How to Buy Lumber

Hardwoods are sold by the Board Foot (BF). 1 BF equals any multiple of 1 foot x 1 foot x 1 inch in rough thickness (a 1 inch thick board, 12”x12”=1BF, 6 inches x 2 feet=1BF, 4 inches x 3 feet=1BF, etc.) Thickness is expressed as quarters of an inch (4/4-four quarters = 1 inch, 6/4-six quarters=1 1/2 inch, etc.). Hardwoods are sawn random length and width rather than “dimension sawn.” This means we don’t have one pile of 1×6’s, another of 1×8’s, and another of 1×10’s, but we can provide specific sizes.

Lumber Grading

Grading rules are so complicated they rival the IRS for clarity. In essence, hardwoods are graded by the size and percentage of clear cuttings on each individual board.

Select lumber is either clear on both faces or clear on one face with a few defects on the back.

Short Select lumber is clear on both sides and ranges from 20”-40” long. Many projects use shorter lengths, so using shorts saves money.

Medium grade yields random sized cuttings up to 5 feet or more, although most cuttings will range from 20-48 inches. On average, the clear cuttings obtained after trimming defects are substantially less expensive than cutting select material into short pieces.

Call us at 607-566-8558 or email us at with your order, parts list, and questions.

To order by credit card, call us at 607-566-8558. We can estimate total cost if you prefer to send a personal check or money order. Returns are subject to a 10% restocking fee. Our quantity discount of 10% is available on random length and width orders over 100 BF. We accept payment by VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and PayPal.