Lumber Cost Per Board Foot

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A board foot is a unit of measurement. It measures volume of lumber - 1 inch thick piece of lumber, 12 inches wide, 1 foot long. That is a volume of 144 cubic inches.

A 2x4x8' standard lumber is $6.45 today (March 2021). This is 2-3 times higher than normal.

What does a 2x4x8 above cost per board foot? 2x4 is 1.5x3.5x96 = 504 cu in = 3.5 board feet. That means lumber as such is about $2/ board foot.

Cost of Rough Milled Lumber

  • This one in New York is doing $5.33 for a 2x4 - but it's a bit larger - 1.75x3.75x96. Not sure how they are getting the BF price, but it's higher than $1/bf. [1]

Board Feet Per Hour

  • 100 at 10 hp - [2]. If that is really true -
  • 250 at 19 hp and power feed, one person doing dimensional lumber and stacking - [3]
  • Woodmizer LT40 (24 hp onan) - 300-400 bf/hr with one helper - [4]
  • 1000 bf/day, 5 gallons of fuel [5]
  • LT40, 2000 bf/day [6]
  • Sawmill shootout - [7]


Say you make 125 bf/hr. That is 35 2x4x per hour. At current (Mar 2021) rates around $6/stick - that is a value of $214/hr. So if you are paying a sawyer anywhere less than $215/hr - you are winning.

The value goes up drastically with a larger sawmill, with 2000bf, 250 bf/hr.