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Board Foot Calulator

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Project by trevor7428 posted 06-08-2017 02:41 PM 1545 views 16 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I first saw a commercial version of this thing, I knew I had to get one. Normally I would just buy it, but they where crazy expensive for some reason.

Anyways, if your not familiar with this, ill explain.

When you go to the lumberyard and you try to figure out how much board feet of material you have. You have to get your tape measure or if your like me. Ask to borrow someones. Because you always forget to bring one. Then measure length ” x width ” Then bust out your phone or calculater to divided by 144.
(Assuming its 4/4 material) and do this for each board you have.

Well with this, all you need to know is the length of the board. I’m not sure about your lumber yard, but mine the stack of boards are all the same length.

So, I hold this up to the edge of the board. To figure out how wide it is (ruler on top edge) and use the table to find the board feet.

So this board is 6ft long and Approx 7 1/2” wide. Which = 3.75 BD/ Ft.

One side has a ruler in inches on top and flip the paddle over for half inch ruler.

You can easily create your own, for the dimensions of wood you use most. With mine I can calculate 4/4 boards 6’, 8’, 10’ and 12’ long and up to 12 1/2” wide.

EDIT…

I forgot to add. It’s kinda hard to tell from the picture, but I screwed a piece of metal to the top of the paddle that is wider then the thickness of the paddle.

It acts as a lip and catches the edge of the board, when your measure how wide the board is.

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion





14 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

13294 posts in 3820 days


#1 posted 06-08-2017 02:44 PM

Looks very useful. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1443 posts in 370 days


#2 posted 06-08-2017 03:00 PM

Great little device! Good job. I have found that some lumberyards will round up … just a fraction of an inch over the line and it’s the next width! In your example it would be 4.25 b/ft. I guess it all depends on who is doing the measuring. Again, great little device … I’m off to make one … thanks for sharing!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1656 posts in 2736 days


#3 posted 06-08-2017 03:20 PM

That looks interesting and very helpful.

Is there a reason why you used 1/2” measurements on the edge instead of even inches?

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

1329 posts in 1426 days


#4 posted 06-08-2017 05:11 PM

Duel purpose tool. If your kid is with you and gets out of line….. Just joking…..maybe

I like it.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

467 posts in 2071 days


#5 posted 06-08-2017 05:18 PM

I can see where that would also be useful when figuring out how much wood to buy for a project. Add up the BF of the various pieces and that should give a decent estimate of the BF of dimensional lumber required. Having 4/4, 5/4, 6/4, 8/4 would cover everything I would need. Now if you could come up with one that factors in waste and one for rough un-finished boards….....

I’m also curious about starting with2-1/2” rather than starting with 2” – oh never mind – one side is starts with 2” and the other starts with 2-1/2”.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View PPK's profile

PPK

498 posts in 532 days


#6 posted 06-08-2017 05:59 PM

Went right to my favorites. I too have looked to buy one and was surprised how much they cost…
Great idea, great job making it!

-- Pete

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7020 posts in 2051 days


#7 posted 06-08-2017 08:05 PM

(L x W x T)/144 works for me every time :^)

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View trevor7428's profile

trevor7428

230 posts in 684 days


#8 posted 06-09-2017 12:41 AM

I forgot to add. It’s kinda hard to tell from the picture, but I screwed a piece of metal to the top of the paddle that is wider then the thickness of the paddle.

It acts as a lip and catches the edge of the board, when your measure how wide the board is.

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

View trevor7428's profile

trevor7428

230 posts in 684 days


#9 posted 06-09-2017 12:50 AM



Great little device! Good job. I have found that some lumberyards will round up … just a fraction of an inch over the line and it s the next width!

- Ron Aylor

My lumber yard adds an extra 10% BD/ FT. I didn’t realize this until my last visit. I used the paddle and measured my material @ 30 BD/ FT. When I went to pay for it, I was charged for 33 BD/ FT. They said the add the 10% because of the wood they loose putting it threw the planer to make it S3S.

I always thought that’s why we are paying for 4/4 material even tho it is Approx 3/4”.

Anybody have more insight on this?

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

906 posts in 3154 days


#10 posted 06-09-2017 12:26 PM

Trevor, I think I’d find a new Lumber supplier. Anyone who charges for something you don’t take home, isn’t going to get my business. Now if you bought the wood as rough and he gives you an option of taking it rough or him S3S’ing it, that’s an option you can take or leave. Seems a little underhanded to me.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View trevor7428's profile

trevor7428

230 posts in 684 days


#11 posted 06-09-2017 01:08 PM



Trevor, I think I d find a new Lumber supplier. Anyone who charges for something you don t take home, isn t going to get my business. Now if you bought the wood as rough and he gives you an option of taking it rough or him S3S ing it, that s an option you can take or leave. Seems a little underhanded to me.

- Scott Oldre

I wish I had the option to go to a different hardwood dealer. Unfortunately out here in Las Vegas, Petermans Lumber is all there is. Besides big box stores or to order online of coarse.

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1376 posts in 945 days


#12 posted 06-09-2017 02:42 PM

My lumber source uses a stick, much like Trevor’s, very clever!

My beef is one of the employees will always use the stick on each individual piece of wood, any fractional amount gets rounded up to the next inch. Another employee will lay the boards side by side on the forklift tangs and measure multiple pieces at once. There still is the last inch roundup, but much less “padding” for wood I didn’t get.

View jbay's profile

jbay

1585 posts in 622 days


#13 posted 06-09-2017 02:54 PM


I wish I had the option to go to a different hardwood dealer. Unfortunately out here in Las Vegas, Petermans Lumber is all there is. Besides big box stores or to order online of coarse.

- trevor7428

Rugby and McKillican are right next door.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View trevor7428's profile

trevor7428

230 posts in 684 days


#14 posted 06-10-2017 03:32 PM


I wish I had the option to go to a different hardwood dealer. Unfortunately out here in Las Vegas, Petermans Lumber is all there is. Besides big box stores or to order online of coarse.

- trevor7428

Rugby and McKillican are right next door.

- jbay

Ive never been to either nor did I know they where even hardwood dealers. Thanks, ill look into them.

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

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