Calculating board feet for a small panel (diagonals)

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by kyngfish posted 01-14-2020 12:05 AM 418 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kyngfish's profile


115 posts in 943 days

01-14-2020 12:05 AM

So I ran a search for this, and maybe I was using the wrong keywords, but I didn’t find anything. I can’t be the first person to ask this.

I need to make a 14”x14” panel, but i want to lay 2 inch wide boards diagonally. The hypotenuse of the two triangles in the door is more or less ~20” so I know I need 10 boards. But in the interest of not being wasteful with the wood, I’d like to know the best way to calculate the approximate amount of board feet I need in those 2 inch strips. Since they are going to be at a 45 degree angle, I am losing two corners off each board, so it has to be a little more than what it would be if I laid them perpendicularly.

9 replies so far

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1419 posts in 581 days

#1 posted 01-14-2020 12:24 AM

-- I only know... what I know....

View kyngfish's profile


115 posts in 943 days

#2 posted 01-14-2020 12:30 AM

That’s awesome. Thank you. Just so I don’t feel like an idiot. How did you do that.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


6007 posts in 3163 days

#3 posted 01-14-2020 12:30 AM

Draw it out full size on paper, cardboard or table top.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1419 posts in 581 days

#4 posted 01-14-2020 12:32 AM

That s awesome. Thank you. Just so I don t feel like an idiot. How did you do that.

- kyngfish

It’s Sketchup Drawing Program.

-- I only know... what I know....

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 2806 days

#5 posted 01-14-2020 12:42 AM

Calculations aside, whatever the final use for the panel, I would be much more concerned about examining the grain of the wood and trying for the best appearance, rather than trying to optimize the use of the stock. An ugly panel is an ugly panel even if it is the nuts on optimizing the use of the stock. Go for the calculations above, but allow a BIG allowance for the occasional not so pretty piece.

View LittleShaver's profile


689 posts in 1474 days

#6 posted 01-14-2020 01:44 PM

I’m with Kazooman. Figure out how much you think you’ll need and then buy more. I like having extra around for mistakes and small projects, so I typically buy 15-20% over what I think I’ll need. If the price is good 25% over. I once stumbled into a good deal on slabs and bought one with no idea what it was going to be. It sat in the shop for a year or so until one day my wife looked it over and came up with a project for it.

Don’t over think it.

The only time I get as particular about stock quantity is when I’m trying to make something with what I have on hand. Then its more figuring out how much I can do with what I have.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Heyoka's profile


63 posts in 707 days

#7 posted 01-14-2020 03:01 PM

I doesn’t matter what orientation the panel is, it will be the same area so the board feet will be the same no matter if the boards are 90 or 45

-- Heyoka

View SMP's profile


2484 posts in 760 days

#8 posted 01-14-2020 03:13 PM

You also have to look at the width and length of the boards you are buying. For example, where I buy hardwoods, most planks come in 10-12ish feet. I am allowed to take a partial piece as long as I return 6’ to the racks. When you do stuff at diagonals you will waste a lot more than you think. I just did a herringbone plank wall and that burned even more. But I keep any scraps for other projects.

View kyngfish's profile


115 posts in 943 days

#9 posted 01-14-2020 04:33 PM

Appreciate all the feedback fellas.

@SMP and @LittleShaver I already have the wood, and the grain has been selected. I just wanted to draw it out on the rough cut lumber so I could be reasonably efficient.

@Heyoka – At 90 degrees I’m using a little over 8 bf, at 45 degrees, I’m using ~12 bf of 2 inch boards because you’re laying them at 45 degrees and cutting off the corners. So while in the end, the panel is the same amount of wood, it’s nearly 50% more bf.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics