Cost of timber

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    Dario Payne

    Hi all,
    I’m watching the build series and plan on making the tool cabinet to the sizes in the cut list. I sent the cut list off to a timber supplier and the quote for sapele sawn boards came out to £420 including VAT and delivery. This seems like a lot to me, has anyone else got a better deal?

    Scott Chensoda

    Welcome to rip-off Britain Dario. The FPO wants or wanted an oak sideboard built and that priced out at nearly £500. Twice as much as a completed one is, as advertised by Oak Furnitureland. Someone down the line is earning, or should I say making, a helluva profit from our raping the rain forest.

    But £420 for a cabinet and sawn at that, seems very high. Think I’d be inclined to send the cutting list to a few online suppliers to see you come up with. WoodShop Direct are offering planed sapele at £47.23 per cu.ft plus machining as an example. Me, I’m a pine and stain man I’m afraid.

    It’s a jungle out there but getting your timber from it is downright expensive.

    Joe Kaiser

    I don’t know how board are price where you are, but in my area the boards cost more when they are wider.

    For example, 4/4 walnut that is less than 8in wide is about $7.77/bdft. If I want the same but 9-12 inches wide it costs $8.50/bgft

    So, for me, it is more cost effective to take a cut list and figure it out in smaller boards, joining them if I have to.

    Seattle, WA

    Scott Chensoda

    That’s too much like logic and common sense for the UK Joe. Over here most hardwood timber is advertised asking what length, width and thickness you require but they then throw the curved ball at you by quoting a price for the type of wood as per cubic ft. For instance American Cherry is actually priced at £50.80 per cu.ft. irrespective of the width and thickness. Calculating 12″x1″ is fairly easy, as is 6″x1″ but if you want something like 19mm x 38mm then it becomes a minefield to work out.

    In softwood it’s similar to yours e.g. all priced per metre. 2″x1″ = £0.80 per metre, 3″x1″ = £1.20 per metre, 4″x1″ = £1.60 per metre etc. These are purely arbitary prices btw. But why hardwood can’t be sold the same I don’t know.

    George Bridgeman

    Hi Dario,

    What were they delivering for £420? If you sent them the cut list, are they cutting all the components, or did they figure out you’d need a plank of a certain size and will just deliver that/those plank(s) rough sawn?

    If it’s the former, I’m not surprised it’s so expensive. They will have waste to account for, as well as a fair bit of machining time. If it’s the latter, the price is staggeringly high.

    Can you mill the components from full-size boards (12′ long, 12″ wide, 1″ thick) yourself? Can you afford to buy in bulk? Do you have space to store a stack? If so, you can go to eBay for a better deal. Buying 10cu.ft. from here will set you back almost £400 delivered but will give you enough stock to make a fair few tool cabinets:

    This is another place to get sawn boards if you can mill them – Paul mentioned them during one of the projects:

    If you have space, always keep your eye out for good deals at auction (physical and online), as well as Preloved and Gumtree. I did that for a while and have more than enough for my needs; I was (and am still hoping to) sell some off at some point but I’m slowly making my way through the stacks.


    "To know and not do is to not know"

    Dario Payne

    Thanks for the advice chaps. The quote I was given was for just rough sawn and enough to cover the job, not cut to size.

    I’ve been scouring ebay and had a good look at Scawton’s website and it looks like I can do far better than what I’ve been quoted. Looks like I’ll be having fun in the future looking for ebay stuff!

    Thanks again,


    Just as an aid to price comparison, I bought 20cuft of wood recently, scawton quoted £70 for delivery and Timports £100. I went with Scawton as cheaper all round, even with delivery the cuft price works out a little under 2/3 that charged at my local retailer.

    Some of it was a bit shocking mind you, my friendly local wood supplier’s boards are often usable every inch from tip to toe but in this lot a couple of boards were split almost half their length and a couple more were jam packed with knots. They have found their uses, but I mention it so you know what you’re buying – which I assume is whatever timber is at the top of the stack – and buy that little bit extra to account for it.


    Southampton, UK


    Ok I cannot find the cut list on this wall hung tool cupboard/cabinet? can some one please send me the link or page where I can find the wood list and cut list dimensions etc for this project. I want to start the build but I need the cut list. I have been looking at Lowe’s here in our location in US and the Oak boards are high but I didn’t know what size to get!
    thanks again. John


    Hi John,

    Try this link :

    It can be found on the “Wall Hung Tool Cabinet – Project Info” video. There is a link under the Header “Cut List & Drawing”.

    Good Luck!


    I use a sawmill called east bros and for for this particular cutting list I was quoted 148.51 including VAT but I pick it up myself.

    My boards are straight off the bandsawn and 28mm thick and I plane them down by machine and finish it with a smoothing plane.

    Another good sawmill is yandles sawmill somewhere in somerset… they quote me normally 20% higher than anyone else but they also have self selection if you go in person where boards have a price tag and if they have defects you know you can work around it can be astronomically cheaper. They also do 20% off all wood in stock when they host events which is usually every quarter of a year.

    I’ve used vastern timber based in Wootton basset and iWood online retailers. They are okay and the timber has been okay although I have only bought PAR oak from them for secular work and usually a few grands worth at any given time.

    Another good source of occasional timber (but not imported hardwoods) Is from local tree surgeons.

    I’ve saved a lot of cash from collecting green logs/trees and sawing them myself with a chainsaw mill which I seldom use and cost me 300 quid all in… that against what I’ve saved in beautiful English grown hardwoods was a steal….

    Hope this helps…

    Swindon, England


    Forgot to mention the price was for sapele and it’s kiln dried not air dried.

    I have found that the more I use sawmills the better the prices I get… I guess it’s because I have an addiction to buying timber lol

    Swindon, England

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