Is Purchasing Wood Online Worth It
Written by: Admin Published On: August 12, 2022

With the prices of lumber still skyrocketing, I was asked if it were a good idea to purchase lumber through the internet. I had never really looked into purchasing lumber this way. I had always thought that shipping costs would make it not feasible. Then came along Amazon. I was not aware that you could purchase lumber via Amazon. I found that Hardwoods and Exotic Wood is available through this online behemoth. Another thing that I realized that if you are an Amazon Prime Member, then shipping is quick and free!

I went to Amazon to see if it were economical to purchase lumber this way and quickly found that there are many retailers and mills that are selling their products through Amazon.

I settled on this offer which was for 18 pieces of hard wood for the price of $48.87. This offer offered 18 pieces of 3/4″x2″x16″ boards. In which eight pieces are Maple, eight pieces are Cherry and eight pieces are Walnut. The wood is kiln dried and s3s.

It took four days for my order to arrive and when I unpacked the lumber, it was, OK. Not the best pieces that I have ever seen, but passable for the project that I am going to use it for.

Was It Worth It?

Was the lumber purchased through Amazon worth the price. Well, yes and no.

To break the cost down, let’s see how much lumber we got. This type of lumber is sold by the board foot. Rather than just the width and length of a piece of wood as the big box stores sell, it is the actual volume of wood that you are purchasing. In my case, each board that I received was 2″ wide, 3/4″ thick and 16″ long. This equates to .17 b.f. (board feet) per board. This means that I had 1.02 b.f. of each Maple, Cherry and Walnut. The current price of Cherry in my area is $5 b.f., Maple is $4 b.f. and Walnut is $7 b.f. This means that if I went to my local hardwood dealer, the wood that I received would have cost me $5.10 for the Cherry, $4.08 for the Maple and $7.14 for the Walnut for a total cost of $16.32. I paid $48.87 through Amazon…

DeWALT plainer helps to level wood so that opposite sides are parallel

You are probably thinking that I was ripped off. Well, it depends on how you look at it. If I went to the hardwood dealer to purchase the lumber that I got from Amazon, I would have purchase a larger quantity. Most hard wood dealers sell at a minimum of 2″x8″x8′ which would be 10.67 b.f. of each species of lumber. It would cost $53.35 for the Cherry, $42.68 for the Maple and $74.69 for the Walnut for a total of $170.72. In which I would have then had to have transported the lumber to my shop. The lumber that I would have purchased at the hardwood dealer is sold as roughsawn. This means that none of the sides are level and none of the edges are square. I would then need to mill the lumber using a joiner and flatten it with a plainer, two tools that I don’t own and cost around $600 to $800 total for a decent tool.

Yes, technically it is more expensive to purchase lumber on the internet. But if your project does not call for the larger amount of materials or if you do not have the tools to properly mill the roughsawn lumber, online lumber is the better way to purchase.


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