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# how do I calculate the cost of a board foot of lumber???

#1
03-20-05, 06:33 AM
scott123
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how do I calculate the cost of a board foot of lumber???

I am running into some difficulty figuring out what a board foot of lumber costs. If I buy a pine board that is 1"x10"x8' for \$10.99 how do I calculate that to cost per board foot.

#2
03-20-05, 07:22 AM
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For a 1x10x8...

(1 x 10 x 8) / 12 = 6.667

\$10.99 / 6.667 = \$1.65 bd/ft

#3
03-20-05, 07:58 AM
scott123
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so is all bd feet calculated like that? for instance a 1x4x8/12=2.667

#4
03-20-05, 12:35 PM
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exactly. Here's a calculator, if you want to double-check any of your math.

http://www.cwc.ca/design/tools/calcs/board_feet/

#5
03-20-05, 03:32 PM
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
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If your buying 1 x 10" pine, that is called 'dimensioned' lumber and is usually sold by the linear foot for a given dimension (width, thickness). Dimensioned lumber is s4s, surfaced on 4 sides.

Board feet is more often associated with undimensioned lumber, with one or no side squared up. Undimensioned lumber includes about 10 to 20 percent (is that the right percent?) of waste that occurs during squaring and surfacing. In other words, you may pay for 10 board feet, while expecting to use only about 80 or 90 percent of that board.

#6
03-20-05, 05:44 PM
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The way our local lumber yard figures it, it could be as high as almost 50%!

If you get a rough sawn board that is 6 1/8" wide, they count it as a 1x8. If it's 8 1/4" wide, it's a 1x10. Using their math, a board 2 1/8 wide would be a 1x4! Can you tell I don't like buying any oak there?

#7
03-20-05, 07:23 PM
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I spoke with private lumber yard owner last year. He has the same complaints, except the blames the mill for cutting back on the useable board feet. He said it has driven alot of lumber yards out of business. He specifically dislikes the mills in Pennsyvania. Now he orders from Florida. He said finding a fair priced mill is harder and harder to do.

Fewer and fewer customers use rought lumber. I think its a trend that will continue, thus driving prices up.

#8
03-20-05, 08:18 PM
Sawdustguy
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Even though you can buy a lot of rough lumber, hundredes of board feet cheaper than s4s, you can't always pick out the lumber you want. You have to typically buy more of it in the rough to make up for any bad spots and utilize the good. For the little solid wood I do on my projects, I'd rather go pick it out myself and pay a higher price for S2S "Both Faces"

#9
03-25-05, 01:12 PM
scott123
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thank you xsleeper for the info it was very very helpfull...

as for you other guys the info you gave me is meaningless to me all I asked for was a calculation for figuring out what a bd/ft of lumber cost, it sounds to me like you are talking gibberish.

#10
03-25-05, 03:58 PM
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Kudos' to Xsleeper. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How ever, board feet feet of lumber does not technically apply to 'dimensioned' lumber. But, ya know, I'm on your side, whereever that is!!

Seriously, if you are calculating the cost of a project, you need to know that the board foot of "dimensioned" lumber is NOT constant across dimensions, i.e. 1x4, 1x6, 1x8,1x10. Each dimension would calculate to a "different" board foot cost.

And to support this point, I will reinforce what Xsleeper said, 144" square, is a board foot of lumber( give or take) . And, yes, you do need to know that, in addition to thickness( 3/4, 5/8/ 6/4, etc)!

However, Keep in mind that dimensioned lumber is not 1" x 4", it is really 3/4" by 3 1/2". That is why I say that board feet really is a completely different fomula that the rate for dimensioned lumber. Board feet refers to 1" not 3/4", so there is a 25% offset right there! And so on.

So, what the hey, you got me hooked. What are you planning to build? Trust me,,,I've been exactly where you are now. i.e. \$ verse. sq foot, la da, daa,. Let's move on, so what is it?

P.S. If you but it at Home Depot or similar lumber store, it is dimensioned lumber, sold by linear foot, not board foot. Raw undemensioned lumber is sold at "other" lumber suppliers.

Last edited by Lugnut; 03-25-05 at 08:13 PM. Reason: Added more afterthoughts!