1. ## Lineal Ft Vs Boad Ft.

I need some math help. How can I compare prices when someone sells the boards by the lineal foot and someone else sells them by the board foot.

This is purley hypothetical example I am listing below:

Lineal foot price:
1x8 (acutal is 3/4*7 1/4) 3.95 lineal foot.

Board foot price 2.80

How can I compare lineal feet to board feet to see how much savings there is. I know its got to be simple but it has me stumped for some reason, I think I am over thinking it.

Thanks for any help

2. Lineal ft of course is a per ft price.

Bd Ft is a calculation of the actual size of a piece of material. BdFt=12x12x1 or 144 cubic inches. A 1 x 8 x 8' long will contain 5.3bd ft.@2.80=14.93

1 x 8 x 8' in lineal ft times 3.95 = 31.60

The actual size will matter only if it's hardwood, softwoods are sold by the nominal measurement.

If you buy a stack of material that measures 40" x 8' and there are 5 layers you will calculate the board footage by Length' x Width" divided by 12 times the number of layers. In the example 40 x 8 divided by 12 multiplied by 5 will be 133.3 bd ft.

To determine the lineal foot cost you will just have to figure the bd ft cost of one piece or one foot by working it out mathmatically like I did above.

3. The lineal foot cost is easy to calculate - you just take the length in feet and multiply it by the cost per lineal foot. So in your first example, if you bought a six foot length of that board, it would cost you \$23.70.

The equation for board feet is (thickness x width x length)/144. All measurements have to be in inches - so your length has to be expressed in inches instead of feet.

Let's assume you buy a six foot board of the same board as the first example. In hardwood, the measurements are the measurements of the rough stock, so if the stock is 4/4 you pay for one inch, even if the finished size is smaller. Same with the width.

Thickness is one inch, width is 8 inches and length is 72 inches for 4 board feet. Since you specified a price of \$2.80 per board foot, the price of that board would be \$11.20

Some places, like where I buy my hardwood, add 10% (because they can get away with it). Don't ask me how they justify that, but they charge it. So I'd pay \$12.32 for that board.

Some wood is sold by the square foot - for example, half inch stock is often priced by the square foot.

Hope that helps. (Hope I didn't make any math errors)

Mike
Last edited by Mike Henderson; 01-22-2007 at 01:45 AM.

4. Are you finding the same species priced by lineal ft and board ft ? I guess if you're comparing rough stock from the lumber yard or mill and S4S at the big box store, that could happen.

Board feet is a measure of volume; thickness x L x W. A single board foot = 1" x 12" x 12" OR Equivalent. Where the wood has been planed and ripped to final dimension they sell by lineal ft. Lineal ft measurements are given for dimensioned lumber where only L and W vary. In a way it's priced by surface area because the thickness is a given.

If you work backward from finished stock to rough dimension the way you did, you'll be close to getting a good price comparison. What you won't have is the charges for milling that lumber to S4S. Lineal ft generally applies only to "value added" products like S4S, mouldings, bannister railing, etc.

Whether this helps you in any way, I'm not sure.

5. Originally Posted by Jim Hager
Lineal ft of course is a per ft price.

Bd Ft is a calculation of the actual size of a piece of material. BdFt=12x12x1 or 144 cubic inches. A 1 x 8 x 8' long will contain 5.3bd ft.@2.80=14.93

1 x 8 x 8' in lineal ft times 3.95 = 31.60

The actual size will matter only if it's hardwood, softwoods are sold by the nominal measurement.

If you buy a stack of material that measures 40" x 8' and there are 5 layers you will calculate the board footage by Length' x Width" divided by 12 times the number of layers. In the example 40 x 8 divided by 12 multiplied by 5 will be 133.3 bd ft.

To determine the lineal foot cost you will just have to figure the bd ft cost of one piece or one foot by working it out mathmatically like I did above.
Thanks for the clear example that clears it up bunches for me.

Originally Posted by Ian Gillis
Are you finding the same species priced by lineal ft and board ft ? I guess if you're comparing rough stock from the lumber yard or mill and S4S at the big box store, that could happen.

Board feet is a measure of volume; thickness x L x W. A single board foot = 1" x 12" x 12" OR Equivalent. Where the wood has been planed and ripped to final dimension they sell by lineal ft. Lineal ft measurements are given for dimensioned lumber where only L and W vary. In a way it's priced by surface area because the thickness is a given.

If you work backward from finished stock to rough dimension the way you did, you'll be close to getting a good price comparison. What you won't have is the charges for milling that lumber to S4S. Lineal ft generally applies only to "value added" products like S4S, mouldings, bannister railing, etc.

Whether this helps you in any way, I'm not sure.
You are correct, I was comparing a lumber yard rough (actually it not truely rough as this guy runs it through his 25" planer to get the rough stuff off, so it comes out 7/8" or so thick) anyway, I knew buying S4S was more expensivie I was just trying to compare buying it S4S to buying it rough and having to square up and plane it to thickness, but guess that is why I bought a jointer and planer now isn't it.

6. There is a third option, especially since you have a surface planer. If your lumber merchant has a big jointer, pay him to joint one face and one edge (S2S). What you DON'T want is for him to simply run it through his thickness planer. That will simply give you a smooth surface, but the board may still be warped & twisted. With one face jointed you can run it through your planer at home and them rip it to width on your TS using the jointed edge.

Sort of a 50/50 solution - use his big jointer and at the same time save some money with your planer.

7. Originally Posted by Ian Gillis
There is a third option, especially since you have a surface planer. If your lumber merchant has a big jointer, pay him to joint one face and one edge (S2S). What you DON'T want is for him to simply run it through his thickness planer. That will simply give you a smooth surface, but the board may still be warped & twisted. With one face jointed you can run it through your planer at home and them rip it to width on your TS using the jointed edge.

Sort of a 50/50 solution - use his big jointer and at the same time save some money with your planer.
He doesn't have one. I think he mostly does it to clean it up a little, he sells a lot of his wood to area schools.

8. Join Date
Nov 2006
Posts
67
Aaron,
I work at a lumber dealership. S4S is usually considerably more than rough or S2S. They are charging you for the waste and the labor. Often you get charged for board foot price, waste and labor which means you pay for the waste twice. I know this sounds a bit wierd but it is industry standards. Example.. You are buying 1X6 S4S Say the dealer had to use 8-10 inch wide board. He will figure out his price based on the 10 inch board and calculate board feet and then will account for X percentage of waste and add that to his calculation and then he adds the Labor.

When ever possible buy rough or S2S and mill the rest yourself. S2S is cheaper because it goes through a double sided planer. S4S requires a moulder and set up time

Greg

9. Originally Posted by Mike Henderson
Some places, like where I buy my hardwood, add 10% (because they can get away with it). Don't ask me how they justify that, but they charge it. So I'd pay \$12.32 for that board.

Mike
What pray tell is 10% for? I never understood places like that. Just tell me what the price is. Kind of like sawing logs, I tell them what it cost per BF. The only other charge there may be is if we hit something and ruin a blade. I can't control that.

10. Originally Posted by Robert Mickley
What pray tell is 10% for? I never understood places like that. Just tell me what the price is. Kind of like sawing logs, I tell them what it cost per BF. The only other charge there may be is if we hit something and ruin a blade. I can't control that.
I agree. It seems dumb to me - I have to add 10% when I'm looking at the prices instead of seeing the actual price. But that's what they do and they're the most convenient place for me to get the wood so I shop there.

They add 10% to the bf, but it's the same as adding 10% to the price per bf.

Maybe it's the same philosophy as always pricing things at 99cents, like \$5.99. People tend to see it as \$5 instead of \$6. On the wood, maybe some people see the shelf price and don't think of the final price. But it's not like there are hardwood dealers on every corner and we have many places to choose from. If the store listed actual prices, I bet their businss volume wouldn't change one bit.

Mike

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