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Calculating Board Foot Costs For Furniture Building

In today's video, what is a board foot, why it's important to know as a woodworker, and three different methods to calculate the amount and cost. For those that don't know, a board foot is a measurement here in the US used to calculate the amount of rough cut lumber. Rough cut lumber is what a lot of woodworkers use because of its relatively low cost and its availability. Now, you need to know two things in order to be able to calculate a board foot of rough cut lumber. First rough cut lumber is measured by the quarter inch. For example, one inch thick lumber is called four quarter. Inch and a half thick, six quarter. Two inch thick, eight quarter, and so on. Second, a board foot is actually a measurement of volume. One board foot has a total volume of 144 cubic inches. So for example, a board that is one inch thick, by 12 inches wide, by 12 inches long, is equal to one board foot. If we jump up to a eight quarter board, which if you remember, is two inches thick, that same 12 inch wide by 12 inch long board is now equal to two board feet. Now, all this is of course important to know to be able to calculate board feet, but more importantly, it's used so that you'll be able to price out the amount of rough cut lumber you need to buy. Before I show you the three different methods, I do want to clarify something before we move on. And that is, a board foot is not the same as a linear foot. Lumber that is sold at most big box stores are sold by the linear foot. Meaning, as long as you know the price per linear foot of material and how long the board is you're buying, you can easily get the cost. A board foot takes into consideration its thickness, its width, and its length, and it uses all three of those numbers to come up with the equation for board feet. Now, I just want you to keep this in mind as you're continuing to watch this video, to make sure you understand the difference of a linear foot compared to a board foot. All right, so let's look at three different methods in order to calculate board feet. One is using a framing square, two is simple math, and third is using an app or a calculator. In order to move through this quickly, we're going to use all three methods calculating the same board. And that board is one is thick, seven inches wide, and nine feet long. On a framing square, if you look at the body or the blade of the square, which is the wider of the two, you'll see the number 12. Under the 12, you will see seven numbers, ranging from eight to 15. These numbers are in feet and will be used for the length of our board. In our example, our board is nine feet long and seven inches wide, so if you drop down to the nine and then slide down to the seven, you will see two numbers. The first is a whole number, which is five, and the other number is a fraction, which is three twelfths. Three twelfths is the same as a quarter inch, or 0.25 inches. Therefore, a board that's one inch thick, seven inches wide, and nine feet long has a total board foot count of 5.25. And if the cost was $8 per board foot, this board will cost you $42. The second method is to use a simple equation, and that is thickness times width, times length, divided by 144. And if you remember, the 144 is the total cubic inches in one board foot. Therefore, the math is one times seven, times 108, divided by 144, for a total of 5.25 board feet. And just remember that all the math here is in inches, not inches and feet. Now that you know those methods, let's look at the last one, which is to use a Construction Pro calculator or an app. There are many apps out there, and this one here is called Board Feet Easy calculator. You simply type in your info, nine foot length, seven inch wide, four quarter thickness, and you can even put in a price per board foot. Here, we'll put in $8. And then press calculate. And you can see, there is our total of 5.25 board feet at a cost of $42. Lastly, if you have a Construction Pro calculator, or their app, you can type in the board foot size, one by seven by nine, press the convert button, and then the number eight to get the total board feet of 5.25. Then if you want, you can get a price. Multiply that by, in our case, $8, for a total of a cost of $42. And there you have it, one board using three different methods to calculate its board feet. If you like my style of teaching and you're looking to learn even more about routers, then my new beginners online routers course is now available. This course provides over three hours of video lessons, downloadable documents, buying guides, full access to me, and much more. If you're interested, follow the links below to start learning and mastering skills that you'll be able to use the rest of your creative life. As always, if you need help, have questions, need some prayers, please reach out. I'm always here to help in any way I possibly can. Thank you for watching until the end. I'll see you in the next video.

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