Calculating Board Feet


"Board Feet" is a measurement of lumber volume. A board foot is equal to 144 cubic inches of wood. Actually it's easy to calculate using the following formula:

(Thickness x Width x Length) / 144 = Board Feet

Note: Lumber is specified by its rough size. This is why a 1"x 4" board is actually 3/4" thick and a 2"x 4" board is actually 1-1/2" thick.

When you are figuring up board feet, keep in mind a waste factor. If you purchase good clear material add about 15% for waste, if you elect to use lower grade material you will have to allow for defects and more wasted material -add about 30%. Take a few boards and run the measurements and you will see how easy this works.