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cost of wood

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  • cost of wood

    I have been doing a lot of work in the shop latly. Ive made projects out of chestnut, free wood that I ran out of about 3 months ago, and maple, bought at HD and Lowes. I now want to experiment with other woods. I found a distributor of any kind of wood that is imaginable. The question that I have is about cost. Whrn talking about cherry and walnut, how much more moola should I consider dishing out for these woods compared to maple?

    Also, this is going to sound very newbieish, but can someone inform me how to figure out board feet?


  • #2
    Calculating Board Feet per Tom Silva & This Old House web site:
    How do you calculate board feet?
    A: Tom says: One board foot is equal to 144 cubic inches. To calculate board footage, you take a board's width times its length times its thickness. So 1 board foot, or 12 board inches, is equal to 144 cubic inches, in any combination of dimensions. For instance, a square board that is 12 inches long, 12 inches wide and 1 inch thick is equal to 1 board foot. So too is a board that is 24 inches long, 6 inches wide and 1 inch thick. As is a board that is 12 inches long, 6 inches wide and 2 inches thick. All three examples each equal 1 board foot. So just multiply the length, the width and the thickness of the wood, divide by 144 cubic inches, and that will tell you how many board feet you have.


    • #3
      You have to be careful. Many places calculate board feet based upon using 3/4" instead of 1" thickness.
      That is that 1 board foot is a 12" long by 12" wide by 3/4" thick board. This was the natural result of a 2 by 4 no longer being 2" by 4". You have to ask how they calculate it. I consider it fraud and a scam if they are not up front about it.


      • #4
        You can use 3/4" to calculate board feet if it is finished. You always figure board feet in rough sawn sizes, Ie, 4/4, 5/4, 6/4 etc. Finished sizes are normally listed in inches (3/4" 1" 1 1/4")

        As far as price is concerned, there are two different grades of maple, hard and soft. Hard Maple can go for $5 a board foot, or about as much as cherry and Walnut. It really depends where you live.

        for example, I can get Red oak for les than $2 a board foot, with white oak being less than that. I can get Poplar for $1.60 a BF. Cherry costs me $3 and maple around the same. Walnut is probably the most expensive here, with prices a little higher than Cherry. Keep in mind that I'm quoting sawmill direct prices. If you buy your lumber pre surfaced, expect to pay double what I just quoted. That is one reason that a jointer and planer will get you ROI so quick. and they make projects look soo much better because you have more control over stock thickness.


        • #5
          Thanks for the help guys. That is very helpful. As to having a jhointer and planer, I have the jointer. I want to start buying from a saw mill and finishing my self. I have to buy the planer first. That is my next, and very soon, tool purchase. Again, thanks very much for the help.