...you get a combination of flat sawn, rift sawn and quarter sawn boards. It all comes mixed on a pallet and the yards around here sell it all for the same price. You have to select the boards you want, which can be tedious, but you can get very suitable wood for paddles that way. I've found some pretty exceptional boards, but they aren't common, typically only 2-3% of a pallet load.
You're apparently ordering specialty-cut quarter sawn lumber, which would naturally be more expensive. However, if you use a lot of it, it's probably cheaper in the long run than sorting through stacks of unsuitable lumber to find the usable boards.
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