Board Footage made Easy
Making your first purchase in hardwoods can be a little intimidating. It's rough sawn. Random width. Random length. And the price is complicated! Though it's different than buying wood from your local big box store, it's worth making the leap!
Board footage is the cubic inches of the board (instead of linear feet). All hardwoods are sold by the board foot (bf) and figured by rough thickness. A board foot (bf) is 144 cubic inches. The formula to calculate board foot is LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT in inches, divided by 144. Thus a board that is 96" long x 6.25" wide x 6/4 (1.5") thick would be 6.3 bf. (You can also use the length in feet & divide by 12 instead of 144. But for this exercise, we're keeping it simple.)
To get the price of the board, just multiply 6.3 bf x the price for that species and thickness. Say $5/bf.
6.3 x $5 = $31.50 for that single board
Now that you understand the math behind your board footage total, the good news is that there are many apps available for your phone that will do this calculation for you. As long as you can input the numbers off your tape measurer, you'll have your board footage total with ease.