Okay guys, I am finally going to do it.
Yes, it’s finally time for me to tackle one of life’s greatest mysteries.
You will no longer be uneducated, or have to rely on random nextdoor neighbor guesstimates. You are going to get the real, accurate scoop…
How much is a cord of wood?
People ask me this all the time.
It’s like a “yard of concrete” when you go to pour a driveway or build a foundation. If you don’t understand the unit of measure, and what it means, you’re just grasping at straws.
But never fear, there is a real answer out there.
Regardless of why you’re trying to measure an amount of wood, the universal descriptor is a cord.
Maybe you’re ordering wood and the guy is going to sell you a certain number of cords for $100. Maybe you’re cutting or splitting wood, and you’re wondering how much there is to cut or split. Regardless, you don’t say “a truckload” or “about 500 pounds”. You use the number of cords to describe the amount.
For whatever reason, the US Forest Service is more or less in charge of setting the definition of a cord of wood. And they say the following:
A standard, full cord of wood is a volume of 128 cubic feet, measured as a pile 8 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide. A full cord can weigh up to 5,000 pounds.
It’s expected that a quarter ton pickup truck would hold about half a cord of wood.
So hot tip here – if you’re buying firewood and the guy is delivering it in a “normal” quarter ton pickup truck with an 8′ bed, and he’s charging you say $100 for a cord, if he doesn’t make two trips you didn’t get a cord! A 6′ bed will only hold a third of a cord.
You can use those dimensions to help you estimate the volume of wood in uncut, unsplit logs too. If you have a pile of logs that are 16 feet long and roughly 4 feet high and 4 feet wide, then you would extrapolate that to mean there are 2 cords of wood there. Make sense?