MANFIO

Managing our wood stock - how much wood we need?

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How much wood we need?

Having a wood stock is expensive. It seems that most makers don't see it as an objective thing, in general we buy more wood than we wil eventually use

So, is there a rational way to manage how much wood we need in stock, considering some things as desired  seasoning time, the number of instruments we make a year, etc?. Would it be cheaper getting some seasoned wood based on demand  instead of keeping a wood stock (ok, it is not that simple, I know that). Any suggestions?

I currently have viola wood for about 12 years, since I make just 6 or 7 violas a year.

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Sounds like a business opportunity for someone to store and season wood for makers. Maybe even purchase large stocks. Although I expect a lot of the wood thing for makers if the excitement of finding and buying their own wood.

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It is hard to stop, I just look at it as money in the bank. I have made just three violins in two years but have the wood for the next thirtyfive . My own reason is that I plan to make them as a retirement hobby so buying good wood at a time I can afford it.same thing with tools but that would be another post on it's own

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2 hours ago, MANFIO said:

How much wood we need?

If this was a large business, you'd submit a requisition and rationally justify the need for it.

For a solo instrument maker (or any individual buying anything), purchases are based on WANT, not so much NEED.

I want more wood.

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1 hour ago, Dwight Brown said:

I buy wood and I am not even a maker.  This is a sickness.  "Hello, My Name is Dwight and I am a Dendo-Maniac."

 

Twelve step program for viola collectors....

 

DLB

First step in your recovery is to admit that you have a problem, second step is to send a pallet of your loveliest tonewood to me. I will pm you my address. This is going to be really good for you. I'm happy to help free you of this dangerous addiction.

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How much wood do we need?

Obviously, at least one more piece than we have...I can't pass up a beautiful cello back. I mean, it could end up as one-piece vln/vla backs. Cello backs are so versitile!

 

p.s. I don't have a problem. Really.

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Manifo, I can see you in a dress shirt and tie making your violas,,, all in control,,, steady as Gibraltar,  churning out your elegant wares.(should've never shown us the pics of your shop):lol:

What we're talking here is sick, just flat out addictive dysfunctional disorder, and I'll bet Zoran will have more beautiful wood for sale that I don't need yet might buy a piece or two just in-case I might live to 125 yrs old or something,,, Ya never know,,,,,I'm only halfway there!

Yet even this year I turned down some nice one piece back wood, and a large round of maple with a slab cut off to reveal the flame,,it was nice,, it was free, I though for a minute that I had overcame, then I called about it later that same day, a regular ol simple woodwonker had already nabbed it, oh the shame!

when I think about it at this point, I really get a bit sick about not taking it,,,

Another mental issue when living in the north country where it really gets cold enough to freeze to death is that power could go out and it might have to be used for heat,,,, just, an early fear that doesn't plague me anymore.

"Hello, my name is Evan and I am a Dendro-Maniac"

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39 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

steady as Gibraltar 

It is hollow.

Regarding wood, there will always be a nicer-looking piece round the next corner. 

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3 hours ago, MANFIO said:

How much wood we need?

Having a wood stock is expensive. It seems that most makers don't see it as an objective thing, in general we buy more wood than we wil eventually use

So, is there a rational way to manage how much wood we need in stock, considering some things as desired  seasoning time, the number of instruments we make a year, etc?. Would it be cheaper getting some seasoned wood based on demand  instead of keeping a wood stock (ok, it is not that simple, I know that). Any suggestions?

I currently have viola wood for about 12 years, since I make just 6 or 7 violas a year.

From a business perspective, if you want to build with 10 year old wood (for example) you would maintain a rotating stock based on your production rate.  Buying extra stock when the opportunity to buy better for less presents itself.  As an amateur maker that plans on retiring and making full time (in 4781 days if I was counting), this is my basic model.  However, I also have a slightly skewed way of thinking about money.  For me it's just a bunch of numbers that occasionally moves to different people or financial vehicles.  I never actually see it.  Is it really there? 

Similarly, if I think I can get my money back out of the wood by selling it, then part of my wood stock can be thought of as investment or at least a way of hiding assets.  If the price of the wood does not offer good resale value then it is a bad investment, but still possibly a good purchase if my stock of that type of wood is low and I need it for building.  With the exception of the violin I just finished for my son, my plan is to use my least valuable (sell price - purchase price) working my way to my most valuable wood.   At anytime it makes more sense numbers wise to sell the wood than store it, its gone.   My two fractional numbers.

-Jim 

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4 hours ago, Frank Nichols said:

Sounds like a business opportunity for someone to store and season wood for makers. Maybe even purchase large stocks.

How would you verify the age of the wood, to the final purchaser?

I've been told over and over to never trust the claims of wood dealers. Assume that any wood you get is new, and go from there. That's worked out OK for me so far. For the most part, I'm using wood which has been in my personal possession for 15 years or more.

As someone who relies on making for a living, I'd much rather end up with too much wood, than run out, and need to hustle around for a questionable emergency source.

AIso, consider that there will be some waste. Not every piece of wood which looks good initially, will turn out to be something you want to use (upon closer scrutiny, or trying to make it into a fiddle).

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Ha! So it is far from a rational thing for almost everybody here too!

Good points by David Burgess. I got a lot of wood  at Rivolta, Italy, about 3 decades ago, but most of it for.... violins and celli....  Also, as David pointed out, our ideas about what is good wood may change with time.

 

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

How would you verify the age of the wood, to the final purchaser?

I've been told over and over to never trust the claims of wood dealers. Assume that any wood you get is new, and go from there. That's worked out OK for me so far. For the most part, I'm using wood which has been in my personal possession for 15 years or more.

There in lies the business opportunity. Some method of documentation that is verifiable and a trust worthy reputation. Then providing a premium product, no questions asked return policy, second day delivery, good spec's and photo's. Then charge a premium so makers can feel comfortable they can have a special piece in 2 days. Of course that won't help people with addictions :)

 

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2 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Seems to me that if you intend to make instruments for any length of time, better to buy good wood when you can. The pine/spruce beetle issue in North America, at any rate, is only getting more pressing. 

Hi Jackson, I'm curios to know what pine beetle you are referring to and whether it is native or exotic.

Thanks,

Jim

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

This thread reminds me that winter's on the way..........time to clean the fireplaces.  :lol:

At least that is practical...I  am only reminded of woodchucks.

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On 9/22/2017 at 9:31 AM, MANFIO said:

How much wood we need?

an old rule of thumb of days gone by, that has actually worked once for me,  is when you think you have enough wood go back and get the same amount again - then you'll have enough wood.

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Number of woods you need : N

Life expectancy or your retirement age : E

Your current age : Y

Average number of vn you make : A

M = multiplier depends on the quality of your wood and how picky you are ( M > 1 )

 

N = (( E - Y ) * A ) * M

 

PS : If you have very good collection, M is closer to 1.

       Typically M = 1.1  ~ 1.5

 

 

KYC

 

 

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49 minutes ago, chungviolins said:

Number of woods you need : N

Life expectancy or your retirement age : E

Your current age : Y

Average number of vn you make : A

M = multiplier depends on the quality of your wood and how picky you are ( M > 1 )

 

N = (( E - Y ) * A ) * M

 

PS : If you have very good collection, M is closer to 1.

       Typically M = 1.1  ~ 1.5

 

 

KYC

 

 

R = retirement age

M = 1 (omit from formula)

N = (R-Y)(A) + (E-R)(A)

193 = (65 - 52)(1) + (110 - 65)(4)

Need more wood! B)

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