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Just like buying food items, there are basic terminologies that are used when buying wood.
Terms like cord, face cord, throw cord and green cord are the most commonly used units of measurement to purchase wood.
Understanding each one will help you get more value out of your purchases especially when you frequently use wood at home.
Face cords to a cord of wood
The two most common ways to measure firewood is by using a full cord or a face ford. A full cord of firewood is an amount of wood in a space that measures eight feet long, four feet high by four feet deep. The standard length for firewood in a full cord is 16″ long and usually a full cord of firewood will have three rows stacked four feet wide and eight feet long.
On the other hand, a face cord of firewood is a single stack of firewood that measures four feet high, 8 feet long by however deep the depth of the firewood is. The length of each log varies and there is no standard length used.
Face cord vs cord
There are different ways to present and measure firewood. Aside from measuring by hand, firewood may also be weight to determine its quantity. And while it is quite easier to just measure wood by weighing, it is simply practical to just measure by the area it occupies.
Cubic measurement of a cord
Firewood should be stacked in a neat rectangular pile or structure with a measurement of 128 cubic inches. Typically, cord measures 4 feet high, 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. To make cords, the individual wood logs should be stacked parallel to each other and should be as compact as possible.
Face cord cubic measurements
A face cord is not measured depending on the area in cubic inches. The measurement is not exact. A face cord is 4 feet high and 8 feet long, while the depth may vary. The wood used for a single-row of firewood stack is usually 12-20 inches. Firewood logs must be stacked compactly to qualify as a face cord. There should be no apparent gaps in the stack.
Other wood units of measurement
When you think of a rough measurement of wood then you have a thrown cord. This is another frequently used wood terminology is a thrown cord. This is the volume of wood that has been tossed or dumped in a truck. Thrown cord logs are not arranged in a pile but rather tossed and dumped in a truck.
To estimate how much wood is in a truck you must consider the dimensions of a typical pickup truck with a 6ft. bed.
The dimensions of an average truck are therefore 54 cubic feet (2 cubic yards – level load-Stacked); an 8ft. bed is 81 cubic feet (3 cubic yards – heaped load- Stacked).
A 6ft. truckload has 30%+- thrown cord and an 8ft. truckload have 45%+- of a thrown cord.
Every piece of wood in a thrown cord is usually between 12 and 16 inches long. When wood pieces are sold in lengths of 2 feet the total thrown cord volume is at 195 cubic feet.
Another way to measure wood is the green cord. This is a measurement made before the wood was split and dried. The dried volume could be smaller than the indicated volume by 8 cubic feet. The green cord volume could be 180 cubic feet when the green cord is stacked loosely.
When green logs are neatly stacked, these can occupy 128 cubic feet. When green wood is dried it shrinks by about 6 to 8 percent. This is because moisture evaporates from the crevices of the wood and this dramatically reduces the weight of wood.
Understanding what a cord and face cord is a good way to learn how to buy firewood. And just like buying other commodities you must be very careful about purchasing wood.
Some firewood dealers can take advantage of ignorant buyers. Sometimes dealers measure and price their wood by the green cord instead of full cords to offset the money they would lose due to wood shrinkage.