Q. We have changed lumber suppliers and when our new supplier measures the board footage, he puts several pieces together tightly in a single layer that is about 36 inches wide. He measures the actual width. With a layer that is 36 inches x 10 feet, he then calculates 30 BF of 4/4. Is this OK? It certainly is easier.


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 A. This is called a block tally. It is legitimate and accurate. All pieces must be the same thickness; and preferably all pieces are the same length as well. When all the pieces in a layer are not the same length, an estimate of the short pieces is made and the footage reduced proportionately.


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