To determine the board feet of one board, the procedure is to multiply the surface measure by the thickness. A package of hardwood lumber can be estimated in much the same manner. First, figure the "surface measure" of one layer of lumber. do this by multiplying the width of the package by the length of the package, less gaps (if mixed lengths, use an average of lengths present) and divide by 12. Then, multiply this figure by the thickness of boards in the package. This total will be board feet for one layer, so multiply this by the number of layers to get the total feet in the package.
Average width of unit 40" (lumber only, after allowing for gaps)
|Length of unit 10'|
|40" x 10' = 400 ÷ 12 =||33.33|
|Thickness of lumber 8/4||x2|
|Number of layers||
Diagram 8. Estimating package requirements
From: Uniform Laws and Standards, National Institute of Standards,
U.S. Department of Commerce, 1994.