Calculating Board Feet
It's true what your teachers told you — you will use math in real life
How do you calculate board feet?
— William, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Tom Silva replies: One board foot is equal to 144 cubic inches. To calculate
board footage, you take a board's width times its length times its
thickness. So 1 board foot, or 12 board inches, is equal to 144 cubic
inches, in any combination of dimensions. For instance, a square board that is 12 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 1 inch thick is equal to 1 board foot. So too is a board that is 24 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. As is a board that is 12
inches long, 6 inches wide, and 2 inches thick. All three examples each
equal 1 board foot. So just multiply the length, the width, and the
thickness of the wood, divide by 144 cubic inches, and that will tell
you how many board feet you have.