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What cost for European Ash

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danst96

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Sounds like you have been taken to the cleaners. You are too nice lol, I would name and shame so all here know to avoid this timber merchant.
 

starlingwood

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I would have used beech for a workbench but.. when i built a large bench i bought from Arnold lavers and it was £250 for steamed beech and i had a lot left over ..that was for legs aprons and a 50mm top
A charge of 250 for cancelling the order seems outrageous unless they have cut boards up for you..
But if they had done that i would be expecting to pay in full
No, they definitely have not cut boards up, its just selected waney edge boards that have taken several hours to select. I have had to quote the distance selling regs to them which I hate threatening legal stuff with anybody but they were resisting so much I ended up speaking to the big boss in the end and I really feel like I am being taken the piiss out of. Their counterclaim is that its a bespoke product although it can be put back on the shelves and sold on. I do not disagree that there should be a restocking fee but I'm struggling (and i clearly do not have a clue about buying wood) how several hours of work is entailed with 20 or so boards / 4cu ft!?
 

Cabinetman

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I really feel for you, they are being really disgraceful about this and I feel after you’ve got your money you ought to be naming and shaming the B.......! I doubt it has taken more than an hour to select a few boards the other point is that there will be VAT on top of the £250 I would offer them £100 ex gratia payment. If they refuse I would take legal advice, but I’m afraid to say it would probably be a waste of time, a contract is a contract? Ian
 

C64

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I really sympathise with you too especially getting a load of grief starting out on something new. See if cancelling, taking the hit on charges and sourcing ash from another timber yard leave you better off economically and then decide if the effort and hassle is worth it. I’m sure plenty of folks here can point you to alternative timber yards.
 

paulrbarnard

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Given the stance they are taking I wouldn't be surprised if they have ordered it from somewhere else themselves...

I built my bench out of all CSL. If you want a 'quality' top then I would go for beech for that and leave the frame with a cheap softwood option.
 

akirk

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... Their counterclaim is that its a bespoke product although it can be put back on the shelves and sold on. I do not disagree that there should be a restocking fee ...
A bespoke product would be if they have cut to size for you / have engraved it / have made it in any way different to a product they are offering to sell in their normal course of business - taking it off the shelf to select it for you does not make it a bespoke product - that clause is only there because once made bespoke it can't be resold otherwise as normal stock...
A restocking fee is for when you send something back, not for them to pick it up off the table and put it back on the shelf / propped against the wall ;) it covers their admin time in having to scan the item back into their system and put it back in stock - restocking... if it has never left them then they would have a difficult argument in charging it...

Have you paid them any money yet?

I would say to them that you are sorry to have messed them around, however there is no bespoke element and no need to restock something that is yet to leave stock... you are happy to give them a small token as apology for their time (£50 would suffice!) but you have cancelled the order... and will not be paying for it - their only option would be to take you to court where they could only claim against losses if you were seen to be in breach of contract and they would find it hard to prove any losses given that they would still have all the wood and it would still be as saleable... claims for time taking it off the shelf and putting it back / selecting the wood are irrelevant - if you were to go in then they would spend that time pulling wood out for you and you could still choose to say no thank you and not buy it - they couldn't then charge you for their time - that is just a cost of doing business...

they are seriously screwing you a) on the price and b) now on how they are dealing with it... they don't have a leg to stand on, so be firm...

of course if they have cut to order / milled a piece to your request or done anything else of that nature then it would be bespoke and you are probably in hock for the amount - or worse case scenario a substantial chunk of the cost...
 

Cabinetman

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A bespoke product would be if they have cut to size for you / have engraved it / have made it in any way different to a product they are offering to sell in their normal course of business - taking it off the shelf to select it for you does not make it a bespoke product - that clause is only there because once made bespoke it can't be resold otherwise as normal stock...
A restocking fee is for when you send something back, not for them to pick it up off the table and put it back on the shelf / propped against the wall ;) it covers their admin time in having to scan the item back into their system and put it back in stock - restocking... if it has never left them then they would have a difficult argument in charging it...

Have you paid them any money yet?

I would say to them that you are sorry to have messed them around, however there is no bespoke element and no need to restock something that is yet to leave stock... you are happy to give them a small token as apology for their time (£50 would suffice!) but you have cancelled the order... and will not be paying for it - their only option would be to take you to court where they could only claim against losses if you were seen to be in breach of contract and they would find it hard to prove any losses given that they would still have all the wood and it would still be as saleable... claims for time taking it off the shelf and putting it back / selecting the wood are irrelevant - if you were to go in then they would spend that time pulling wood out for you and you could still choose to say no thank you and not buy it - they couldn't then charge you for their time - that is just a cost of doing business...

they are seriously screwing you a) on the price and b) now on how they are dealing with it... they don't have a leg to stand on, so be firm...

of course if they have cut to order / milled a piece to your request or done anything else of that nature then it would be bespoke and you are probably in hock for the amount - or worse case scenario a substantial chunk of the cost...
Hi it sounds like you know what you’re talking about, he says they will refund the money less £250 so I take it from that, that he has paid up front. How does he get his money back?
 

John15

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Ive got this book about workbenches and they used ash so I just got it in my head that I was always using ash for my workbench. Is that a softwood?
Northern Redwood is in the 'softwood' classification but is slow growing and fairly closed grained so suitable for your substructure.

John
 

flh801978

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Perhaps the supplier has ordered from elsewhere to fulfill the order and the £250 is what its cost him for the timber
 

starlingwood

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Update is that they are revising the £250
A bespoke product would be if they have cut to size for you / have engraved it / have made it in any way different to a product they are offering to sell in their normal course of business - taking it off the shelf to select it for you does not make it a bespoke product - that clause is only there because once made bespoke it can't be resold otherwise as normal stock...
A restocking fee is for when you send something back, not for them to pick it up off the table and put it back on the shelf / propped against the wall ;) it covers their admin time in having to scan the item back into their system and put it back in stock - restocking... if it has never left them then they would have a difficult argument in charging it...

Have you paid them any money yet?

I would say to them that you are sorry to have messed them around, however there is no bespoke element and no need to restock something that is yet to leave stock... you are happy to give them a small token as apology for their time (£50 would suffice!) but you have cancelled the order... and will not be paying for it - their only option would be to take you to court where they could only claim against losses if you were seen to be in breach of contract and they would find it hard to prove any losses given that they would still have all the wood and it would still be as saleable... claims for time taking it off the shelf and putting it back / selecting the wood are irrelevant - if you were to go in then they would spend that time pulling wood out for you and you could still choose to say no thank you and not buy it - they couldn't then charge you for their time - that is just a cost of doing business...

they are seriously screwing you a) on the price and b) now on how they are dealing with it... they don't have a leg to stand on, so be firm...

of course if they have cut to order / milled a piece to your request or done anything else of that nature then it would be bespoke and you are probably in hock for the amount - or worse case scenario a substantial chunk of the cost...
Thank you. I have paid them the full amount and it pains to me write that. I feel a fool and believe me its a lesson learnt.

I took it for granted because they appeared such a reputable long-established friendly family business that it would just be a fair price. I visited their yard a few weeks ago for small order and they came across as really decent. It was only during the weekend after I had received the quote (I paid it instantly) when I was looking at prices of something else that it started to dawn on me that it was very very expensive.

As things stand I have apologised to them and I agreed that I ought to pay them something for their time selecting the boards. Where we disagreed was that £250 was a fair and reasonable amount for their time thus far. Hence me coming back here to sound out whether several hours of work was a reasonable time to source this order from their yard. During the call, my hunch was that it was not reasonable. The owners response was that he knew his business better than I did which of course he does. He ended the call saying that he would see what he can do about the price. It looks like it will end up being a good outcome for me in the end but I do feel that after me cancelling this order they have been unreasonable in asking for such a great amount.

Caveat emptor!
 

danst96

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You feel bad and I understand how you feel. However, while yes you perhaps could have and should have done more due diligence, it does not change the fact that they are blatantly attempting to rip you off for the lumber.

Its sad that they would try that to be honest, even if they know you are new to the industry you will learn what a reasonable price to pay is and ultimately they will lose a customer that perhaps would go onto spend several thousands over the next 10 years. Now i can only assume you will avoid them.
 

starlingwood

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You feel bad and I understand how you feel. However, while yes you perhaps could have and should have done more due diligence, it does not change the fact that they are blatantly attempting to rip you off for the lumber.

Its sad that they would try that to be honest, even if they know you are new to the industry you will learn what a reasonable price to pay is and ultimately they will lose a customer that perhaps would go onto spend several thousands over the next 10 years. Now i can only assume you will avoid them.
Who knows why they really gave me such a high price in the first place? Where they ripping me off knowing I was naive and keen to make an order or can a timber yard really offer a service and product that is worthy of this price in this day and age? Going from replies on here I think not! I am still waiting for another quote.

The owner stands by its not high for the sake of it but that they offer great service and the timber is top quality and carefully selected. From here and my own crude internet searching it does seem a fair price would be £300-600 mark. Not £1400! I did ask if they made a mistake. However, I do think he let is slip in other words that because it was a small order they put a big uplit on the price for the bother which I can understand to a degree. Nevertheless, the high price is a lesson learned.

What I am annoyed about is that I have a right to cancel but they will not refund me an amount which is less a reasonable restocking fee. "Several hours work" "Cost to refund me" now I think about it I think he said there was a cost for doing the quote! I understand how a business works, I ran one and now work for myself.

Yes, I will most probably avoid them in the future.
 

PaulArthur

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was the £1400 from sykes timber by any chance?
I've used Sykes a few times, and I've found them to be excellent - I'd be disappointed if this was them. Their timber is a little pricier than elsewhere, I've found, but the quality is very good and has left me with far less waste than on timber I've had elsewhere. They're also a little more receptive to me calling up when I'm on my way there already and asking if they can sell me some timber.

@starlingwood - you could also try Whitmores timber, which aren't a million miles from you. I've found them to be a but reluctant to give me an appointment sometimes, but their prices are decent. I've made benches out of Southern Yellow Pine and Beech, and found the Beech to be far more difficult to deal with grain and ends up with a lot of tear out. The Pine has been wonderful - easy to work with initially, very heavy and very dense and over time it hardens. My first bench now is absolutely rock hard. I've used ash for making some desks, and it's lovely, but I'd be a little hesitant to use it for making a bench - it feels quite delicate to me, as well as being expensive. The Pine for my bench only cost me £400, and there was absolutely loads of it!

IMG_A6C3259BC6E1-1.jpeg

IMG_90836EE2F082-1.jpeg
 

starlingwood

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I've used Sykes a few times, and I've found them to be excellent - I'd be disappointed if this was them. Their timber is a little pricier than elsewhere, I've found, but the quality is very good and has left me with far less waste than on timber I've had elsewhere. They're also a little more receptive to me calling up when I'm on my way there already and asking if they can sell me some timber.

@starlingwood - you could also try Whitmores timber, which aren't a million miles from you. I've found them to be a but reluctant to give me an appointment sometimes, but their prices are decent. I've made benches out of Southern Yellow Pine and Beech, and found the Beech to be far more difficult to deal with grain and ends up with a lot of tear out. The Pine has been wonderful - easy to work with initially, very heavy and very dense and over time it hardens. My first bench now is absolutely rock hard. I've used ash for making some desks, and it's lovely, but I'd be a little hesitant to use it for making a bench - it feels quite delicate to me, as well as being expensive. The Pine for my bench only cost me £400, and there was absolutely loads of it!

View attachment 104358
View attachment 104359
That leg vice is beautiful! Thanks for the tip on Whitmores.
 

PaulArthur

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Thanks - that piece is yew, and was an accidental find in Axminster tools in High Wycombe when I was in there for something unrelated. I couldn't pass it up. Much more interesting than just plain timber.
 

TheTiddles

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It does rather sound like someone is having a laugh, that said you also gave them a lot of money for nothing, which is rarely a sound plan.

The reality is that people can charge what they want and other people can choose to pay it, I’m not sure you’d have any legal leverage on this one, though you could force them to justify the cost for the work so far, that might be amusing, for that price they must select boards like Abraham Asscher split diamonds.

Aidan
 

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