Firewood measurements can be confusing for a lot of people.
With terms like full cord, face cord, rick, bush cord or even a truck load, knowing exactly how much firewood you're buying or selling is often misunderstood.
Although we use these terms interchangeably to describe firewood, a cord of firewood is the only official measurement.
A cord of firewood has a total volume of 128 cubic feet which is actually a lot of firewood.
Also referred to as a full cord, it can be stacked in any shape but it's commonly stacked 4 feet wide x 4 feet high x 8 feet long.
Why is this important to understand?
If you buy firewood from a supplier it's important to get the right amount of firewood. After all, we typically heat with wood to help save money so you don't want to get ripped off by receiving less wood than what you paid for.
Or, if you sell firewood it's important to offer the correct amount of firewood to satisfy your customers and grow your firewood business. Word of mouth is important when selling firewood so you'll want to make sure your customers are happy.
To make things easier we've created this calculator to determine how much firewood is contained within your stack of wood.
To use the calculator simply enter the dimensions of your firewood stack into the appropriate boxes and click the calculate button!
A face cord of firewood, also called a rick of firewood, is different than a cord. The common dimensions for a face cord or rick of wood is 8 feet long x 4 feet high x any length of wood.
Although the common length of wood is typically 16 inches, there is no exact length requirement. So......if you buy a face cord of wood that has 12 inch pieces you will be getting less wood than another face cord of wood that has 16 or even 18 inch pieces.
By only buying or selling firewood by the recognized 128 cubic feet volume, you eliminate the guesswork and always receive the amount of wood you expect.
However, this doesn't mean you can't buy firewood by the face cord. Many people buy it this way and it's typically not a problem. Just make sure you know how long the pieces of firewood are before you commit to a price.
Some other considerations when measuring firewood are:
- Whether or not the firewood is seasoned
- How tight the firewood is stacked
- Taper and crookedness of the pieces
- How many knots are on the wood
- The presence or absence of bark
Seasoned firewood is described as a piece of wood that contains a moisture content of 20 percent or less. Since seasoned firewood burns hotter, lights easier and creates less creosote, it costs more than green or wet firewood.
When the moisture leaves the piece of firewood is causes the wood to shrink about 6-8 percent, plus split, straight firewood that is tightly stacked will contain less air space compared to loosely stacked firewood that has a lot of knots.
So, when you compare a stack of seasoned, split, tightly stacked cord of firewood to a green, unsplit, loosely stacked cord of wood, the seasoned cord will contain more wood than the green loosely stacked cord.......it's just something to consider when you're buying firewood.
Anytime you buy or sell firewood it's important to use the standard cord measurement.
It takes the guess work out of firewood measurements and it insures you're either getting what you pay for, or selling the correct amount of firewood!