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Wood Weights & Finishing Options

If no special finish is specified, your timber trusses and beams will be delivered “unfinished”, which is the standard rustic appearance for most timber trusses and beans. You have multiple finishing, chamfer, and staining options, including:

  • Unfinished (the Standard) — Unsanded, natural “rough sawn” look
  • Hand Hewn — the antique planed-by-hand look
  • Distressed — a rough, aged appearance
  • Planed — smooth but unsanded
  • Planed and Sanded
  • Chamfered or Routed Edges
  • Stained and/or Painted — your choice of brand and color

Lumber Measurements and Dimensions Board Foot Calculation


The lumber industry operates with a somewhat special unit of measure known as “board feet.” One board foot (bd.ft.) equals 144 cubic inches (nominal measurements). In its simplest form, this is equal to a 12 inch X 12 inch X 1 inch piece of wood.

To calculate board footage use the following formulas:

width in inches x length in feet x thickness in inches
12

or

width in inches x length in inches x thickness in inches
144

Below are two examples:

What’s the board footage of a 4/4 board 8 inches wide and 8 feet long?

8in x 8ft x 1in   = 5.33 bd.ft.
12

The answer is 5.33 board feet.

Example 2:

What’s the board footage of a 8/4 board 9 inches wide and 12 feet long?

9in x 12ft x 2in  = 18 bd.ft.
12

The answer is 18 board feet.

Board Footage of Poles


To calculate the board footage of a pole we use the following approach: Measure the diameter at the top end and at the bottom end of the pole. You get the approximate diameter at the center of the pole by adding the top diameter and the bottom diameter and dividing that number in half.
Here is an example.
Formula to calculate board footage: πr2 x h (r = diameter/2) (π = 3.14)
12

Example:

A 20 feet pole, bottom diameter 5 inch, top diameter 3 inch:

3.14 x 22 x 20 = 20.93 bd.ft.
12

The answer is 20.93 board feet.

Nominal Dimensions versus Actual Dimensions


Nominal dimensions are the green, rough dimensions. “Rough”, sometimes also referred to as “full cut rough”, stands for not dried and not planed wood. In other words, the nominal dimensions of lumber are always larger than the actual dimensions. See size charts below.

Nominal
(inches)
Actual
1 x 2 ¾ in x 1½ in
1 x 3 ¾ in x 2½ in
1 x 4 ¾ in x 3½ in
1 x 6 ¾ in x 5½ in
1 x 8 ¾ in x 7¼ in
1 x 10 ¾ in x 9¼ in
1 x 12 ¾ in x 11¼ in

 

Nominal
(inches)
Actual
2 x 2 1½ in x 1½ in
2 x 3 1½ in x 2½ in
2 x 4 1½ in x 3½ in
2 x 6 1½ in x 5½ in
2 x 8 1½ in x 7¼ in
2 x 10 1½ in x 9¼ in
2 x 12 1½ in x 11¼ in

 

Nominal
(inches)
Actual
4 x 4 3½ in x 3½ in
4 x 6 3½ in x 5½ in
6 x 6 5½ in x 5½ in
8 x 8 7¼ in x 7¼ in

What does the term MBF mean?


A lot of time the price of lumber is given in $ per MBF. MBF stands for one thousand board feet. One MBF equals 83.33 cubic feet or 2.36 cubic meters.

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