I think $90/BF is high enough for responsively harvested wood. Paying more then that is, shall I call it insane? I am yet to be disappointed by what I got at $90/BF.
I use spirit based dyes with great results. I have a set of different colors that I mix to match. They are very easy to use to get a an even and good result and they don't raise the wood grain at all, so I can use the dyes after the final #1200 sanding. It dries in an instant and I can finish with a paste wax and a good buff in a few minutes after the dying process. I thinks the product is called "Herdins wood dyes". They also make a really good finishing oil. Just finished two sayas in curly maple and color matched them to a curly Koa and a stabilized Maple burl.
Based on the individual piece.
Every piece is different. One might be really good. The other might be really good as well but have unique coloring or extra special figure.
If they all looked the same I would expect to pay the same.
I guess it is a lot like knives.
One person might not be willing to pay more than $200 for a knife and say it is insane to pay more.
While another might be excited about buying a same style but different knife for $500.
Talking to other wood sellers at the shows, they pay an average wholesale of $100 to $150bf (last year's prices) for the really good koa and buy as much as they can get.
Many of the regular sources have dried up. Kind of like ironwood burl. The good stuff has doubled in value over the last 2 years.
In a nutshell, you pay what it takes to get the really really good stuff. Otherwise someone else will.
Some of the wood I pay top dollar, but it all balances out in the end.
The new wood that comes on the market comes from trees that the state decides to have removed. They put the standing tree up for bid and the high bidder gets to take the tree. The winning bidder then harvests the individual tree and hopes to make a profit. The majority of state lands that would normally contain new growth koa had been leased out to cattle and sheep ranchers over the past 50 years. The animals would eat most of the younger growth. This practice of leasing the land to the ranchers was just stopped in the last few years. Reforestation of koa has only been started recently so it will be a long time before harvestable trees are mature enough.
Well Mark...you can just wrap that board up and put it in the mail for me...I will give it a good home
Here is another piece that is on it's way here.
If I told this guy that it was insane to pay over $100bf it would go to Taiwan and I would never hear from him again.
A big part of getting the really good stuff is making friends with the people who have it.
If they like you, they will share their stash.
You are lucky. What you are paying is not the norm. That is nice koa and you did a very nice job finishing it.
Thinks changed quite a bit about 2 years ago in regards to what and how Koa could be harvested.
There are still some suppliers with stock from before that who have stock for sale with their prices based on what they used to pay.
Every once in a while I can buy wood retail for less than the wholesalers charge. Sounds like you found a similar source.