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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, new member here.
Started collecting wood working tools and stuff about a year ago and finally went to the local Hardwood Supplier, Peterman Lumber in Fontana, Ca. All i can say is WOW! do they have a selection and they let you go through and pick what you want. Nice people, very helpful. However, you knew it was coming, Something strange happened. I have seen a lot of videos describing how these lumber yards work with all there jargon and how they sell wood. So i walk in all confident and tell them i am looking for some 4/4 Poplar and how much it runs. They ask if i need 3/4" so i tell them no 4/4 and they say ok it runs $3.27/bf. They show me where it is and i pick out a two 1"x16'x 12" wide boards equaling 32bf and they say they can cut it in half for free. Cool good so far. So they calc the price out and the sheet shows 44bf. I ask them to explain why is says 44bf when i only have 32bf. They explain the $3.27/bf is for 3/4" wood and i have 1" so they times it by 1.37 to account for the extra quarter inch. So correct me if i am wrong but would that mean it is $4.48/bf. So i think they are measuring a board foot as 3/4"x12"x12". Is this common or am i just nuts? In all my videos i never heard of doing it this way. Just wondering.

skeeter
 

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Welcome to the forum. Not sure where they came up with that, Maybe this will help.


Lumber that is S2S was rough at one time, but now it’s been planed smooth and flat. Naturally, that process removes some thickness and answers the age old question, “Why isn’t 4/4 lumber a full one inch thick?”

Actual measured thickness on 4/4 lumber that’s S2S is 13/16″. According to the NHLA rules, 13/16″ is the standard acceptable thickness of surfaced 4/4 lumber. (Note: you can view the current edition of the NHLA rule book here.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well it is S2S. I'll have to check the actual thickness, but it looks pretty darn thick. Next time i want to get rough stock to see what the price diff is.

skeeter
 

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I wasn't there, so I can only guess and interpret.

The price per board foot often depends on the thickness of the wood. I have seen other places where the board foot prices of thicker boards is higher than the 3/4 inch boards, so I am not surprised. Example: 4/4 inch boards at $5 a board foot, and 6/4 boards at $6.50 a board foot.


What May Have Happened for Your Purchase:

In one place I know, the 3/4 inch (actual) boards are measured in inches to compute board feet: (length x width x 1 inch) / 144.

The 13/16 and 1 inch (actual) boards are measured (length x width x 1.25 inch) / 144 to calculate board feet for pricing a board.

To me, 1.37 sounds like 1 3/8 inch for a 13/16 board. That's slightly higher than the 1.25 I have seen elsewhere, but could be considered "in the ballpark."

As I said above, just a guess.
 

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Hi everyone, new member here.
Started collecting wood working tools and stuff about a year ago and finally went to the local Hardwood Supplier, Peterman Lumber in Fontana, Ca. All i can say is WOW! do they have a selection and they let you go through and pick what you want. Nice people, very helpful. However, you knew it was coming, Something strange happened. I have seen a lot of videos describing how these lumber yards work with all there jargon and how they sell wood. So i walk in all confident and tell them i am looking for some 4/4 Poplar and how much it runs. They ask if i need 3/4" so i tell them no 4/4 and they say ok it runs $3.27/bf. They show me where it is and i pick out a two 1"x16'x 12" wide boards equaling 32bf and they say they can cut it in half for free. Cool good so far. So they calc the price out and the sheet shows 44bf. I ask them to explain why is says 44bf when i only have 32bf. They explain the $3.27/bf is for 3/4" wood and i have 1" so they times it by 1.37 to account for the extra quarter inch. So correct me if i am wrong but would that mean it is $4.48/bf. So i think they are measuring a board foot as 3/4"x12"x12". Is this common or am i just nuts? In all my videos i never heard of doing it this way. Just wondering.

skeeter
Well, 4/4 is the size the wood is when it's cut from a tree. It's often the lumber company that surfaces the 4/4 wood to 3/4". If you want wood that is surfaced to an inch you order 5/4 meaning it's an 1 1/4" thick rough.

I'm blown away about the price of poplar. The last time I bought some it was closer to $1.27 a board foot, but that was before covid though.
 

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Lumber that is a full 1" thick is considered 5/4 and is calculated as such. The board ft. price is calculated as 1ft wide by 1 ft long and one inch thick before milling. A 5/4 board would have to start out thicker than 1 1/4 inches to be milled down to its final dimension of 1 or 1 1/8 inch.
Did I make any sense?
You did get more than a normal 3/4" board so you should expect an up-charge. As ToolAgnostic said the 1.37 multiplier seems a bit high but the fact is that they have the lumber, you want the lumber so the price is determined by them. You can buy it from them or find it somewhere else.
 

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When you go to a normal lumber yard for construction grade lumber, a 2 x 4 is actually 1 1/2 x 3 1/2. It was 2x4 when it came out of the log. Although I think the lumber companies are slightly profiteering on that one. find it hard to believe they lose a full 1/2" on the dimension. Maybe it is so, considering pine does have a lot of sap to be dried out.
 

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Egg Spurt
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Theys usin some of that there fuzzy math on you? Could be worse though. Go to Lowes and they're liable to use some of that thar alien math! ALEENS FROM OUTER SPACE n stuff! That linear foot math is for the suckers in box stores..at least that's my eggspurt opinion on the subject..
 

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A full 1" think surfaced board is priced as 5/4.

If you're buying surfaced 3/4 or 13/16 its based on 4/4 lumber. Rough lumber is different - 4/4 should be 1" thick, 5/4 is 1 1/4 thick +/-

Surfaced lumber also has the machining surcharge priced in. There is significant savings buying rough - but you can't see the grain which can be very important for furniture making.

But funny things still happen. At my supplier 15/16 maple is only about 25 cents more than 13/16 - go figure ( and guess which one I bought).

There are rough lumber sticks people will use that takes all this into account when calculating. I have no clue how to use one.
427191


In the end, I don't worry about it I have to trust my supplier.

Dealing with someone at a sawmill - that's another story some of them talk pretty fast and figure in their heads. o_O o_O
 

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If that was me they would have been putting their 8' boards they cut from 16 footers back into stock and I would have been walking out, unless I am mistaken that sounds like a bait and switch since they indicated where the stock was for the quoted price.
 

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I generally buy in 4' and smaller bundles figured to 10 bf.. I know some are and some aren't exactly 10, but it averages out since everything I buy there that's 4/4 is a bit over 13/16s, closer to 7/8s usually. It's the longer pieces they sell by themselves that get a bit hinky, but they've always treated me good there. I'd generally trust the hardwood dealer anytime before any box stores where a 1x2 cost almost as much as a 1x12, sold by the foot..
 

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Hi everyone, new member here.
Started collecting wood working tools and stuff about a year ago and finally went to the local Hardwood Supplier, Peterman Lumber in Fontana, Ca. All i can say is WOW! do they have a selection and they let you go through and pick what you want. Nice people, very helpful. However, you knew it was coming, Something strange happened. I have seen a lot of videos describing how these lumber yards work with all there jargon and how they sell wood. So i walk in all confident and tell them i am looking for some 4/4 Poplar and how much it runs. They ask if i need 3/4" so i tell them no 4/4 and they say ok it runs $3.27/bf. They show me where it is and i pick out a two 1"x16'x 12" wide boards equaling 32bf and they say they can cut it in half for free. Cool good so far. So they calc the price out and the sheet shows 44bf. I ask them to explain why is says 44bf when i only have 32bf. They explain the $3.27/bf is for 3/4" wood and i have 1" so they times it by 1.37 to account for the extra quarter inch. So correct me if i am wrong but would that mean it is $4.48/bf. So i think they are measuring a board foot as 3/4"x12"x12". Is this common or am i just nuts? In all my videos i never heard of doing it this way. Just wondering.

skeeter
Unless I missed it, you do not say anywhere here whether the boards are rough cut or surfaced. Makes a difference.

george
 

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I have w
Well it is S2S. I'll have to check the actual thickness, but it looks pretty darn thick. Next time i want to get rough stock to see what the price diff is. skeeter
Unless I missed it, you do not say anywhere here whether the boards are rough cut or surfaced. Makes a difference. george
You missed it. S2S.

Just for George:
S2S means "surfaced two sides". Surfaced two sides (S2S) implies that both faces of the board are flat and parallel, with minimal sanding required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, checked the wood. It is 1" thick S2S. In my naïve mind i think i miss understood them. Those kind of guys always talk real fast. They asked if i wanted 3/4" or 1". Being new to this i now realize i wanted and should have requested 4/4 rough sawn. By yours guys description and price looks like i did get 5/4 S2S down to 1". Learn something new every day if i'm lucky. It's all good. I am happy with the wood but will do better next visit.

skeeter
 

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BTDT/GTS

You have to trust the supplier they don't stay in business ripping people off.
The voice of experience. I wish I lived near @DrRobert and could invite him on an outing to the lumberyard. He has a knack for choosing very good boards. At least the ones that end up in the furniture he posts here.
 

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A recommendation from a recent newbie myself. Pencil down somewhere at home, that 4/4 wood will net you 3/4" smooth boards, 5/4 nets 1", 6/4 nets 1-1/4", and 8/4 nets 1-3/4". And then never talk "inches" at the lumberyard. It will just get everyone mixed up. Just talk in quarters. Also, even if you ask for 4/4 rough sawn wood, it is very unlikely you will get handed a rough board that's 1" thick. It will already have lost the kerf of a blade, or a bit of skip planing. Also know that "$xxx per board foot" is at a particular thickness, and that price will go up with the thickness of the wood, even if you're buying the same number of board feet.
 

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Hi everyone, new member here.
Started collecting wood working tools and stuff about a year ago and finally went to the local Hardwood Supplier, Peterman Lumber in Fontana, Ca. All i can say is WOW! do they have a selection and they let you go through and pick what you want. Nice people, very helpful. However, you knew it was coming, Something strange happened. I have seen a lot of videos describing how these lumber yards work with all there jargon and how they sell wood. So i walk in all confident and tell them i am looking for some 4/4 Poplar and how much it runs. They ask if i need 3/4" so i tell them no 4/4 and they say ok it runs $3.27/bf. They show me where it is and i pick out a two 1"x16'x 12" wide boards equaling 32bf and they say they can cut it in half for free. Cool good so far. So they calc the price out and the sheet shows 44bf. I ask them to explain why is says 44bf when i only have 32bf. They explain the $3.27/bf is for 3/4" wood and i have 1" so they times it by 1.37 to account for the extra quarter inch. So correct me if i am wrong but would that mean it is $4.48/bf. So i think they are measuring a board foot as 3/4"x12"x12". Is this common or am i just nuts? In all my videos i never heard of doing it this way. Just wondering.

skeeter
Hey skeeter,
I just experienced the same phenomena myself. I bought 120 BF of poplar.
Somehow I thought working with hardwood suppliers was going to be like jumping into a pool of honesty where real wood was measured with real rulers, and the quarter system meant something.

My receipt said 4/4, I was billed for 4/4, but my Dewalt Bigmax said 3/4.

Shortly after leaving the hardwood joint (which was a 300 hundred mile round trip), I began to get hungry, so I pulled into a fast food joint.
I ordered a scrumptious foot tall hamburger bursting the bun with meat, tomatoes cut as thick as hockey pucks, and enough cheese to make the state of Wisconsin smile with joy.
When I returned to my truck, I opened the wrapper and saw a sandwich devoid of anything short of a slice of beef jerky, a rancid pickle, some sour ketchup, and a slice of something that kinda sorta looked like a polaroid of a tomato slice.
I looked at my sandwich, I looked at the 8 foot tall burger pictured in the 8 foot tall window, then I looked down on the seat and saw the receipt from the hardwood place.
It was then that it all clicked.
 

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BBQ, Your mind will be eased if you check some the other posts or do a little research on how lumber is priced.

I’m not sure what you got there if it’s actually 3/4 that sounds like retail lumber. Commercially bought surfaced lumber is milled to standard 13/16 +/-. Description can vary, it could be sold as some “4/4” or “4/4 surfaced to 13/16”, or S2S, simply “13/16”.

Example: actual dims of a board are 13/16 x 8 1/2” wide x 12 is price at 9 BF b/c it started life as a 1” thick x 9” wide board. A rough board of the same dimension will cost less per BF b/c there’s no milling.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it. Boards can be mislabelled by the warehouse guys. I’m especially more observant buying direct from a sawmill. One of my best friends runs a sawmill & he likes to figure in his head, and I can’t keep up. Sure he’s been wrong a couple times but he always throws a couple extra boards on the truck, so I don’t complain.

The hamburger, OTOH, is false advertising.
 

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BBQ, Your mind will be eased if you check some the other posts or do a little research on how lumber is priced.

I’m not sure what you got there if it’s actually 3/4 that sounds like retail lumber. Commercially bought surfaced lumber is milled to standard 13/16 +/-. Description can vary, it could be sold as some “4/4” or “4/4 surfaced to 13/16”, or S2S, simply “13/16”.

Example: actual dims of a board are 13/16 x 8 1/2” wide x 12 is price at 9 BF b/c it started life as a 1” thick x 9” wide board. A rough board of the same dimension will cost less per BF b/c there’s no milling.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it. Boards can be mislabelled by the warehouse guys. I’m especially more observant buying direct from a sawmill. One of my best friends runs a sawmill & he likes to figure in his head, and I can’t keep up. Sure he’s been wrong a couple times but he always throws a couple extra boards on the truck, so I don’t complain.

The hamburger, OTOH, is false advertising.
My point is basically this, in keeping with the burger theme:
Why not price a board that measures 3/4" x 12" x 6' as 2 foot round x 60 foot long, because hey, it was once that size to begin with?

Just like my 1/2lb burger that now weighs 3 ozs.
Well, it was 1/2 pound at one time.
Actually, I'm surprised they don't sell it as a 1200 lb burger, because it started out at that size, but then they had to remove the hooves, the skin, the bones, the organs, the horns, organs etc.
 
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