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"Cord" and "Face Cord"

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by SpeakEasy, Dec 5, 2009.

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  1. SpeakEasy

    SpeakEasy Member

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    Help me out with your use of terms here. I keep reading about "cords" of firewood. I know what a cord is. I found a definition and drawing somewhere here on hearth.com. I'm reading "cord" as 4' x 4' x 8'

    Around here I buy (and the dealers sell) wood by the "face cord." I have not really seen a definition of a "face cord," but I'm operating under the assumption that it is 4' x 8' by the length of a cut log - about 16" or so. Is this a safe and correct interpretation? If so, then it would probably equate to 3 face cords to a cord.

    The thing that confuses me a bit is the pricing that I see here on hearth.com in the fuel pricing section. The prices are all over the place, and they all refer to "cords." Do people really pay anywhere from $80 to $400 per cord? Full cords? I have paid between $65 and $75 for a face cord split and delivered.

    Thanks,
    -Speak

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  2. Gunks

    Gunks Member

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    A face cord is 1/3 of a cord. For 16" log you'll get one role of logs 4 feet high and 8 feet wide. Around here in Ulster County, NY it's around $160 - $200 per cord.
  3. wantstoburnwood

    wantstoburnwood Member

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    Yah a face cord is a good way to rip you off. It is illegal to sell wood around here like that. Only by the cord 160-195 per cord split and blocked.
  4. SpeakEasy

    SpeakEasy Member

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    First time you bought a "cord" over here you must have thought the price was "to die for!"

    -S
  5. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    BONDO! Good to see you (i am andy in ny from iboats)

    here in the adirondacks its also face cord... i think its a new york thing, everywhere else more people refer to them as cords (as in full) rather than face cords.
  6. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Face cords are used to conduct business around here...yeah everyone knows what a true cord is. But if you buy wood much under or over 16" face cords seem to work best for conducting business.
  7. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Your assumptions are correct and it's a very safe way to buy firewood.
  8. CrawfordCentury

    CrawfordCentury New Member

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    In NH, it's technically illegal to sell firewood, per the weights and measurements folks, to sell using a volumetric unit other than cords. As defined in the OP. Sellers may sell fracions of a cord.

    Terms like rick, truckload, bed load, etc. are frowned upon with the preference being 1/2 cord, 1/3 cord, or 1/4 cord.
  9. SpeakEasy

    SpeakEasy Member

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    I like this, and I wish that were the convention around here. When people start to talk about "bed loads" and their price for that amount of wood is comparable to the price for a "face cord," or when people (around here) say "cord" and mean face cord, it gets a little dicey.

    I got at an e-mail today from a local forestry company, and they also don't like the use of "face cord." They did give me the specifics on how they would measure that, however.

    -Speak
  10. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    In Michigan most people talk in face cords which drives me crazy. I was talking to a guy at work and he said his buddy sold a cord of wood for 75 bucks, I told him I wanted a bunch of them if it was a full cord. I knew it wasn't a full cord but went along with it for a while. I finally ended up talking to the guy and asked if it was a full cord and he said yes, then I said 4x4x8 is a full cord, I hear ahhh well it's not a full cord then. :lol:

    I think selling in face cord sizes around here is popular since a lot of people purchase small amounts for their fireplaces.
  11. CrawfordCentury

    CrawfordCentury New Member

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    Partially yes. But in places where other (smaller) units are the norm, you're also going against an ingrained tradition. Puts the full cord seller in the position of having to educate a lot of their clients what a full cord is - and why their 3-times-the-competitors amont is justified.

    That is, if they ever get the chance since a lot of customers make the decision on who to call based on a 25 word ad in the classifieds.

    Ain't saying its right. Or wrong. Just is what it is...


    ~
  12. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    thats exactly what it is here. people have been calling 1/3 of a cord "cord" for generations.

    when i tell people i use 8 cords a year, they always say "are you sure you will have enough?"
  13. Ducati996

    Ducati996 Member

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    Its comical to see when those who sell it in fractions advertise and pump their offering like its a great deal. For example the face cord and half cord (but they never mention actual dimensions), tend to be more money in that configuartion then buying a full cord...

    Buyer beware with those great deals :( LOL
  14. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    I grew up learning face cord and cord and always made the distiction between the two. Those who didn't make the distiction when talking were either forgetful, lazy with words, unknowledgeable and dumb and or arrogant. There is some train of thought around here that the price of the face cord is the keystone for setting the price on a cord (buy three face cord and get a deal). The buyers around here have gotten so used to it they expect it and if you don't cut them a deal they are liable to seek wood elsewhere. I saw a link that said a face cord was actually 1/2 cord and that kind of skewed things a bit (especially since a 16" log will fit into more burning appliances than a 24" log). Then something irritating happened. I discovered another whole underworld of wood handlers and they called 1/3 (+/-) of a full cord a "rick" and didn't know why they called it a rick. Some of them made suggestions but none of them knew who rick is. I'm not calling it a rick because I am not inclined to pay royalties to a secrect tax code syndicate. I've done that using the "facilities" in places I have visited and you all know who I am talking about.
  15. Jfk4th

    Jfk4th Minister of Fire

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    In Western New York I always correct firewood guys when the give me a price on a "cord" or "Chord"(which I always laugh). I tell them it is actually a face cord and then I watch his face as he is thinking trying to look intelligent. Most of the time they say "Are you sure" or "no it is a real cord of wood" I then tell them great I will give you 65 dollars for a full cord like you are saying which is (4' x 4' x 8') and has a volume of 128 cubic feet. Again I watch them think and finally the light bulb works and they say "Oh I am sorry that is not a cord in New York, that is something else...."

    Real firewood sellers will know what a cord is and they get my business, ones that don't get an education :)
    Plus because of the firewood regs I ask them where is their certificate that says where the firewood came from

    But for the most part I wished I lived in a more remote area where I could get a load of logs dropped. That is the ticket in my book, nothing cheaper...well free wood is cheaper :cheese:
  16. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    I prefer the ever elusive and ambiguous "chord". lulz
  17. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    Face cord is a term used a lot because it will fit in a pickup truck. You just have to be an educated consumer.
  18. Spikem

    Spikem Member

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    The thing that bugs me about a "face cord" is that it's not a set value.

    Are the lengths 16"? 18"? 24"?

    Not a set value.
  19. CrawfordCentury

    CrawfordCentury New Member

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    Yup. If I bought me a 'short' face but expected 20" sticks, I'd be long in the face.

    Too much variables.
  20. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    In my area, a facecord is 1/3 of a full cord or 16".
    When you live with it, it makes total sense and is really very simple.
    For others, it's like taking a stupid pill.
  21. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, whenever I see someone referring to a cord as a chord, it strikes a sour note with me.
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