# Measuring Puzzle

• posted on September 9, 2005, 12:30 am

For me, that is. I have a fair amount of leftover maple tongue and groove wood that I would like to sell, but don't have a clue how much. I suppose you would use the board feet formula, but the wood is bundled in random widths, the bundles varying a lot, although all the wood is 3 - quarter thick. Is there a simple way of figuring it out without spreading it out on my lawn? Actually, this is a question I should have asked a long time ago because I never could sense what I was getting delivered in the first place. TIA
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• posted on September 9, 2005, 1:13 am
LDR wrote:

Can you weigh it? Kiln dried soft maple averages 3.2 pounds per board foot. Hard maple averages 4.0 pounds per board foot.
source: http://www.branchhill.com/info/woods.html
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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• posted on September 9, 2005, 1:37 am

Pick ten boards at random. Measure them. Average the result. Multiply the result times the total number of boards.
If more accuracy is demanded, you can average several sets of measured boards, then average the set averages, and then multiply times the total number of boards.
BTW, randomly a key component. You must (MUST!!!!!!!!!!) be able to access all of the boards with equal ease, or a best way, number the boards from one to X then some predetermined order, (every tenth board for example) IF the boards are in a random sequence of length.
By now, since you're going to have to break open the bundle, I'd probably just measure the damn things.
There is another technique that might work. Weight a couple of different boards and determine a ratio of weight to board feet. Now weight the entire bundle and apply the ratio.
OR
Sell it by the bundle. You bought it that way, didn't you?
Goood Luck....
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• posted on September 9, 2005, 2:42 am
wrote:

take a few boards and measure their footage. now weigh them. do a little math to figure the board feet per unit of weight. it'll be approximate because the wood will vary in density, but it'll be close.
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• posted on September 9, 2005, 4:42 am
scribbled:

A board foot is 144 cubic inches. For each bundle, measure the height in inches and multiply by 4/3 ('cause 3/4" planed wood is usually considered 1" nominal). Then measure the length (average) and the width of each bundle (in inches again. Multiply height X width X length for each bundle and divide by 144 to get the board feet.
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• posted on September 10, 2005, 1:59 am
As I feared, there is no magic formula for eyeballing the wood to size it. Anyway, thanks to everyone who responded; the information is very helpful.

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• posted on September 10, 2005, 2:57 am

Sure there is, and it's been given here. But to simplify the math even more, take WxLxH of the stack guessing at averages since it won't be perfectly squared up, and divide by 200. (This is simplified computationally from the "divide by 144, then divide by 3/4" you were told in another message, and will give a 4% lower answer, but I dare say there will be more error in your estimate of the width, height, and length.)
Or if you were looking for something even simpler than that, 1) Look at a stack of lumber 2) Make SWAG 3) Unbundle and measure lumber in stack 4) Compare results of (2) and (3) 5) Repeat 1-4 on other bundles of lumber until 4 is consistently within your tolerance. 6) Apply 1-2 to your target stack.
GD&R
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• posted on September 10, 2005, 8:01 am

Actually since this is all 3/4 planed lumber the math is simpler.
Multiply the total length of a stack in feet by it's width in feet, then multiply by the number of boards tall. Do this for each stack, add the totals for all the stacks and there you have it. You'll probably want to keep the figures on individual stacks as someone is sure to want a price on an entire stack if you don't. Assuming the variance you mentioned is from one stack to the other this figure will be pretty precise, otherwise you'll have to guesstimate at the average width and length of each stack.
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