The lumber weight and volume calculator below will estimate the weight, board feet, volume (cft), specific gravity, and density of any species of wood.
Check out the plywood weight calculator to estimate plywood weights.
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LUMBER WEIGHT AND VOLUME CALCULATOR
*Most of the specific gravities used in this calculator are derived from “Wood Handbook, Wood as an Engineering Material” written by the U.S. Forest Service
How To Use This Calculator
First, select whether you want to calculate lumber weight, volume, or both.
If you chose to select lumber weight, select whether or not you have treated wood. Treated wood has chemicals (usually MCA or micronized copper azole) in it that will slightly increase the weight.
Standard treated wood has about 0.06 lbs/cubic foot chemical retention while wood treated for ground contact has about 0.15 lbs/cubic foot.
Next, select your species of wood.
Common Lumber Types
Wood used for furniture and for appearance is often of a hardwood (or Pine) variety. A few examples of these are shown in the picture above.
The most common species of dimensional building lumber (e.g. for framing a wall) is usually one of the following softwoods (also called whitewoods):
- Douglas-fir-larch, which can either be Douglas-fir or western larch
- Hem-fir, which can either be western hemlock, California red fir, grand fir, noble fir, Pacific silver fir, or white fir
- Southern Yellow Pine (SYP), which can either be loblolly, longleaf, shortleaf, or slash pine
- Spruce-pine-fir (SPF), which can either be subalpine fir, balsam fir, black spruce, Engelmann spruce, jack pine, lodgepole pine, red spruce, or white spruce
You can usually find the species of wood by looking on the tag stapled to one of the ends.
If you choose pressure treated lumber, take note that 85% of pressure treated lumber sold in the US is southern yellow pine, so that is probably what you have.
Next, choose your lumber size. You can either choose from a list by nominal dimensions or enter in the actual dimensions manually. Here is a table showing nominal sizes vs actual sizes for reference:
|Nominal Size (inches)||Actual Size (inches)|
|1 x 2||3/4 x 1 1/2|
|1 x 3||3/4 x 2 1/2|
|1 x 4||3/4 x 3 1/2|
|1 x 6||3/4 x 5 1/2|
|1 x 8||3/4 x 7 1/4|
|1 x 10||3/4 x 9 1/4|
|1 x 12||3/4 x 11 1/4|
|2 x 2||1 1/2 x 1 1/2|
|2 x 3||1 1/2 x 2 1/2|
|2 x 4||1 1/2 x 3 1/2|
|2 x 6||1 1/2 x 5 1/2|
|2 x 8||1 1/2 x 7 1/4|
|2 x 10||1 1/2 x 9 1/4|
|2 x 12||1 1/2 x 11 1/4|
|4 x 4||3 1/2 x 3 1/2|
|4 x 6||3 1/2 x 5 1/2|
|6 x 6||5 1/2 x 5 1/2|
|5/4 x 6||1 x 5 1/2|
|6/4 x 6||1 5/16 x 5 1/2|
Note that if you select from the list of nominal dimensions, the board feet and volume will be calculated using the nominal dimensions instead of the actual dimensions. For example, a 1×12 that is 1 foot long will equal 1 board foot and 0.0833 cubic feet (cft).
Now you can enter the length of the lumber in question followed by the number of pieces of that lumber.
Finally, enter in the moisture content of the lumber and hit calculate. Here are some typical moisture contents of lumber:
- Fresh from store ~15%
- Wet ~30%
- Very dry ~5%
- Average equilibrium for interior wood in US ~8%
- Treated, fresh from store ~35-75%
Most building lumber sold at home stores is kiln dried to some extent. This means that it has to have a moisture content below 19%. This is denoted by a KD-19 tag.
KD-19 (Kiln Dried 19%) lumber will have an average moisture content somewhere around 15%.
Other more stringent kiln-dried standards exist but KD-19 is the most common.
If you want to test for moisture content before you buy, pick up a moisture meter. They are great little tools and aren’t too expensive. This is the moisture meter I use almost on a daily basis. It’s also great to test firewood for proper seasoning.