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Wenge and Padauk--how are prices?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JayGunn, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. JayGunn

    JayGunn Supporting Member

    I'm in India through this month, then coming back to NC for 6 months. Last week I stopped in at a dealer in Pune who is a real wood lover. He imports beech from Europe, walnut, cherry, oak and half a dozen other woods from USA, and so on.

    I see this pile of chocolate colored wood--darker than the photo. "What's that?" "Wenge from Africa." In the other pile, wenge on the left, padauk circled, and sapele everything to the right. "Padauk from Andaman, Africa, where?" "Africa."

    Prices: Rs4200/CFD for wenge, Rs2800/CFD Padauk, AND he'll cut the exact rough pieces I want--basically no waste! CFD= cubic foot, i.e. 12 board feet. Rs 45.5 = $1. Net cost works out to $7.70/bd ft wenge and $5.13/bf padauk.

    (By the way that stripey wood next to the wenge is some engineered wood from Germany--very expensive--the stuff with the pink and green end grain sealer.)

    I have links to some exotic wood dealers from browsing this forum, but per board foot price for clear non-figured wood I haven't spotted. Are these prices reasonable? Even if they're not I'm planning to buy enough for 2 necks next fall when I return. So I'm just wondering whether this is a steal or a fairly pricey find...

    Attached Files:

  2. GrinchBass


    Jul 26, 2009
    CT, Hudson Valley, Randland
    Just under Commercial Status!
    If you have a good hook up, you might consider a limited sub-forum for people to pool their money and buy in bulk, it would save money in a number of aspects, depending.....

    do you have more details about the grain orientation? Thicknesses? Lengths? Species of whatever? I'm sure a big bulk order would be, well, in order if we all act fast.

    Who's with me?
  3. I would love some wenge, count me in!
  4. JayGunn

    JayGunn Supporting Member

    Woah! How much could I fit in a suitcase with a 50lb limit (and other stuff to bring back)? I didn't mean to start a feeding frenzy. Do these responses mean the prices are good? If so, come to India! (It's an amazing place). You can fit about 40lb of wenge into a 50lb suitcase...should be enough for about 10 necks!
  5. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I pay $10 per board foot for padauk and $20-$25 per board foot for wenge.
  6. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I pay $9.95 per bf for Padauk and $26.00 for Wenge. Canadian dollars, and that said, he'll give me offcuts and odd bits for about half that...
  7. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    that, is what i would call a steal around here.
  8. JayGunn

    JayGunn Supporting Member

    Wow! No wonder those TBers wanted me to stuff my suitcase for a group buy. Incredibly high prices for wenge. Good thing it doesn't take that many board feet to make a neck...

    Thanks for satisfying my curiosity about US prices.
  9. yeah wenge is 20-25 here... please send me some :) I will pay ya 14 a board foot for enough for a neck and a body...
  10. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Wenge here is around $14.83bf. And Padauk q-sawn $7.09bf and figured at $8.15bf. I believe prices are a bit higher for dimensional lumber, and small quantity purchasers.
  11. Yvarg

    Yvarg Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Lake Forest, CA
    Yeah, Wenge is normally around $25/bf where I live; and that's for 4/4. I found cool place near my house that sells me 8/4 for about $17/bf though.
  12. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    If you are fitting neck blanks in a suitcase it it a long suitcase....
  13. Wow, If I'm understanding correctly what you're saying, then I can't believe Wenge is cheaper here than in the states! (well, I guess we are closer to Africa than usa is)
    I can get wenge for $18 to $20 per square feet, that's for 2 inches thick boards.
  14. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Between tarrifs and transportation cost variant along with mill and labor rates here, it will generally be more expensive here, and yes, trade route wise Argentina is much closer. ;)
  15. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU

    I realize you have left India by now... ;)

    For others stumbling across this thread by doing a search on Wenge, just as I did...

    That's approximately the typical wholesale price for full sawn boards of Wenge in Europe.

    The other prices quoted are scary.
    However, if you buy from "tonewood merchants" on the internet, the sky is the limit as far as prices go :rollno: :D
  16. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    No, the prices are not scary. This is what is called source proximity. Along with Im/Ex fees and tarriff, along with transportation cost, these woods become more expensive in the USA plus the consumption here is quite a bit higher, along with CITES and other specie factors, price inflates. When I was in London 2 years ago, Wenge was 5-6 pounds per bd.ft , and higher for planed dimensional....I wanted to send some back to the states, but after trans and fees, I was up to $21 a bd ft. ....LOL. Oh well, I just buy here @ $15 a bd ft
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 26, 2020

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