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Author Topic: Square foot to board foot  (Read 572 times)

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Offline bulldozerjoe

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Square foot to board foot
« on: May 14, 2022, 10:59:27 PM »
As my part time saw mill bussiness grows, Iím getting some calls about sawing boards, for square footage.. todays calls was I need 700 square feet.. whatís everybodyís equation on that.. percentage over, and figureing out square footage to board feet.. is there a equation for that? Thanks
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2022, 11:44:53 PM »
A board foot is 1 square foot that is 1 inch thick. Width in inches x thickness in inches x length in inches divided by 144, or W" x T" x L' divided by 12. 
1.5" x 8" x 10' = 6.67 ft/2 
1.5" x 8" = 12", 10' x 12" 120", 120" x 12" / 144" = 10 BF
1.5" x 8" x 10' / 12 = 10 BF.

The square footage is just a measure of the surface area. (Width x Length.)
Board footage is a measurement of volume. (Width x Thickness x Length.) 
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Online barbender

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2022, 12:23:52 AM »
If the square footage is for 1" material, it's easy because board foot and square foot are the same at 1". 
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Southside

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2022, 12:41:20 AM »
What Barbender said.  I don't usually talk in terms of board feet with customers as they have no idea what that means, or worse think they know what that means in that a 4x12 1 foot long is a board foot.  If you start to talk rough sawn vs nominal sizing it gets even worse.  Just ask them for the exact dimensions they need and work your pricing internally from there.  
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2022, 07:07:44 AM »
Usually the customer is doing siding, paneling or flooring if they are talking square feet.  I just ask what they are working on.  Iím able to guide them better if I know.  Then I do the board foot calculations if necessary.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2022, 09:06:50 AM »
A 12" x12" timber is one board foot per inch. The common 1x12 is one board foot per foot, a 2x6 = one board foot per foot. On rough cut lumber a 2x6 cut 1 1/2" thick is not a board foot per foot because it never was 2" thick to start with, it will be 3/4 board foot per foot. Just a few examples. We learned this in school in shop class.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2022, 09:27:37 AM »
   I never used bf measurements till I got my sawmill and had to learn all about it. I made an excel spreadsheet for a tally sheet/invoice and included the computation which I list on the sheet:

Thickness (in inches) X Width (in Inches) X length (in ft) divided by 12.

 Some people list the length in inches also and divide by 144 which is the same thing.

  Since most people can't envision bf very well I tell them a pick up bed stacked nearly to the bed height of 8' lumber is about 500 bf or a 5'X10' trailer stacked tight to 20" high is 1,000 bf.

  My customers are often farmers and old rural folks and they typically ask me how much it cost to buy or saw per thousand.

  I do tell them if they are buying or sawing 1" lumber bf & sf are the same. The ones who mess with my mind are the ones who want linear ft. I can compute it but it takes a few minutes.
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Online barbender

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2022, 12:50:59 PM »
My prices are all by the board foot, but most of my customers don't know that. I convert everything, if someone wants 2x10x12', I just give them the price per board. Off the top of my head, that would be $20 at $1/bf.   
Too many irons in the fire

Offline sealark37

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2022, 01:21:21 PM »
A square foot is a unit of area.  A board foot is a unit of volume.

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2022, 05:04:35 PM »
A board foot is about 0.6 gallons, if that helps.  :laugh:
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 05:42:56 PM »
  Even my live edge slabs are basically priced by the bf. I estimate the bf I would expect if I edged the lumber and price accordingly. I may adjust the price for character or defect accordingly (I.e Whatever the mood strikes me at the moment which is also based on the customers charm and good looks or crankiness. ::))
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 06:06:49 PM »
Well, since weíre getting into unit conversion, maybe @Don P can give us the formula to convert bd/ft into bd/smoots.  lol   I bet if you started using Smoots for units when talking to customers, theyíd be motivated about getting comfortable with bd/ft.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2022, 06:21:04 PM »
An 8'pick up bed, or shorter if 8' stuff is 32 bd. ' between the wheel wells when 1 " high, 1 1/2" stuff, half again as much bd. ', 2" double, etc.  When you sell in your yard you learn to figure the load in your head. When I started I tried to measure each board, that method didn't last long. I also used a framing square to get the bd. ' like I was taught, that also took to long.

Offline Don P

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2022, 06:57:10 PM »
Pi are round, cornbread are square. The rest is just crumbs.
I've lived in Smoot, well, more like the suburbs of Smoot  :D
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Offline Southside

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2022, 07:18:56 PM »
Original Smoot value or the gravity corrected unit conversion? 
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2022, 08:49:29 PM »
I ordered 5 board feet of strawberries at the berry stand, the deputy standing there threatened to arrest me for being a wise guy.  He wouldnít allow to explain that if a board foot is 0.6 gallons, I ordered 3 gallons worth of strawberries.  The owners just thought I am weirdÖ.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2022, 09:09:59 PM »
Original Smoot value or the gravity corrected unit conversion?
Oh, right. Southside is the Smoot expert, him being from up there in the neighborhood. What is the plural form?  Smeet?  As in 265.348 board smeet?
(I apologize for rattling your cage, Don P)
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Offline trapper

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Re: Square foot to board foot
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2022, 09:53:24 PM »
I use the program in the toolbox right here on the forum.  Evens tallies everything up and gives you a total board feet and how much to charge the customer.  and can be printed out.  Have it loaded on my laptop so I can use it when no internet is available.
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