Easy Board Feet Calculator
Welcome to our humble wood carving blog, where precision meets creativity in the world of woodworking! Today we’re offering a tutorial on determining how many board feet you have or need from a larger dimensional block of wood or lumber!
Whether you’re a veteran woodworker looking to expand your knowledge or a newcomer eager to understand the tools of the trade, mastering this conversion opens the door to quality carving design…or even simply selecting the proper piece of cedar lumber as a starting point.
Heck, you don’t need to be a wood carver or wood worker to use this calculator! Determining how many board feet you have sitting in a huge oak tree in your front yard can be fun calculation in personal economics!
What is a Board Foot?
The board-foot measurement is really nothing more than a unit of volume of lumber. Often used in the woodworking and lumber industry in the United States and Canada, it is a measurement that defines the amount of wood in a variety of sized pieces of logs, timbers, or lumber.
One board foot is equal to a 12″ x 12″ piece of wood that is 1″ thick. So this is equal to 12″x12″x1″ = 144 cubic inches.
One board foot also equals 1/12 cubic feet or 2.36 liters or 2360 cubic centimeters
Board foot is abbreviated as FBM – which is foot, board measure, BF, or BDFT. One thousand board feet can be abbreviated as MBF, MFBM, MBFT.
How Many Board Feet in a 2x4x8
For the sake of this example, lets assume the wooden 2×4 is truly 2″ by 4″ and not the finished lumber dimension we know today of 3.5″ by 1.5″
The easiest way to determine how many board feet are in a 8′ long 2×4 is to determine the volume of the 2×4 in cubic inches, then convert that to board-feet.
Volume of the 2×4 = 2″ x 4″ x 96″(8 ft converted to inches) = 768 cubic inches.
Then, as discussed above, one board foot is equal to 144 cubic inches. So simply divide 768 cubit inches by 144 cubic inches to get your answer.
FBM = 768 cubic inches / 144 cubic inches = 5.333 FBM in an 8′ 2″x4″. Easy right!?
Want to geek out and learn more about math unit conversions?? Maths is Fun goes into great depth!
Board Foot Calculator
We’ve developed a simple calculator to determine the volume of lumber in board-feet.
Use this board feet calculator below to convert any size chunk of dimensional wood you have into its equivalent board foot value!
For the board foot calculator, simply enter the quantity of pieces that you have, then enter the length, width and thickness. You can choose to enter these values in either feet or inches, the board feet calculator will take care of the unit conversions.
You can then use the secondary calculator to determine cost. Enter your value of board feet, then enter the cost per board foot and hit “Calculate Cost”. The result is the total cost of your piece of wood.
Board Feet in a Tree Calculator
Calculating the board feet in a tree is a little harder than calculating the board feet in a piece of milled lumber. The round nature of the tree make the board feet calculator a little more complex.
This board feet in a tree calculator makes is super easy. Do your best to estimate the tree’s average diameter or circumference, then enter either one of these values in the field below. Estimate the height of the tree as well. Hit “Calculate Total Board Feet” and the board feet calculator will estimate the amount of board feet in your tree!
Board Feet in a Tree Calculator
Other Handy Calculators
We’ve developed a bunch of other unit conversion calculators, for conversions we’ve found helpful in the past. Hope you can get some use out of these too!
Summary: Determining Board Feet
The board feet unit of volume is not something most people come across everyday, but when you need to know how to use it it’s important to use an accurate calculation!
We hope these two calculators for board feet help you make quick work of the math, leaving you with more time to dedicate to your woodworking and carving!