locally. I just dropped 2 big ones and have 5 nice logs ranging from 24" diameter down to 16". I will haul them over to my friends bandsaw mill to get cut up into boards. Nice wood for interior but its rots quick when used outdoors unless its torrified.
I'll probably stick to air drying, even if we do eventually pick up a moulder. I have my eye on the Logosol PH260, but I can't find any pricing and that means they are way out of my price range at the moment! They are a four headed single phase 220v moulder. Definitely not the throughput of the big name industrial units, but I also don't have a super high throughput mill. Our property is mostly unmanaged forest with no infrastructure. By the time we build a good sized workshop/shed the Logosol may be within my budget, but finished lumber/moulding prices will probably have fallen back down to "normal" levels. There are some decent 220v 2-5 hp single phase planers on the market that accept knives for cutting profiles into the wood, but the throughput is pretty minimal from what I understand.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,626
WI, Leroy
Ya but it's custom work so worth double the big store price. I do a lot of work for a molding supply co. They are having suppler shortages as well . Metal , wood and plastic, some of it is related to the finishes as well.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
932
Western Washington
A friend of mine that does(did?) portable milling got his grading card which is a big deal for construction lumber. Not sure if he’s still doing it anymore, still does logging and tree work but I know he fussed about mill work
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,848
Downeast Maine
I joked with a friend the other day that I might be able to barter a stack of lumber for an 18-20' pintle trailer.
 

NickW

Feeling the Heat
Oct 16, 2019
480
SE WI
I joked with a friend the other day that I might be able to barter a stack of lumber for an 18-20' pintle trailer.
You might.... my truss quote from April 5th went up $1900 when I placed the order on Monday the 19th.. Prices are so volatile they are only being held 3 days I think.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,848
Downeast Maine
You might.... my truss quote from April 5th went up $1900 when I placed the order on Monday the 19th.. Prices are so volatile they are only being held 3 days I think.
That's pretty wild! I can only make rough lumber, for now, but that seems to be in great demand as well.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,384
Unity/Bangor, Maine
That's pretty wild! I can only make rough lumber, for now, but that seems to be in great demand as well.
It is . . . not sure what the price is now, but a couple weeks ago our ATV Club President called the local lumber yard to get pricing on rough cut hemlock planks to replace on the various bridges we use. 2 x 12 x 12 was $24
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,848
Downeast Maine
It is . . . not sure what the price is now, but a couple weeks ago our ATV Club President called the local lumber yard to get pricing on rough cut hemlock planks to replace on the various bridges we use. 2 x 12 x 12 was $24
If you know anyone with a 18-20' pintle trailer, I'd be willing to barter some lumber for it!
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,220
Salisbury, MD
Same with plumbing, had to move my outside spigot for a new deck and just finding cvpc in 3/4 and 1/2 was a pain, thank goodness I had bought some contractor bags of 90's and connectors, the shelves at Lowes are slim pickins. Heck I got the only container of cpvc cement that they had, no primer so I had to use some I already had, thankfully it doesn't go bad like cement does.
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
747
Northwest Lower Michigan
Same with plumbing, had to move my outside spigot for a new deck and just finding cvpc in 3/4 and 1/2 was a pain, thank goodness I had bought some contractor bags of 90's and connectors, the shelves at Lowes are slim pickins. Heck I got the only container of cpvc cement that they had, no primer so I had to use some I already had, thankfully it doesn't go bad like cement does.
Wow just before the full time snow came in December, I got pvc conduit and ran both my internet cable to the pole barn, and my fiber cable into the house. Lowes had a ton of it and it didn’t cost any more than I paid years before. Glad I didn’t wait till spring.
 
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,704
Eastern Long Island, NY
The same goes for catalytic converters. The precious metal in some of them is very valuable now, so much so they are being stolen.

I was also planning on replacing the catalyst in my Jeep last year but didn't get around to it, but a new catalyst was around $270 back then. Now it is closer to $500. Missed that boat. I guess I will just have to get more life out of the old one.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,218
Northern NH
Whether folks know it or not, we are talking about something that we all kind of forgot about which is inflation mixed with supply an demand economics. In order to prevent worse damage to the economy from effectively shutting it down, the Federal Reserve and Congress printed money and sent it into the economy to keep businesses and individuals afloat. If they had not we would be in far worse shape than we are now. The problem with printing money is most of it gets spent and the supply chain was slowed down by covid and no one in the system really wanted to fill warehouses full of product. The federal reserve was not just printing money, they have been artificially keeping the interest rates low so that fuels a housing boom and a in general a business boom. Anyone buying a house today is buying on credit backed by super low long term federal interest rates. They are locking in these rates for decades. With these incentives out there houses are in demand but existing home owners are hanging back from selling. So every one wants a new house but the supply chain can not handle it. Anyone with pellet stove sees this when it gets cold. The pellet producer and sellers do not want too many pellets on hand in case there is a warm winter, when it gets cold the supply is pretty well set for the season and the demandoes up. Since there is no new supply the prices go up. The cheap sellers sell out quick and the guys with inventory can charge a premium. At some point supply runs out although usually the price just goes so high folks are priced out. Now throw in inflation. If you know that pellets will cost 10% more next year you will probably buy them sooner but that means the prices will go up in the short term until the supply catches up with the demand.

Politically keeping the printing presses and deficit high keeps the voters happy but the short term issues is inflation and at some point it turns into hyperinflation.

I am old enough to remember the economy post Nixon. The new President Ford had a big program Whip Inflation Now (WIN). The economy was stalled as the interest rates were record high. Money market funds were just coming out and I remember my dad showing me statements where he was getting slightly over 20% on his money. Long term mortgags rates for homes were in the 15% range. Building construction stalled and home sales were the same. My parents were looking for a retirement home and they got a great deal on home that had been on the market for three years that the owner finally dumped by dropping the price 30%. My dad was a vet so he was able to get a great deal on assuming a 8% mortage for much of the house (rates were 16%) . It took us two years to sell our old home so we rented out the new home until we sold the old one to someone moving into the area who didnt have a choice but to buy one. It took a decade for the rates to finally come down. The Federal Reserve right now is getting ready to "tap the brakes" by allowing the rates to rise up. Its a balancing act, if they let the rates go up to fast to too high a level the economy will stall.

My guess right now is the building supply chain is just plain emptying out so until it fills up again prices will continue to go up.
 

vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,704
Eastern Long Island, NY
I agree with most of what you said, Peakbagger.

However, the wonky prices we see now are supply chain disruptions from the pandemic. We don't realize how much of a global economy we have until some other part of the world that supplies something you need can't deliver. And there a lot of places around the world still with partially shut down economies.

I should have said that the catalyst prices going up is a result of South African mines slowing down on mining of a metal (nickel) because of low demand from the pandemic. That base metal gives off (byproduct) rhodium which is the metal for the catalyst. But until demand picks up again they are not increasing mining for more nickel. Also Russia stopped mining palladium on some of their mines (who knows why).

As for housing, if the trend of people leaving apartments for houses keeps growing, then oh boy, the demand for houses would be changed for the long term because there are not enough houses for that trend (lumber included). I imagine the cities and apartment owners will adjust by lowering rents, increasing space for apartments in new construction, maybe converting some of the unused office space into living space. A lot will change coming out of the pandemic.
 

gggvan

Member
Dec 6, 2012
113
we had our 1200^3 basement framed just before the prices jumped. the builder discarded 10-15 2x4's for being "crooked" (which i cut up and burned). he said the other day he'd give one of his kids to get those back.
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
747
Northwest Lower Michigan

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
425
California redwood coast

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,158
Palmyra, WI
If you swap "mills", "housing", and "producers", with abc, xyz, and klm, it covers just about every industry or commodity out there. It's all over but the shoutin.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,668
South Puget Sound, WA
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vinny11950

Minister of Fire
May 17, 2010
1,704
Eastern Long Island, NY
And not just lumber. Computer chip shortages have caused cutbacks in auto production for different manufacturers. Rental cars are harder to find and more expensive. Some industries zigged when they should have zagged, and others a having real supply disruptions due to the pandemic. Even as we recover in the US, other parts of the World are still working below normal capacity because of lock downs. It looks like the US demand recovery may be ahead of everyone else, but the supply is not there to meet it.