tree volume question

Larry Stamm lstamm at
Tue Feb 8 00:41:03 EST 2000

On Sun, 6 Feb 2000 17:37:31 +0000, theo hopkins
<thopkins at> wrote:

>BTW. One cubic metre is 417 board feet.
>theo hopkins

That's true enough on the face of it, but it gets a bit more
complicated when you start converting lumber and log volumes from
imperial to metric.

Metric lumber volumes are figured on the actual dimensions of the
lumber, not the "nominal" dimensions under which most construction
lumber is sold in North America. So since the actual cross section of
a "2 x 4" is only 65.6% of its nominal cross section of 8 square
inches, an Mbf of nominal 2 x 4's contains only 1.55 metres of lumber,
not the 2.36 metres the conversion tables give you.

And in British Columbia, metric log volumes are measured on the total
solid volume of the log, with no allowances for kerf losses or losses
due to solid wood defects.  So a log that scales as 1 metre in BC
would scale less than 417 fbm using one of the International or Doyle
scales, usually by a factor of 25% to 50% less.

Failing to take these factors into account has been the undoing of
more than one sawmill trading across international borders... 

Larry Stamm

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