Prices are calculated using Board Feet (bf), which is a measure of volume, as opposed to area (square feet) or length (lineal feet).
A board foot is 1-inch thick by 12-inches wide by 1-foot long.
For example: To calculate the board feet in an 4/4 ash board that measures 1-inches thick by 8-inches wide by 8-feet long, the math would look like this: 1 x 8 x 8 ÷ 12 = 5.3 board feet. Multiply 5.3bf by $3.80/bf (the cost of 4/4 ash) and the board will cost $20.14.
*If you use inches instead of feet for your length measurement, simply divide by 144 instead of 12 (1 x 8 x 96 ÷ 144 = 5.3 board feet).
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Rough lumber is measured in three dimensions: thickness (described in quarter-inches), width (inches) and length (feet). The fractions you see indi- cate quarters of an inch in rough thickness. So, a 4/4 board will be 1” thick; a 5/4 board will be 1.25” thick. So a 5/4 x 8 x 10 board will measure 1.25 inches thick, 8 inches wide, and 10 feet long. The Hardwood Grading Bureau allows for the loss of up to 1/4” of thickness when planing a board. Therefore, if you need your board to be 1” thick when it’s finished, you need to start with a 5/4 board.
Planing both sides creates two flat smooth surfaces that are parallel to one another. Jointing produces a flat smooth surface perpendicular to the planed surfaces.
A board that has both faces planed and both edges jointed is referred to as S4S (Surfaced 4 Sides).
Boards may also be finished S3S or S2S or even S1S depending on the final use. Antique barn boards that are going to become part of a panel, for example, are often finished S3S (planed back, jointed sides, aged face untouched) or S2S (face and one exposed edge untouched).
Kiln-dried lumber is dried to 6-7% mc before a shot of steam is introduced to the kiln to slightly raise the moisture content and relieve stress in the lumber. The lumber moisture content may drop or raise depending on its environment. Neither instance is a problem so long as the lumber has a chance to acclimate.
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