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## Board Feet? How to Calculate

I want to give you a simple formula that you will never forget.

Thickness (inches) x width (inches) x length (feet) divided by 12.

I understood? Good! So what is a table leg anyway? Well, it’s the standard unit of measurement in the North American lumber industry. A board foot is equal to a piece of wood 1 inch thick, 12 inches wide and 1 foot long. In other words, a table leg is 1 square foot of lumber, 1 inch thick. Any lumber can be calculated by table legs using the above formula.

So let’s connect a 2×4 that’s 8 feet long, shall we? 2x4x8/12 = 5.333333 board feet (bf)

Now that you understand how to calculate one piece of wood, let’s take it to the next level because most people who need to calculate have a lot of wood. So how do you calculate it? Now we use “fbm” which is “feet, board measure” and is used to calculate the volume of wood measured in board feet.

Due to the large volume of lumber traded in a typical transaction, the most common unit of measurement is the “thousand board feet.” Does this sound familiar…the salesperson faxes you information that says “I have 23 packs of 2x4x12 for sale at $325/M.” So how do you calculate it?

The missing ingredient is the number of pieces in the packages. Here’s a tip to keep in mind… In North America, standard package sizes (for 2×4) are 294. So now we need to add two more variables to our equation.

Now the formula looks like this. 2x4x12x23x294/12 = 54,096 fbm.

Hope this helps and good luck!

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