Although hackberry's commercial volume has steadily risen over the years, don't expect to find it at a typical retail outlet. The demand just isn't there yet. But local mills within hackberry's range carry it, and large hardwood suppliers can special order the wood. Expect to pay about $1.50 per board foot or less. Veneer isn't available except to the architectural trade. According to a spokesman for a major hardwood producer that processes 10 million board feet of hackberry annually, the wood has only one fault. But it's one you should look out for. Unless harvested in winter when the sap is down, hackberry has the tendency to develop a bluish-gray stain. And, says our source, you might not notice it on the surface of rough-sawn stock until planing. But, the stain does not harm the wood in any way, and like the varying hues in yellow poplar, it does have its own appeal. Should you desire light-colored stock without stain, be sure to buy only surfaced (S4S) stock, and carefully inspect it. Then, follow these suggestions for working this under-appreciated wood.
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