Need math help... lumber prices in Europe

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Forum topic by DrTebi posted 11-29-2011 12:10 PM 1855 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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242 posts in 2687 days

11-29-2011 12:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question math europe lumber prices


I was just wondering if someone could help me figure out what the approximate cost of a board foot of lumber is in Europe. I just want a rough number, so that I can get an idea.

On this website there is a listing for birch wood, and the price is stated as

1.228,08 € per m3

So that is about 1,228 Euros per cubic meter (including tax). At the current hour, my math fails to convert this to board feet prices :(

Thanks for any help!

I am curious because sooner or later I will have to go back to Europe. I learned my first steps in woodworking here in the US, but have practically no idea what it would be like to be a woodworker in Europe. It seems to be a lot less popular there?

10 replies so far

View KnickKnack's profile


1062 posts in 2987 days

#1 posted 11-29-2011 12:18 PM

1 board foot = 2.35973722 liters
1 cubic meter = 1000 liters


1228 euros for 1 cubic meter … which is…
1228 euros for 1000 liters … so …
(1228×2.35973722 / 1000) euros for (1000×2.35973722 / 1000) liters
2.89775730616 euros for 2.35973722 liters, which is 1 board foot

About 2 euros 90 cents for a board foot.
Sounds about right? Or did I make a mistake – I’m a mathematician, so mistakes are quite likely

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View DrTebi's profile


242 posts in 2687 days

#2 posted 11-29-2011 12:31 PM

That was a blazing fast answer, thank you!

It sounds right to me. I tried it by myself, but was not sure if I did it right, but had a similar result. That’s not too bad for birch, I guess… not sure if the cubic meter is the minimum order… anyway, I got an idea now :)

Thanks again!

Oh, and by the way, I can kind of tell that you are a mathematician—your projects have quite beautiful geometry, very nice.

View Sylvain's profile


638 posts in 1920 days

#3 posted 11-29-2011 03:11 PM

Hi everybody,

if you want to make other price comparisons, there are 423.7760 board foot in a cubic meter (1000/2.3597….)

let’s say 424 (with an error of 0.05%) which should be easier to remember.

For a gross approximation you could even use 400 (error : 5.61% on the safe side, i mean you get more board foot than calculated when converting from m³ to bft )

One Euro being approximately 1.34 $ today.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2594 days

#4 posted 11-29-2011 04:41 PM

I’d just make them a cash offer … whatever you think is fair … and skip the advanced math ;-)


-- -- Neil

View DrTebi's profile


242 posts in 2687 days

#5 posted 11-29-2011 10:35 PM

Thank you for making it even easier.

Your signature says you live in Belgium; would you mind sharing what it’s like to be a woodworker in Belgium? Is it difficult to get lumber? Tools? Clients? Just curious…

View Sylvain's profile


638 posts in 1920 days

#6 posted 12-08-2011 11:46 PM

Dr Tebi,

Unfortunately until now, I am still learning everything theoretically on this wonderful web site where everybody is so nice with each other.
My wife is complaining that I spent too much time on internet and there are a few home-improvement which would require woodworking on the list.
I have already bought a few hand planes on flea markets (I have 6 now). I have started to try to use them but need more time.
I have dismantled a picnic bench, and as much of the board where still in great condition, I thought about making a garden bench for my parents with them, unfortunately my mother (91) died mid October. So I should have started this project in June. One has to make a start jump to avoid regrets.

Those boards are pine boards. The plane works great on the edge. But on the face it is a nightmare, the grain is changing direction every 8”” because of the knots.

I am approaching retirement, and, for me it would be a hobby.

In big stores you can only buy pine.

I don’t own any, but here in Europe many wood workers would buy a combined machine (table saw, planer, jointer, shaper).

There is at least one Belgian manufacturer: Robland

there are of course other manufacturer of this kind of equipment in Europe
Lurem, Felder, logosol, ....

But I could never can justify buying such an equipment.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View ChuckV's profile


2872 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 12-09-2011 12:03 AM

I am always amazed at the unit conversions that Gogle will handle.

I put in “1 cubic meter in board feet” and get “1 (cubic meter) = 423.776001 board feet”.

I put in “1 euro in $” and get “1 euro = 1.3338 US dollars”

And one last conversion that is sure to come in handy:
“1 (cubic light year) = 3.58824873 × 10^50 board feet”

-- “And the products of wealth push you along on the bow wave of their spiritless undying selves.” ― I. Anderson

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2389 days

#8 posted 12-09-2011 01:47 AM

Ignore the Legal Eagle, I think he’s been at the sherry. Metric is good, metric is easy. Don’t forget to add local sales taxes to those prices. Infants aren’t on the menu.
In Ireland prices can vary wildly between Timber Merchants and Builders Merchants.
The timber merchant I go to most has the best selection of species, different thicknesses and is generally good quality, though he is a robbing bastard. If I have a big job on that doesn’t require anything special, its off to the Builders Merchants, where everything costs at least 20% less.
I just bought 5/4 white oak that was €42 + Vat per Cubic foot at the timber merchants, thats $7 a bd ft by my calculations. An 8×4’ sheet of 3/4” laminated ply is about $102 at the timber merchant. 3/4 plain mdf would come in at $32.50.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2389 days

#9 posted 12-09-2011 02:07 AM

It happens to be a documented fact that the only space probe to slam into Mars was travelling in miles per hour instead of kilometres ph, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2343 days

#10 posted 12-09-2011 02:38 AM

Having to figure this out over there would make me want to skip woodworking and take up something like underwater basket weaving. I think it would be easier.

-- Life is good.

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