Board Foot vs. Individual Boards


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Maybe they can get devine intervention to get you a good price ;)

Almost always dimensioned lumber will be more expensive than rough or even S2S.

Easy enough to do the math to compare prices. If Poplar at a big box costs $4 a linear foot for a board only 4" wide, it takes 3 linear feet to equal 1 square foot (3*4"). Assuming it is 3/4" thick and that's about what you want out of 4/4, then that 1 sq ft is your fully dimensioned equivalent to a board foot of Poplar. In that case you spent $12 for that board foot. Here, Poplar goes for $2/bf and that's likely expensive compared to the rest of the country (we grow cactus, not Poplar).

My hardwood dealer also started selling fully dimensioned lumber and the price works out to 3-5 times the board foot price. You'd be better off getting rough lumber. Find a dealer near the monks and tell them what you want and why. They may give you a better price for the big purchase knowing the monks may become return customers, unless it's Pagen Brothers' Lumber. 'Shorts' at the lumber yard are also typically cheaper... everybody wants an 8' clear board so 2-3' ends go in a special cheaper pile.

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Maybe they can get devine intervention to get you a good price ;)

Almost always dimensioned lumber will be more expensive than rough or even S2S.

Easy enough to do the math to compare prices. If Poplar at a big box costs $4 a linear foot for a board only 4" wide, it takes 3 linear feet to equal 1 square foot (3*4"). Assuming it is 3/4" thick and that's about what you want out of 4/4, then that 1 sq ft is your fully dimensioned equivalent to a board foot of Poplar. In that case you spent $12 for that board foot. Here, Poplar goes for $2/bf and that's likely expensive compared to the rest of the country (we grow cactus, not Poplar).

My hardwood dealer also started selling fully dimensioned lumber and the price works out to 3-5 times the board foot price. You'd be better off getting rough lumber. Find a dealer near the monks and tell them what you want and why. They may give you a better price for the big purchase knowing the monks may become return customers, unless it's Pagen Brothers' Lumber. 'Shorts' at the lumber yard are also typically cheaper... everybody wants an 8' clear board so 2-3' ends go in a special cheaper pile.

Not to hijack your post Frank but Paul says they grow cactus. I've been to the AZ desert twice and always laugh when the cowboy movie shows a new town springing up and there is fresh wood everywhere and saguaro cactus growing in the background. AZ is the only place on the planet they grow. I look at the TV and wonder how much THEY had to pay for a board foot to bring that by wagon!!

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Thanks, Paul, that helped a lot.

Since I mentioned friars, on an unrelated topic, I heard that a monastery in the English countryside had fallen on hard times, and decided to establish a business to defray their expenses, such as a bakery or winery.

Being English, however, they decided to open a fish and chips restaurant.

The establishment soon became very popular, attracting people from all over.

One city fellow, thinking himself clever, asked one of the brothers standing nearby, "I suppose you're the 'fish friar'?"

"No", answered the brother levelly, "I'm the 'chip monk'."

Marc if this violates the "no religion" rule please delete.

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Like it has been said above, doing the math will always favor going with rough lumber from a yard over the home store. Another point to consider since I work within the lumber industry now is that by the time this wood ends up on the home center's shelves it has been picked over time and again by people seeking quality wood. These big box entities buy in large bulk but look for lowest price and spend very little time considering quality. Essentially, they get what they get in lineal feet with no stipulation of size. So the irony is that you will not only pay more for surfaced stuff at the home center, you will get lesser quality. Buying from a lumber yard is buying from someone who specializes and knows lumber and associated grading systems. You will always get better quality this way.

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