Thursday, 18 June 2015 19:38

Hardwood Lumber Strips vs. Hardwood Lumber Rips

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We all know hardwood lumber is typically sold in random widths and lengths.  However, If you are not still buying your hardwoods in random widths and lengths, chances are you purchasing it either width sorted or in exact ripped-to-width bundles.  But why would a manufacturer prefer sorted hardwood strips or hardwood rips?

Many manufacturers that purchase hardwood lumber in sorted strips will do so to rip a specific hardwood blank. They already have the their own rip saw and the expertise in their production process and feel they can do this efficiently.  These manufacturers usually like the flexibility of slightly different board widths so they can create different, but similar sized parts from the same sort.

ripped-bundles-shortThe other consideration for hardwood lumber strips is pricing.  At face value lumber costs for hardwood strips are typically less expensive than SLR2E hardwood lumber.  Of course customers pay a premium over random widths and lengths for sorted strips, but they are still less expensive per thousand board feet than rips.

However, that could be deceiving.  When manufacturers decide to purchase ripped hardwood lumber directly from their supplier they inherently gain value.  Why? Because hardwood rip users save money in freight costs, have less lumber waste costs, gain in lumber usage yields, and usually increase employee productivity.  In essence, they are purchasing a moulder ready blank that is ready for production.

So when should you consider buying your hardwood lumber width sorted versus ripped?  The answer really is it depends. But a good rule of thumb is to consider a supplier that can help you decipher the benefits of both.  Choose a supplier that can help you make the best decision for your company.

If Baillie Lumber can be of any help let us know.

Tony Cimorelli
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