I usually buy my stock from a very large local, commercial hardwood supplier because, with many millions of board feet in their warehouse, they have a fantastic selection and good prices. They tolerate me because I always make sure to restack the piles carefully and don't waste their time. When I told the warehouseman what I wanted, he just laughed and shook his head. It seems that the distilleries have bought up all the 6/4 quarter sawn white oak to make whiskey barrels out of. They did have some 8/4, although the price has skyrocketed to over $9 a board foot since the last time I bought it! I reluctantly decided to buy enough to make the rear legs/back, and I think they took pity on me because they pointed to a pallet of 5/4 scraps, all quarter sawn white oak, and asked if I wanted the whole thing for $40. I jumped at it.
These two boards cost $154 and contain enough material for the rear legs/back pieces, the front legs and the stretchers:
This pallet of scraps, most about 3" wide and 20-30" long, cost $40:
The 8/4 boards were about $9 a board foot and I estimate there are about 120 board feet of scraps at about $.33 a board foot. My current plan is to get the rest of what I need for the chair from these scraps, even though it is 5/4 rather than 6/4 but, whether I do or not, I am absolutely delighted to have all this beautiful oak for future projects.
The approach I took to making the back/rear leg blanks, was to glue two 8/4 pieces together, saw out the side profile on the bandsaw, then glue on a piece of scrap at the top where the arch will be. Then I can use double stick tape to put the offcuts back on in order to saw out the front profile. Here's what they look like just prior to this last step: