How Much Does it Weigh or Cost?

Two questions I seem to get every day. Not that I think most peole need or really want these numbers but it give a concrete question and (possibly) a simple number to take away.

How much does that weigh?
How much will that cost me to build?


Lost Art Press


While I was an editor at a woodworking magazine, I received a lot of questions about the projects we published. Here are two questions that were tricky to answer:

  1. How much does that project weigh?
  2. How much does that project cost to build?

These aren’t really questions that I ask myself as a builder unless I’m making something for NASA or a customer on a crazy tight budget. But readers deserve an answer better than, “I dunno.”

So here’s how to spitball both.

There are lots of published statistics of the average weight of each species. Usually this is listed as the “weight per cubic foot” of that wood. Let’s take koa as an example. A cubic foot of koa is 38 lbs. If you divide that by 12, then you know the weight of one board foot of koa – 3.16 lbs.

Note that this an average weight…

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One thought on “How Much Does it Weigh or Cost?

  1. count measure weigh…plumb level square…my mantra. It may not matter as much to the furniture maker, but if you plan to raise a timber frame by hand, it’s a really good idea to know how much it weighs. USFS wood handbook has all the tables and formulae, the rest is math (counting numbers, geometry, multiplication…stuff you should have learned in school). Rule of thumb (based on experience, not hearsay) is that joinery costs about 4x as much as the wood; that will cover labor at a decent rate and materials if you don’t make mistakes or stand around scratching your ass. It will not cover fussing over carving details, finishing, or overhead & profit.

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