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  1. #1
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Lumber prices!!!



    Bad news for speaker builders i guess...

    Picked up a news item a couple days ago from a Canadian construction contractors association. Lumber price increases have simply gone crazy when compared from pre-Covid to now, so in about a year.

    They indicated that on average wood price has gone up by 125%! Citing lockdowns, curfews, Covid restrictions, as the explanation, making forest workers and lumber mills work at a imited pace. This while demand is very high both in Canada and USA for housing projects, Canada also exporting lots of lumber to the US.

    Two specific price increase examples were given in the article. First, 4X8' sheet of 1/2" plywood which sold for $21.CA now goes for $40.CA . Second, a piece of 2X4"X8' previously selling for $2.89 CA now sells for $6.49 CA !

    They added this ain't over since lumber shortages are in sight not too far away. They are talking about importing lumber from Europe. Well, that won't be a deal either, my bank is asking $1.60 CA for one Euro, a 60% exchange rate, then add shipping costs for all that lumber from Europe to Canada... Maybe to the US also.

    Since the pandemic is around for a while according to experts, it seems speaker builders will have to put the hand deeper and deeper in their pocket, i.e. PAY much more to play.

    My preferred for larger boxes (never use particle board) is 7-ply British Columbia Fir plywood (one of the hardest "soft wood"). End of March 2019 Depot was selling a sheet for $62. CA (kept a note of that), though thickness stamped on it was initially 19 mm, went down to 18.7, at last look was 18.3 mm, so i figure 18 mm or less next time?

    Haven't checked price on it recently, but in the above pandemic context not sure i even want to know...

    Richard

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    Senior Member macaroonie's Avatar
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    A sheet of 18mm Baltic birch is now £70 for aa/bb ie one good face , other with patches

  3. #3
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Hi Mac,

    Thanks for the input.

    Last time i checked pricing locally on the sheet you describe was before the pandemic, say 12-18 months ago, it was $100. CA.

    I don't even dare looking now, might not be good for my blood pressure, lol . Regards,

    Richard

  4. #4
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    In North America construction lumber is mostly bought on price, not quality. A 2X4 is a 2X4, nothing more than this in people's view. Most of them don't know and don't care about type of wood used or quality. So lumber mills and big box stores sell us a lot of average stuff, price matters.

    Some lumber (e.g. 2X4) is stamped "SFP" which means it can be made of Spruce, Fir or Pine. Pine is the lighter and softer of the three (low density) one i try to avoid in a stack, just by handling it you know (pretty low weight). The heaviest of the three is fir (higher density giving higher mass), also the hardest, more rigid one i try to get in a bunch at the store. Handling weight is a good indicator. As you figured Spruce is somewhere in between these two.

    Their dimensions also schrink. Clever mills, removing 1/32, 1/16 or 1/8" on thickness here and there. Similar to speaker impedance, the advertised figure is only a nominal number... For years we were sold regular 11/16" plywood as 3/4" thick. Some months before Covid i came across real 3/4", i was so surprised (imagine) that i bought some to put in my stock! Still have some of that 11/16"

    Fir plywood sheet used to be 19 mm thick, went down to 18.7 mm, now 18.3 mm as indicated on the sheets here. Might well be 18 mm or less next time i purchase some...

    2X4" has been 1 1/2 X 3 1/2" for years, but not long ago saw at depot 1 3/8 X 3 3/8" another little cheat. Even saw some 2X3" that were not 8' long, missing about 3". These are not accidents they know what they're doing, lumber mills are highly computerized and the computer decides how the tree will be cut to maximize number of pieces.

    RE BMW Post# 15

    With the Euro worth about 1.18 US (or the other way around $1 USD worth about 0.82 Euro) plus shippig across the Atlantic its pretty difficult to make money on that lumber. Either Stora gets the trees free from Sweden land or Sweden doesn't use the Euro but rather its own weaker currency ( i think they may), or a combination of the two, or its dumping? (selling cheaper elsewhere than in your own country).

    Since BMW refers to Sweden, i have three lengths left of Swedish 2X4 (had 10 or so; shown on pic), got them from working for a European company. They are 1 5/8" thick and 4" wide! Compare this to the above ones. They have some knots, finish is ok but not as nice as BMW describes for his. I got them free can't complain.

    The finish (knots, etc.) also depends on the type of trees being used. Canadian construction lumber uses mostly SFP, what the country has most i guess.

    RE And yet lumber manufacturers here say the rise in prices is simply an adjustment in the market that puts them closer to where it always should have been.

    Yup, $$$$$$$$$

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    RIP 2021 SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Oregon has a tree or two ...

    Vast majority are Douglas Fir, and that's what we usually get.

    When building my 60ft. patio a couple of years back , did all buying at Home Deep-Poo , as i get a disabled Vet discount there.

    I'd sift thru the 2x4's for best, wasn't that hard ... about 10% were not up to my needs, for one reason or other. I'd lay them on the floor and check for straightness. That & knots were the biggest defects.

    Still have the receipts ... 2x4x8 's were $2.97
    Some kind of happiness is measured out in miles

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    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Saw on Bloomberg Business News today an update on the lumber pricing situation.

    Well, on the Chicago commodities exchange, where lumber is traded, the futures hit a new record high! As their name implies futures indicate the direction of the market price wise in the coming months. No break in sight...

    Wonder if i could trade some snow at Chicago exchange, yeah the real stuff not the one you sniff otherwise i'd keep it, got about 6' high on front yard grass and getting short on space, could offer a good price, shipping not included...

  7. #7
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    UPDATE

    Was at the local Home Depot yesterday for something else, but at the same time checked pricing on lumber since been a few months...

    * Plywood sheet, Std, 3/4", $98.98 Can (for $3. more you get the better one under).

    * Plywood sheet, Fir, 18.3 mm, very nice one side, $102. Can (my preferred for mid or large speaker boxes).

    * Plywood sheet, Std, 3/8 or 1/2", can't remember for sure thickness but its one of those two, $50.

    * 2X3, regular, $8.95 or so; same but Select, about $10.

    * 2X4, regular, about $10.; same but Select, around $12.

    * Wood fence board, nominal 1X6" 5 ft. (actual say 1/2-5/8" X 5 1/4-5 1/2"), about $8.

    Naturally, all the above prices are taxes extra. Covid prices rip off. And they said recently that prices had started to come down, What? In that context, glad to have a fair amount of lumber in stock, daughter/husband recently bought a house (also at crazy price), there's work and repairs to do, so they shop from me for lumber, etc. since mine is free, lol.

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    Senior Member macaroonie's Avatar
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    2 x 6 CLS C24grade 4.8 mtr £24 at trade supplier

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    RIP 2021 SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    I have NO real experience buying lumber lately, BUT

    there was a news story today that "prices have dropped abt 30% from the highest recent level" ( which I'm sure is still way too high )
    Some kind of happiness is measured out in miles

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    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Sure Oregon as lot of trees, so does Maine. Use to watch Oregon lumber jacks program on TV, but don't see them anymore.

    Douglas Fir is nice, also found in B.C. One of the hardest among "soft woods". Pine too soft, good for moldings and that sort of detail stuff.

    When need a number of studs or boards bring wife with me, boss is pretty good at discarding the poor ones in a pile.

    $2.97 yup the good old days now.....

  11. #11
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    $2.97 yup the good old days now.....
    2 x 4 x 8 at Home Despot currently: Spruce framing $5.98 here.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."óGreg Timbers

  12. #12
    RIP 2021 SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Douglas Fir is nice, also found in B.C. One of the hardest among "soft woods". Pine too soft, good for moldings and that sort of detail stuff..
    "hard/soft wood" has nothing to do with HARDNESS.

    It's whether deciduous or not.

    BALSA is classified as a "hard wood"

    Wood is often classified into two categories including hardwood and softwood. But, the difference between these two types of wood isnít in their name. That is, hardwood isnít necessarily denser than softwood.

    For instance, yew wood is classified as a softwood but is considerably tougher than certain hardwoods. Likewise, balsa wood is classified as a hardwood and yet itís one of the least dense and softest types of wood.


    https://www.horizonwood.com/hardwood...erence-part-1/

    Why is pine a softwood?

    Softwoods have no visible pores, which means that they don't display the prominent grain seen in hardwoods. ... You can identify most hardwoods due to their broad leaves, while softwoods usually have needles and cones. Examples of softwood trees include: Pine.
    Some kind of happiness is measured out in miles

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    Senior Member Champster's Avatar
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    I just got word on the home I'm building that lumber prices should see some significant reductions toward the end of August. It all depends on how long it takes to sell the existing inventory.
    JBL M2 & 2x SUB18s, BSS BLU800, VTV Purifi Amps, MiniDSP SHD Studio, PS Audio Perfect wave DAC

  14. #14
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the input.

    Mac: not sure its time yet to bang the beer mugs for speaker builders... with such costs no money left for beer, sniff. Or you do without lumber, then have lots of money left for beer!

    Wolf: i don't see yet where's the 30% price drop and you're right its still way too high. Maybe the futures on Chicago commodities exchange have gone down, however in-store prices are still very high, may take time.

    This ain't imported stuff, Canada is loaded with forests, wood and has many lumber mills. These often get it from Govt/public forests for a low cost. Recently a news org. did a helicopter survey! of lumber mill yards in some regions to see stocks. Films showed yards being pretty packed!! Now say they lack labour due to Covid payments to people for them to stay home...

    But one industry executive sort of talked too much when he said, you know lumber prices were low for many years, now they're more in line (with what industry likes to see). In the new normal guess we have to expect that lumber cost will remain relatively high for a while...

  15. #15
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    With lumber prices where they are I am thinking about parting my house out and rebuilding with brick!

    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

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