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Dealing with timber yard (Hymor in Stoke) can't just get basic pricing

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Rorton

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Not sure if im being unreasonable, or this is how the timber business works - im looking to get some hardwoods, Walnut, Beech, Maple, Cherry, and Hymor in Stoke on Trent are close to me, and seem to have good stocks.

Read a few posts about getting caught out with pricing, so dropped them an email to ask how their boards are priced, and if they can give me a price per cu ft or cu mtr for these species, so I can at least go down, and pick the lengths I want (if this is still allowed in covid times?) and I at least have an idea that a board of a certain size based on their cube price should be x price, and im not going to get hit with double the price when I get to the office.

They can't have people in the yards at the moment was the reply, which is fine in these times. For the few bits of hardwood ive bought, im used to just buying a board and then making the best use of it, rather than saying I want a 4ft board that's 6" wide by 1" thick, and they have a 4ft board that 7" wide by 1" thick, so they charge me for this board, cut the inch off it, scrap the inch 'waste' which I could use for something else and im paying for.
 

Rich C

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I bought there (pre-covid) and they were really helpful. I was able to jump up on the forklift and pick my boards. Sadly that will not be the case any more it seems. :(

Prices were fine for me - no silly pippers, they were about half the price of a yard closer to home.
 

akirk

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when they say no-one in the yard - how are they doing any sales? Are they letting you into the shop / parking and then they get the wood?
If so, pop down and chat to them - most companies are quite friendly when chatting face to face - and if they are not, you will soon realise that they are not the company for you!

when I bought wood the other day in Bristol, there was no issue with my going with them into the timber store - however, it was all masks on and keeping a distance etc. - so it can be done, just depends on the company... that company also put prices p/m on their website

could you send them a list of what you want for a quote - ultimately, does it matter to you particularly what shape the wood has come from if you get what you want and the price is right...?
 

spb

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They can't have people in the yards at the moment was the reply, which is fine in these times. For the few bits of hardwood ive bought, im used to just buying a board and then making the best use of it, rather than saying I want a 4ft board that's 6" wide by 1" thick, and they have a 4ft board that 7" wide by 1" thick, so they charge me for this board, cut the inch off it, scrap the inch 'waste' which I could use for something else and im paying for.
The way it works in my local place, if you're not self-selecting, is that you send them a cutting list of the pieces you need to get out of your timber. They'll choose boards from their stock that will provide those pieces with minimal waste, calculate the price and send you those boards, as is. This place doesn't offer any cutting or machining services, but for places that do, in hardwoods, I'd expect that to be an optional add-on, not assumed. In either case, you should get all the timber you're paying for unless you explicitly say otherwise and are paying for a cut-to-size service.

Your other point about transparency of pricing still applies, though - if you send in a cutting list you get a single price for 'timber to meet your specifications', with no breakdown. That said, I've not actually asked them for per-cube pricing so they might give it out if asked.
 

Rorton

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thanks for the replies, I think I just need to re-adjust my head into how timber is purchased

Id just hate to buy some American Black walnut, and have to pay for waste that gets cut off and that I could use

For example, im making a small batch of cutting boards, so based on these, the lengths I need are in multiples of 600mm - I can work with what ever width and height I can get to make the boards.

Ive asked for a price on an 8ft x 6" x 1" board to give me an idea of pricing - ive seen a timber yard in Manchester who has similar boards for £34.80, so at least I know what I can get out of it, and what it will cost me - ive asked for a price for a similar board and see what comes back

So far, ive just been buying specific boards that ive seen, and then use them how I see fit

Collection is OK, but customers only in the office by the look of it (at the moment, due to covid is what they are saying)
 

Cabinetman

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I agree with Akirk, I think it’s the difference between sending them an email and turning up and selecting face-to-face.(Obviously not too close though!) That’s what I always do, it may be that they are wary of competitors trying to check their prices with a quick email. In my local yard things haven’t really changed except for masks and distance.
 

Rorton

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thanks - so when going to the yard, do you know in your head what the cu ft/mtr price is, and then as your measuring up, work out what a specific board costs? I read another thread on here with someone else that did such a thing, and the cost of the item was way more than he anticipated so id hate to pick a board, go back to the office, and then then pluck up a price and I feel obliged to buy it
 

Cabinetman

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Yes because I use them every other month or so, you could always call in the office and find out the price first, with Waney edged boards you are going to have some waste! But it should be still a lot cheaper than buying machined square edge boards. Ian
Ps I will check my local yards price for black walnut and PM you later.
 

akirk

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I think there is a lot to be said for building a relationship - and being very open - all of which is better done face to face.
I went into the local yard wanting some simple softwood for a planter - and then some hardwood to play with to make some kids building bricks. I was very open with the chap I spoke to that I was starting out in woodwork, and had very little knowledge - he therefore spent some time showing me how they worked / how they priced their wood / what wood they had available (e.g. they have a generic area for white / dark hardwood - in which you might get cheap or expensive hardwoods, but all at the same price, so worth keeping an eye on it!) - he then let me loose on the waste bin - I ended up reversing the rr into their building and filling the boot with mainly offcuts of softwood - but also quite a bit of waste hardwood (oak / etc.) - as a thank you for helping them empty their waste bin they gave me a discount on the wood I was buying! They also forgot to charge me for the hardwood, so I emailed them to let them know that night and they were very pleased that I was honest etc - when I went back in to pay for that the next day, everyone knew me as the person who a) helped empty their waste bin and b) chased them to pay for the wood they forgot to charge for - they gave me another discount :) !!!

waste bin haul:
2020-09-24 13.15.51.jpg
 

marcros

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Have a look on the British hardwoods website. They list the species that you mention with prices. They vary a little on thickness of the timber.

BH give fair prices for decent quality stock. I use them for most of my purchases but I don't buy a huge amount- certainly not enough to warrant any discount or preferential service. It will give you a good idea for pricing up projects, and if you look it will give you an idea of typical widths of boards. Most are 8-10ft long. I have seen cheaper prices elsewhere but the quality is inferior, so be careful buying on price alone.
 

Rorton

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cor, that was a good haul - yep, I think I will go down and have a chat.

I was (naively) expecting to pickup boards like this which is in my mind rough sawn

117598969_1591965714318915_3822603406749659120_o.jpg


as opposed to this, which im thinking is waney edged?

95C30F47-2F7A-414C-A1EB-B2E77153451F-scaled.jpeg
 
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akirk

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yes - that is rough sawn and waney edged...
I think that it is important as the customer to think from their perspective:
- waney edge is a plank from the tree
- rough sawn is a shaped version of waney edge (so timber lost and a process added = extra cost)
- PAR is then finished by planing all sides (so timber lost and a process added = extra cost)
then you start to get how they price things - the more timber that is lost and the more processes they have to do, so the cost increases... if you can do those processes, then you can effectively buy further up the chain and save money...

I am a big fan of buying local and building relationships where possible - always ends up better, there might be someone elsewhere who can 'beat the price' but they will rarely beat the service! My post above was mainly to illustrate how being friendly / building relationships / etc. works out well - and as someone starting to play with wood etc. their waste bin contents is perfect for me - I am learning to use the jigsaw (scroll saw), and so lots of nice waste free softwood is perfect...
 

Eric The Viking

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They're not mutually exclusive - waney edged has the bark on it, but it could either be rough sawn or (conceivably) planed, although the latter is unlikely.

That said, I think Yandles used to plane up some of their exotics - waney boards but smooth-ish face grain so you get a good idea of the pattern. I'm sure it helps sell the expensive stuff, but it also makes a bit more waste, as you're still using a smaller part of a smaller board as a consequence, and if the board has wind that wasn't taken out by the planer, you still have to do that too. On balance I'd rather have rough sawn...

For picking out nice stock, I think you might use a Record #70 ("Box Scraper Plane") near the end of a board, but you'd need a pretty good relationship with the yard for them to let you do that! (And anyway, the examples I've seen have a serious camber to them).
 

marcros

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It depends on the species too. Imported species are frequently supplied as sawn square edged. It isn't impossible to get black walnut as wayney edge but it isn't common.

One further thing- many timber yards claim that they can get all species, but if they have to buy in a few boards just for you they won't be competitive on price.
 

kevinlightfoot

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I have dealt with Hymor for many years even from their old yard in Middleport,very helpful staff and they have never ripped me off,quite the opposite in fact,excellent firm you can trust.
 

Rorton

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Thanks all for your replies so far, I think the key is to get down there and have a chat and see how I get on. The timbers I’m looking at are all ex stock, so nothing they should need to order in, they have quite an extensive stock list

will be a shame if I can’t actually get into the timber sheds to have a look though :(
 

akirk

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I think that is why a lot depends on how you build a relationship - I would pop down, acknowledge the need for distancing and masks etc. - and say to them something along the lines of - I know I am a bit fussy and don't want to cause you too much trouble - would it be easier if I popped in with you to save you having to bring wood out for me to look at? etc. - can only be worth the chat...
 

craigs

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when they say no-one in the yard - how are they doing any sales? Are they letting you into the shop / parking and then they get the wood?
If so, pop down and chat to them - most companies are quite friendly when chatting face to face - and if they are not, you will soon realise that they are not the company for you!

when I bought wood the other day in Bristol, there was no issue with my going with them into the timber store - however, it was all masks on and keeping a distance etc. - so it can be done, just depends on the company... that company also put prices p/m on their website

could you send them a list of what you want for a quote - ultimately, does it matter to you particularly what shape the wood has come from if you get what you want and the price is right...?
can i ask where in Bristol? im fairly new to the area and looking for decent timber yards
 

Rich C

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Rorton, where in Manchester sells black walnut? Most of the yards here seem to be aimed at the building trade, so softwood and cheap hardwoods abound.
 
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