# Lumber Measure?

• posted on February 21, 2004, 1:46 am
New to the sport...lots to learn. I understand the simple concept of a "board foot". I often see wood described as what appears to be a ratio (e.g. 7/4 cherry). Is this thickness expressed in 1/4 inch increments? Please explain. Cheers, O.

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• posted on February 21, 2004, 2:21 am
Greetings,
I will guess as to the reason why, which means I do not have the exactly correct answer.
At the saw mill, the sawyer adjusts the thickness by moving the say so many 1/4 inches from its current setting. The scale does not have any numbers, just marks every 1/4 inch. No numbers makes sense. The saw could sit at any position depending on the thickness of the last board. The next thickness would then depend on the movement of the saw. I expect the scale or something about the saws position automatically takes care of the kerf.
Some how this counting of 1/4 inches worked its way from where the sawyer sets the saw, to those who requested boards of different thicknesses and then to us.
Sincerely, Bill Thomas
Oregon wrote:

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• posted on February 21, 2004, 4:12 am
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome

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• posted on February 21, 2004, 3:38 pm
Nothing really to explain you are correct..
5/4 is the size of the stock (nominal 1 1/4" thick) before it is surfaced two sides (S2S). to it's actual size.
Your choice is to pay more for S2S where the mill or supplier does surfacing for you or you pay less for the rough cut wood and do the job yourself. Third choice is to pay almost twice the price of rough cut stock for ready to go, sold by the linier foot stuff at a store like Lowes or Home Depot.
Surfacing two sides doesn't and usually isn't the same thing sanded and ready to have a finish applied. You will almost certainly still have to do a fair amount of work to get the stock to that point.
The cost of rolling your own from rough cut stock can be hefty in either price, power tools, jointer and surface planer, to do the job efficiently, time/work with hand tools, a good hand plane that you know how to use and take care of, or a combination of both, most start out with the off the shelf and ready to go stock.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net

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• posted on February 21, 2004, 3:45 pm

And FYI, 4/4, 8/4 would be pronounced "four quarter, eight quarter" etc.
Frank

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• posted on February 21, 2004, 4:26 pm
Also, for those who don't like to follow the calc of 144 cubic inches which comes up here among the innocent, you multiply the surface area in sq ft times the fraction to get the BF. Mostly those over 35 can do this in their head, those under will require mechanical or electronic aid....

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