FAQs – Lumber, Plywood & Panel Products

Question 1  |  How is “board footage” calculated?


Answer 1 - The simple calculation formula is Thickness (inches) x Width (inches) x Length (feet), divided by 12.


Question 2  |  What is difference between “marine grade” and common plywood types/grades used for general construction.


Answer 2 - Both products have similar exterior adhesive, but genuine “marine grade” panels have void-free veneers for the inner ply – the core platform veneers are defect free with no open knots or splits.


Question 3  |  What volume constitutes a full truckload of lumber or plywood?


Answer 3 - This depends upon the mixture of product types and sizes of each items sought, but as a general rule, a full semi-truck of lumber and plywood should have an overall weight of no more than 48,000 pounds of material.   However, in some areas of the country, larger multi-axle trailers are allowed and these can legally transport up to 80,000 pounds.


Question 4  |  Why is the thickness of most plywood panels less than the advertised thickness?


Answer 4 - Most plywood products are sanded to thickness thereby thinning the overall thickness. 


Question 5  |  How many pieces are typical in a bundle (bunk) of plywood?


Answer 5 - This varies by manufacturer, but in most cases plywood mills intentionally package bundles to be 33” in height, which is the most conducive for space utilization on trucks and railcars.  Normally ½” plywood is 66 pieces per bundle and ¾” plywood is 44 pieces per bundle.   


Question 6  |  What does the “SPF” stamp represent on dimensional lumber products?


A6 - SPF  is an abbreviation for softwood species Spruce, Pine & Fir. These three wood species are commonly harvested in large volumes and have similar strength values and grade qualities. Grading rules have been established so that lumber mills can group these species under one stamped grade and produce lumber more efficiently in large volumes.