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Any-one ever import rough sawn lumber?

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Prizen

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I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of high price rough sawn lumber here in UK (and Ireland).

Has anyone managed to source cheaper hardwoods from mainland Europe, and who would deliver it to private non commercial woodworker?
 

marcros

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how much are you wanting to import? I have my doubts that it would be viable. if you are buying a lorryload then it may be.

when you factor in the timber cost of a project vs the labour put into it, the timber element isnt so bad.
 

Max Power

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I enquired with a guy from Latvia about oak and ash but had to buy a full load and it was a lot of m3
 

sunnybob

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The operating cost of a large lorry is at minimum £80 per hour. Journey time from Latvia? :shock: , plus ferry cost, plus customs paperwork, and lets not forget, the actual profit on the deal for the seller.
Small wonder you cant buy a couple of planks. :roll: :roll:
And once the UK actually DOES leave the EU, add 20% VAT and 15% customs duty. best order now lads.
 

MikeG.

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sunnybob":2yyscaex said:
........ And once the UK actually DOES leave the EU, add 20% VAT and 15% customs duty.......
I'm pretty sure that being in or out of the EU won't change the VAT system, at least at this sort of level. Buying a container full of wood wouldn't be VAT free now. None of us can know what the customs duty will be, either, and they are, after all, negotiating a free trade agreement.

-

To get back to the original point of the thread, chestnut in Spain seems to be about a third of the price of oak here, and, from what I have seen and used, of superb quality. I'm trying to persuade my local woodyard to import some.
 

Nikolaj33

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I have been thinking about this recently. I was shocked to find out that someone got 50 euros for a whole log of 60/70 year old walnut in my home country. I then browsed on local woodworking forums to check the general price of timber. And sure enough, walnut logs can be had for around 100£. Oak etc is slightly cheaper. Add to that that you can also get it transported to a sawmill and sawn and delivered back to you for less than 50€ due to famous cheap labour over there. And this is still Europe I am talking about (Serbia). I was then starting to wonder what could it be that stops people from bringing it here. I don't know if EU has some taxing in place that would make it less lucrative. I get the point about transportation, but if one was to go there anyways for personal reasons, would it not make sense to buy something like a Luton van and just drive there instead of flying. I don't know, gotta do the math.
 

AJB Temple

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I have done this, but oak from France. My main reason was a wanted some particularly long beams that I didn't have here and could not get at a sensible price. These were cut to spec in France. I was however, able to arrange for the lorry to carry some very wide, seasoned and milled floorboards for me as well.

It was three years ago and the delivered price of the green oak (highest grade), including all transport, duties etc was as I recall a bit under £18 a cubic foot. The floorboards were in effect shipped free as the deal was for the green oak, bu their price was less than half what I would have to pay in the UK for good 12" boards. The French haulage company also waited to do a combined load, as the lorry came over with a similarly sized trailer for someone else. And I needed labour at the destination to help unload and stack as the hi lift crane on the lorry can only do so much.

Prices of oak seem to vary a lot. Bar in mind I am DIY not a commercial yard. For very good quality green oak prices in the south east can be anywhere from £25 a cube to £50 a cube plus VAT. Sometimes plus delivery at anywhere from £70 to £200 a load. This was priced late last year for a timber framed house for a commercial project, and for pretty standard sized wood (8", 7" and 6" square, plus 4x2 and 4x4 and 10X3.

It can be a great deal cheaper to import it - but a) you need to factor in that you will spend a lot of time sorting it out, b) you probably will need to speak the lingo and c) unless you are there at loading time you won't see what you are getting, d) it takes weeks, and e) you need to buy a bulk load.

Seeing what you are getting is important IMO. You don't want stuff that is full of defects. So that takes time. Wastage has to be factored in too. I would forget the van idea. Hardwoods are very heavy so van weight bearing capacity will be an issue in worthwhile quantity.
 
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