Lumber Terminology...

May 25, 17

..And Why it is Important

Terminology is always important when you are ordering wood.  Like all professions, people in the lumber business have certain ways and words to describe and order lumber.  This may be confusing to some people as they are not familiar with this terminology.  If you are pricing or looking to order a 2x4x8’ board, for example, this is the order in which to describe that board so there is less confusion between the buyer and the purchaser. The 2 tells us the thickness of the board in inches, the 4 is the width of the board in inches and the 8 is the length of the board in feet.

Then there is the term Board Foot, which is probably one of the most commonly used terms in the lumber business.  A board foot is actually a measure of volume of a board.  By definition a board foot is one square foot one inch thick.  To calculate board footage use the following formulas:   Board Footage = thickness in inches x width in inches x length in feet divided by 12.   A board 1 inch thick x 12 inches wide x 1 foot long has 1 BF of volume. Let’s look at our 2x4x8 from earlier and see what we have in BF of that board.

Calculations: (2x4x8)/12 = 64/12 = 5.33 BF

Board Footage is how we price and buy our lumber but is not always the best or easiest way for customers to order the lumber for the projects they are working on.  It may be easier to figure what you need in lumber by figuring Square Footage (SF) or Linear Footage (LF).  Next blog we will go over what the difference is between BF, SF and LF.  We will also look at converting SF and LF to BF. 

WIN A $10 Marks Lumber Gift Certificate


How many total Board Feet in 10 timbers 8x10x16’?

Answer will be in next week’s blog, but the first person to email or call Marks Lumber with the correct answer will win the $10 Gift Certificate. 

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