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bigcreekdad

Milled Boxwood Sheets in USA

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YT...I did the same before I posted. I am looking for either sheets I can mill, or strips. I didn't see any. It doesn't appear the a wood supplier carries it, and same goes for Syren.

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Maybe somebody will jump in and become a supplier wood sheets????   I can no longer supply it because I just dont have the time to do so.   Surely there is someone out there who has the means to mill sheets of Pear, Holly, and Boxwood.  Its a good way to make a few bucks if you can do it well.

 

Chuck

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Looking at seller sites where they sell logs of boxwood I was stunned with their high pricing. If logs are cut in sheets and strips for modelling they will cost by weight as gold. I had not chance seeing actual boxwood. Why boxwood is so popular among modellers?

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Although boxwood seems to be the holy grail of modeling woods there are many alternatives.  Not all are going to be available already cut in to sheets and strips but you might be surprised at how cheap it can be.   The basic criteria is a wood that is hard with a fine straight grain.  If you can mill your own wood the possibilities really expand.  For instance here in Hawaii there is a tree called Ohia.  The wood is very hard, fine grained and varies in color from medium brown to red.  You can't buy it but it can be found for free.  Currently there is an embargo on shipping the wood because of a fugal problem but I harvest my own from my property and treat it before using it.  Check the wood database https://www.wood-database.com

for information.  Also talk to woodworkers and the agricultural extension office in your area for ideas.

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Add up the cost of the wood cut in sheets and strips (strips are not so important as there are so many spiled and/or tapered strakes on the hull and decks)  and compare it to the cost of  rough cut board stock, a small format band saw or a simple table saw,  and thickness sander.  It may be equal to buying pre-cut sheets and strips for a good size model.  Plus you would then have tools that can be used for years so the cost is amortized over a lot of models and time.   With these  tools and board stock you can use  any of the woods mentioned including Castello or European box at  a much more reasonable price.   Castello and box as well as poplar (when you can find clear white stock) is dear, but better priced with board stock than sheets and strips.  I have the privilege of owning a planer as well, which I highly recommend, but lived without it for a long time.   Yes, there is a lot of sawdust to be made when cutting your own, but it is the same for the company selling you the finished sheets and strips.  You are paying for that sawdust regardless of who makes it, them or you.   Just my two cents worth.

 

Allan

Edited by allanyed

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If you don't want the investment of tools, and in the States, check to see if there's a "Makerspace" in or near your location.  Most have all the wood working tools (but in the large shop size not the model size) you could hope for to turn billets into modeling wood.  Some even have laser cutters for turning the modeling wood into parts.   You may have to schedule ahead of time but worth the wait.

 

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I have been swamped with emails and requests to offer boxwood sheets again at Syren.  I have to be honest...I really have reservations about this.  But I will consider it.  Keep in mind that this was never a profitable or "time-worthy" venture for me.  If I do decide to start selling it again I will only offer milled sheets and I will warn everyone that the price per sheet will be extremely expensive.  The good quality bandsaw blades I would need cost $150 each....and they dont last long on this hard wood.   This is do to the cost of milling them and acquiring good quality stock while culling out the bad stuff I get which can not be sold.  The cost for the culled pieces must be absorbed somehow....otherwise this venture will just be a complete drain on my resources....I will also have to limit the sale of boxwood sheets to the USA and Canada as shipping them to Europe and elsewhere is just too expensive.   Usually double what anyone was willing to pay for it.

 

But before I make the decision....I must hear from you guys if you would seriously consider buying it from me at the prices I would need to charge.  If not....then I wont bother.  I have crunched the numbers and the prices per sheet are listed below.   If you seriously would not buy it then please let me know.....or if you would!!!   Unless I have more than just a few folks that would use me as their supplier it just wont be worth the effort....Absolutely no strips though.  I have received at least 3 dozen emails lately so if only two or three respond here then I know its just not worth it now based on the $$$ I would need to charge.  This is a serious commitment for me and I need to know what the potential for sales is before I move any further.

 

Your responses are crucial because I need to buy new 10/4 stock right now.  If I am only buying it for myself it will cost me about $800 but if I need to buy enough to mill sheets for resale then I need to buy about $3800 worth of lumber.   Its a big difference and a huge nut for a small business like mine.

 

Thanks in advance...my proposed pricing is shown below.

 

.025" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long)  $14.50
1/16" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $15.25
1/32" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $15.00
1/4" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $20.00
1/8" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $17.00
3/16" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $18.50
3/32" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $16.00
3/64" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $15.00
5/16" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4 1/4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $22.00
5/32" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $17.75
7/32" Thick Milled Boxwood Sheets (4" - 4 1/2" wide x 14" long) $19.50

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I personally can't justify the price of boxwood, so I'm out.

 

 I really like your AYC, and find it very satisfactory for details where I might otherwise use boxwood.

 

Are you considering offering milled cherry outside of the Winchelsea project?  I have got some very good stuff at a reasonable price from Ocooch, but they have

somewhat limited thicknesses..

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No I havent considered Cherry because you can buy it anywhere and everywhere.  Even Midwest sells it.  You can ask Ethan to mill any thicknesses you like if they are different than those shown on the Ocooch site.  Bluejacket also sells Cherry.  

 

Thanks for answering as well.   your response helps me out a great deal.....

 

Chuck

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Probably :blink:....but based on the response I doubt I will move forward....I was just trying to do a good thing and offer up the service if it was indeed such a huge issue based on what I am hearing.   I am going to place my order on Monday for some billets and will only get enough for my needs through the winter by the looks of it.  I am personally more fond of Yellow Cedar now than boxwood now, so for me it isnt a real big deal.  I like the overall look and color of it better.  It just takes some adjustments to get used to working with it....but once you do, its a beautiful wood.  And at a third the price.

 

My Winnie in Yellow cedar is below in case some of you havent seen it all planked up in the group build area.!!!!sternpostadded1.jpg

sternpostadded.jpg

 

  

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Too much for me,also.  There seems to be lots of other wood species that look nice & are much cheaper & more plentiful(unless you are building for a museum:)).

 

There is a woodworking store near me thats has a lot of exotic woods - most anything from alder to zebrawood,but even they don`t have box or pear!

 

Mark

Edited by marktiedens

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Certainly if you are going to offer this then I would stock up on some for sure.  Although I am getting to the point where some clean 10/4 stock in manageable sizes would also be nice as I am starting to learn how to use the Byrnes machines.  

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I am not going to sell the 10/4 stock.  The billets I get are 5" wide and 2 1/2" thick.   You cant cut that with a Byrnes saw.   You need a big bandsaw for that with a good quality resaw blade.  I use a 2 horsepower laguna bandsaw.  

 

I am talking about just selling the milled sheets as listed above.   There are lumber providers out there can sell you the billets should you need them like Gilmer and Rare Woods.  I believe Gilmer current price is $40 per board foot.

 

Chuck

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Good Evening all;

 

Chuck's comments about the amount of waste are very true, if the situation in the States is anything like that in England. I have purchased or been given boxwood from trees grown here, and there are a lot of sections with wild grain; clusters of small knots; large knots; bent at all angles branches; and twisted grain, like a rope. The bent parts can, sawn with some care, provide compass timber, which is very useful, but the time required is not likely to be economical compared to the small amount of timber which results. In all the other cases, the wood is good for nothing, really. During seasoning it will often distort to a remarkable degree, and could not possibly be sold on. Frequently, the wood contains dark markings, or streaks. I could show you pieces of boxwood (I know it is boxwood because I saw it in the tree, and it still had leaves on when I collected it) which you would swear were pine by its striped appearance as seasoned timber (the weight makes it clear it is not pine, though!)

 

I have discarded about half of all the boxwood I have bought. That still leaves a good quantity, but I would not want to do this commercially.

 

I wish Chuck all the best with this. 

Edited by Mark P
Spelling mistake!

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Chuck,

At $150 per blade, you seem to be buying a carbide tipped blade.  I am guessing ReSawKing. The main alternative that I have found at Highland is about $25 more.  I have a local shop that will weld a blade while I wait.  The owner repaired a 10" carbide Freud tablesaw with a broken tooth -back to like new.  Anyway, he put me onto Lenox Diemaster 2 bimetal blades.  I use the 1/2", 3tpi, 0.035"  and my saw is 142" so each is $  57 .  I checked Bandsaw Direct and they are $55.     For my size a Wood Slicer is $44 and it dulls and a bimetal lasts maybe 10 times longer.  The carbide will last longer than bimetal but nothing like 3 times longer.  It is to cry when a carbide blade snaps.  When I cost it out, I think the bimetal is a lot more cost effective.  It will only cost you about $50 to do the test on your saw and see if the economy is there for you.

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I use a wood slicer for the Cedar and its great.   Super smooth cuts.  But I use the Laguna Resaw King for the boxwood.   The Wood Slicer just gets too dull very quickly.  I am happy with the Resaw King blade and its fine if I am only cutting sheets for my products.....if I were selling sheets though I would go through too many blades.   I have tried getting them resharpened but they just dont work the same.   Scares the crap out me when they break though.   That can get hairy if any of you have experienced that.  I use a 3/4" blade.  They are 115" long.   I have thought about alternatives but I am so used to these blades I know how they handle and when they heat up too much etc.   So I am sticking with what I know rather than trying something new at this point.

 

I have a guy that does most of my milling now though, so I dont do too much myself any more.   But that alone makes it more expensive.

 

I have plenty of Boxwood sheets on hand right now already milled.  I just ran out of the billets.  Will order more on Monday.  Here is my current stash...each pile is a different thickness.

 

You can see my last remaining swiss pear stash on the floor that I keep just in case.....

 

boxwoodstash.JPG

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Your sheets look wider than 2.5" .  So you set the 10x4 face on the table?   You know what your grain pattern will be doing that.  I use 8x4 and the 2" face is against the fence.  I do get an interesting variety of grain patterns with Hard Maple this way.

 

I have a 3HP Rikon and my Resaw King broke.  The tension is serious, so the bang was LOUD.  I paid a tech from Wood Craft to set my saw up and he set the tension.   It reads dead on for 1/2" on the gauge.

143605408_ResawKingbreak.jpg.88c4d482268bf59cc7365df4c330359e.jpg

Bent the blade so no rewelding.  It was under warranty so Laguna replaced it.  They required this picture.  It was way back in the queue, but it got here. 

The finish and thin kerf with Wood Slicer is really nice.  It just does not stand up to Maple for enough linear feet of cutting to pay its way with me..

 

I went thru the whole wider blade - less wander thing.  I used an Emco BS3  3 wheel benchtop band saw for years.  As the blade dulled, the wander became a problem.  I have had no wander with the Rikon with a 1/2" blade.  The internet video that advocated setting the teeth at the crown of the top wheel pretty much avoids wander for me.

 

I do not work for Lenox, so I have no investment here.  I am just offering what I think is an economical alternative.  Given the propensity for any steel blade to break on me,  I am thinking that the carbide resharpen option is more of a mirage.   It softens the resistance to the $175 outlay.

 

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