# Estimating BF in a pile of lumber

• posted on August 30, 2005, 3:08 pm

Hello,
I have a lead on some low priced lumber. There is quite a bit, and I am not used to purchasing in large quantities. I am told there is about 600 BF of one species and 2,500 BF of another. I want to be sure those numbers are accurate before I make a purchase. If the piles are neatly stacked, with little space between them, I can measure length, width, and height and simply do the math. If is neatly stickered, I can probably make a reasonable guess about that too. What I want to know is how this is done by those of you who have done it. Are there any factors that you use to adjust the amount to get it more accurate? For example, do you make a rough measure of the size of the pile and do something like take off 10% for airspace? Any advice would probably be helpful.
Thanks, Brian
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• posted on August 30, 2005, 4:17 pm

larger number of narrower boards and multiply the BF of that tier by the number of tiers. That favors you. The seller might want an average of two or three tiers.
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• posted on August 30, 2005, 4:55 pm
Brian Mahaney wrote:

As George says, take a look at how it's stacked and make some measurements on "average-looking" rows. Assuming the seller isn't out to swindle you, you'll probably find his estimates are pretty good. And, if it's a good price per bd ft, why haggle over a few feet? Get a reasonable estimate and be a reasonable purchaser, not a nit-picker.
I bought a lot of lumber from small mills and individuals over the years--most of the time you make a new useful acquaintance that will stand you in stead for a long time if you are considerate of his position as well.
IMO, YMMV, \$0.02, etc., ... :)
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• posted on August 30, 2005, 5:41 pm
Duane Bozarth wrote:

I intended to add that what I would look at even more than the actual amount is to try to get a feel for the overall quality. I'm assuming this is "tree-run" not, graded? If so, the amount per board foot of furniture-grade lumber may be more nearly what you would normally pay.
That's not intended as a condemnation, simply an observation that if you're not used to buying bulk lumber you may not have considered.
hth...
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• posted on August 31, 2005, 1:43 pm
On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 15:08:55 GMT, Brian Mahaney wrote:

Thanks for the responses. They will be helpful. I have no reason to believe the seller is out to take me, but I like to know what I am getting into. I don't know whether the lumber is graded or log run or what. That's a good question. Either way, the price looks very good.
Thanks again, Brian
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• posted on August 31, 2005, 2:53 pm
Brian Mahaney wrote:

Out of curiousity, what is it? Species and dimensions, how cut, etc.,...?
Let us know how it turns out...good luck.
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• posted on August 31, 2005, 3:48 pm
<snip>

That's the real question: The grade will determine whether you have useable cabinet raw materials, or awkwardly cut firewood.
Patriarch
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