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If I was going to go to the mill and order some sugar maple how much should I ask for? I want to know how to figure it out so that I can do it again in the future. I want to make a jumbo size board, like 20×30x1.5. Its actually going to have a hook on one end to attach to a duplicate one my parents will have. You need a big board to butcher a whole pig on.
 

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suppose it is going to depend on if it is an end grain board or long grain. It will also depend on the thickness you can get out of the stock you are ordering. (E.G. if you are order 4/4 stock you are going to need to double your numbers to get yourself to thickness)

Doing the math in my head quick I think Mister Bill is in the ball park.

Just remember that a board foot is 12"x12"x1"

6 board feet will get you to the 20×30 with some overage (6 board feet =24"x36"x1")

You will want to double that to get your thickness. I would order 8/4 (2 inch thick) stock so you have some room to mill it to final dimensions.

So to answer your question - I would order 12 board feet of 8/4 stock. (24"x36"x2") This will account for your saw kerfs/milling to final dimensions.

Other Jocks please feel free to chime in and correct me if my calculations aren't right.

You can also use the calculator here http://extension.missouri.edu/scripts/explore/G05506.asp to figure out total number of board feet needed.
 

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It comes out to 6.25 bf for the finished product. However, you are going to have to allow for saw kerf, planing etc. and since you are going to have to buy 8/4 stock to get a finished thickness of 1.5" I come up w/ 8.3 bf and I always like to allow 20% for waste, screw ups, etc. so that comes out to 10bf of 8/4 stock. So you see I pretty much agree w/ camps764, except he is allowing a little more for waste.
 

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You don't need 8/4 for a finished 1.5" thickness. I've probably made in excess of 50 cutting boards, most are around 1 1/2" to 1 3/8" thick and have only used 4/4 stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How would making the board end grain make a difference? If I got 4/4 I could just make my cuts at 1.5 inches and that would give me my thickness without having to plane or re-saw a half inch off. I guess could do that with 8/4 too though. I should have specified that this would be end grain in the post.
 

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Your "squares" will be tiny. I cut my long pieces at 1.5 inches, glue the faces together, then cut that into 1.5" strips.

What everyone is telling you is that you are going to be turning a lot of your wood to sawdust with an endgrain board. If you use a full kerf 1/8" blade, every 8 strips you cut you are going to lose an inch of length. If I were making a 20×30 end grain board, My initial glue-up would be about 20×35 to account for the blade kerf waste and that last piece that is always too short to cut safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is there a reason that the board has to made of squares? Could I take a 6 inch wide board and cross cut out into strips and just use the strips without cutting them down anymore than that? That way the board is made of a bunch of wide strips. In this case I would need three six inch strips and two two inch strips for each stripe across.
 
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