What's a board foot, anyway?
A board foot (bd. ft.) is the unit of measurement for hardwood lumber 1" or thicker
It's Just an Estimation, BTW
Board footage helps you make an educated guess as to how much lumber you'll need. Afterall, you'll be cutting and/or gluing your project parts from boards of various sizes.
Always plan to buy extra to make sure you're covered to cut out your parts, glue up to width, arrange grain patterns and color, fix mistakes, make test cuts on joinery set-ups, and test finishes.
The Board Foot Formula
T" x W" x L" ÷ 144 = Bd. Ft.
T" x W" x L' ÷ 12 = Bd. Ft.
T" x Sq. Ft. = Bd. Ft.
Your Attention, Please:
1 Bd. Ft. = 144 cubic inches
Thickness uses the rough sawn dimension, not your final net dimension
Board footage is the measurement when buying random widths and random lengths. To determine what to buy, convert your project parts into board footage and use that to estimate about how much you'll need to buy.
FYI: lumber under 1" is calculated and expressed in square feet
When you're looking at a stack of hardwood lumber and and you begin picking out the boards you like and want to buy, you'll notice that each board has a different width (W), and possibly a different length (L).
Let's say you've found two pieces in the 4/4 stack, one is 8" x 96" and the other is 4" x 96". Should you pay the same price for both pieces just because they're the same length?
Of course not. The first board has twice the amount of wood in it (it's twice as wide and the same length).
The unit of measurement for this kind of lumber, then, is the board foot. It's a measure of the volume of wood that's in a board.
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