What is a ‘board foot’? No, it’s not what’s at the end of a wooden leg! Sorry, it’s an oldie but a goodie and it had to be said. 😉 You’ll often hear reference to this woodworking term when you are in the process of buying wood. Although lumber is sold by the piece in building supply stores, mills and specialty wood dealers price by the ‘board foot’.
A ‘board foot’ is a measure of wood volume instead of linear feet. A board foot is the volume of a 1-foot piece of wood that is 1 foot wide and 1 inch thick. This translates to 144 cubic inches. So, to calculate board feet, you would use the following formula:
Thickness (inches) X Width (inches) X Length (feet) ÷ 12 = Board Feet
Or you can use this handy Board Foot Calculator:
This will give you the calculation for rough lumber. Use the rough lumber measurements in width and thickness when calculating the board feet even if the lumber has been surfaced.
Board-foot is abbreviated as FBM for “foot, board measure” and MFBM represents a thousand board-feet.
Back to the shop…