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## Convert Lumber Pricing From Per Thousand to Per Piece

It drove me crazy trying to figure out how to calculate per thousand and then convert to piece rate. It was so annoying and just annoying after a while. So I created a quick little spreadsheet in Excel that would calculate the answer for me, and I must use it at least a dozen times a day, if not more.

Now that I have a nice clientele, they always ask me to convert their pricing, so I decided to do two things. Put an interactive calculator on our website so they can do it themselves AND write an article to help others who are in the same boat.

Let’s give an example and then its conversion.

You need a truckload of 2x4x8 inches. You call and get quotes for the material. Best offer is $250/M per 20 pack (294 pieces per pack). What is it about the piece? So how much does it cost EXACTLY for the whole load?!?

Here is the formula to calculate per piece.

Step 1 – Get the table legs per piece. (See my other article – “Slab Feet? How to Calculate”)

Thickness X Width X Length / 144 (Be sure to change 8 feet to 96 inches (8×12))

2 x 4 x 96 / 144 = 5.33333

Step 2 – Take the thousand mark (or M) and divide by 1000.

250 / 1000 = 0.25

Step 3 – Multiply the table legs from step 1 by the answer from step 2.

5.33333 X 0.25 = 1.33333

Your answer is $1.33 per piece (rounded up, of course).

Okay, are you still with me? Good! What is the total load of the truck now? Well, there are two ways to do this. You can choose the long path or the short path (whichever is more accurate). I will explain both.

Long Road – This now takes 20 packs and multiplies by 294 pieces which gives you 5880 pieces. Now take $1.33 and multiply by 5880 and you get $7820.40

OR

Short – In the first step, simply add the number of packages and pieces to your calculation.

2 x 4 x 96 x 20 x 294 / 144 = 31,360 and multiply it by a step of 2 (0.25). You have the answer $7840.00

NOW you notice the difference is almost $20? This is because in the first calculation we rounded all decimal places down to two. That adds up to over 5,880 boards ($19.60 to be exact!) so you’ll definitely want to take the shortcut now that you know how.

So last question. Why do lumber companies bid per thousand? Just because of the volume AND the multiple sizes. It’s much easier to make one bid for 2x4x8, 2x4x10, 2x4x12, 2x4x16 at $250/M, then have to calculate all the different sizes and glue them together or submit each size separately (a truck can have ten different sizes!). Also, if the truck is heavy and the package needs to come off, the lumber company should quote again if it was a pain to do it the first time!

Here it is. Hope this now gives you a clear idea of how to calculate and convert thousands to pieces. Oh, one last thing, if you’re really stuck and still can’t do the math, just visit our website and you’ll find a free calculator!

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