How much does wood weigh? Which is the better deal?

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Established Member
27 Jun 2023
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York or surrounding
I went to a specialist wood merchants 30 miles from me and he has a section which sells various hardwoods they are machined up to certain sizes.

The prices were by the KG and plus VAT

African Iroko £5.50 per KG
African Zebrano £9.00 per KG
American Black walnut £12.00 per KG
American cherry £7.00 per KG
Ash £5.00 per KG
American hard maple £5.00 per KG
African wenge £9.00 per KG

I was looking for some Maple so it would be £5.00 per KG

I then went to a local, (2 mins away from me) timber yard and he give me some quotes for some similar timber but by the length.
It was unplaned and sizes were :
125mm x 50mm and per 1000mm

Sapele £23.04
Zebrano £33.46
Maple £21.66
Wenge £40.44

So for example is a piece of Maple at 125mm x 50mm x 1000mm, roughly 4KG in weight (£21.66 at local, £5.00 a KG at specialist= 4KG?)? Do both sets of prices seem fair?

It’s a bit of an apple to oranges comparison. One is selling machined wood, so should have little wastage, the other you will have to plane to size.

Selling wood by weight is odd for me, and I’d only buy by weight if the were no defects in the wood. When buying by volume I’d expect most good yards to look at a board and exclude defective areas from their calculation. You can’t do that when you put a board on the scales.

Both your yards workout about £100/cuft for maple which is expensive for sawn stock and a keen price for PSE.

The specialist wood yard quoted the Kg prices for PSE and the other was for sawn timber. He said he could machine it but its around 35% extra


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I've never bought wood by weight. OK, it was sold as sawn timber by the cubic foot in my day, but
priced by weight seems like a bad concept to me as weight varies with moisture content. If they store it badly or don't dry it to the correct degree then wood that is substandard by being too damp will actually earn them more money !

Arnold Lavers stock (sawn) American Ash and Maple as long as you need a plank or more.