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Why is a cord 4 feet wide?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by bokehman, Oct 3, 2008.

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  1. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    Why is a cord 4 feet wide? If a cord is just 128 cubic feet why is the 4 x 4 x 8 measurement necessary?

    My main wood pile is only 2'8" wide (3'6" tall and 30' long) and I am extremely worried. Please advise.

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Quick! Rearrange it or you'll be short this winter- LOL

    I believe that the etymology of the word has to do with a cord that was used to measure out the stack. Probably a 4' cord. Stacking it thusly allowed for easy measurement to a standard.
  3. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    doesnt matter what width or height or length as long as it comes out being 128cuft
  4. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    It sucks because most people cut wood to 16" lengths. If you stack wood in 2 rows you would have 32" worth of depth to your pile. It would then take 6' of height and 8' of width to complete a full cord. This is how I stack, because I cut to 16" lengths.

    2.6666666666 x 6 x 8 =128
  5. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    3 x 16" = 48" = 4'
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I have on-site precisely 13.278 cords of mostly split & stacked firewood. Margin of error is +/- 2.362 cords. Rick
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    bokehman, rearrange your wood. Your cord should be metric = 3.2808399 feet wide.
  8. BJ64

    BJ64 Minister of Fire

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    OMG..we have an even bigger problem! What about all those people that stacked their wood in an HH? It is not even in a square pile..They are going to freeze!
  9. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    Don't you think the imperial and US measuring systems go from bizarre to completely ridiculous. I mean why 128 cubic feet anyway?

    Here firewood is sold by the kilogram. You reserve it in the spring and then late summer or early autumn you go to the wood yard and select the pieces you want. Take a maul and break open a few splits to measure the water content and then make a pile which the guy drops at your house. It's split in the spring so it's almost seasoned by October (no rain and desert sun).
  10. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes. I think everything should be based on the distance travelled by light in absolute vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second. Rick
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Yup, it does. It's all tradition going way back. Farenheit scale is based on something like the blood temp of a sheep (100) and the freezing point of some salt water concentration. The length of a king's arm, the weight of some sacred cow poop, the circumfrence of someone's head- those are the sort of standards they're based on.
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    The distance between Yeti's heel & big toe are in there somewhere too, I think. Rick
  13. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Would we be shortchanged when we turned the clocks back??
    Ed
  14. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Shoe sizes are based on the length of some bean or something. I wonder what size shoe a Yeti wears... I assume snow shoes...
  15. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    It's just a datum. The best thing about metric is easy conversion of units and no need for adding strange constants when doing calculations. It's so simple. Water, 1ml = 1cc = 1 gram; 1 litre = 1 kilo; 1000 kilos = 1 ton; etc. Freezing point 0C, boiling 100C.

    Being a Brit I was brought up imperial. When I was a kid there were 960 farthings, 240 pence, 20 shillings or 4 crowns in a pound. There were even a 3 penny and 6 penny coins. Then the currency was changed to 100 pence in the pound and the shop owners made a killing.
  16. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Don't forget the rod:

    The rod is a unit of length equal to 5.5 yards, 11 cubits, 5.0292 meters, 16.5 feet, or 1⁄320 of a statute mile. A rod is the same length as a perch and a pole. The lengths of the perch (one rod) and chain (four rods) were standardized in 1607 by Edmund Gunter. In old English, the term lug is also used.

    The length is equal to the standardized length of the ox goad used by medieval English ploughmen; fields were measured in acres which were one chain (four rods) by one furlong (in the United Kingdom, ten chains).

    Because the furlong was "one plough's furrow long" and a furrow was the length a plough team was to be driven without resting, the length of the furlong and the acre vary regionally, nominally due to differing soil types. In England the acre was 4,840 square yards, but in Scotland it was 6,150 square yards and in Ireland 7,840 square yards. In all three countries, fields were divided in acres and thus the furlong became a measure commonly used in horse racing, archery, and civic planning.

    Thank you Wikipedia
  17. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I believe the measurement of a cord goes back to the day 40+ years ago when pulpwood was cut 4' long. Back then it was all hand loaded on trucks . I think the machinery in the paper mills back then were only capable of handling the short lenghts .A logger would get paid by the 4' cord when delivered to the mill.
  18. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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    160 if you are a Brit.
  19. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    I saw him on Rudolph last year. They pulled all his teeth so he is nice now. I love that movie.
  20. Sheepdog

    Sheepdog Member

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    I will take 10 of the 160 oz. British gallons of premium German beer please!

    Thanks!

    -Sheepdog
  21. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    I think alot of these sort of numbers are based on the simple doubling of another number. 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128.

    So is it cords or ricks? :)
  22. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    word use to define a unit of wood fuel measure goes back to 1616: defined as a volume equivalent to two four foot cubes.


    maybe people walked around with four foot long lengths of rope cord with knots at different spots to measure different things "accurately". :)

    I wonder if cords got misplaced like my tape rules do.
  23. caber

    caber New Member

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    I go by fence length. I need one fence length to get thru winter.

    If my stack goes from that spot along the fence to that other spot along the fence, I have enough wood. If it goes past that spot, I have extra. If it doesn't make it to the spot, I need more.
  24. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I could't agree with you more. As a student of science & engineering, I grew to deeply appreciate the SI (metric) system of units, and I think my country is pretty dumb not to have converted to it. BTW, the number I quoted about the distance light travels is the current internationally accepted definition of the meter (or metre, if you prefer). Gotta start somwhere...or go back & redefine the start, as it were. Rick
  25. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    That's the same direction I was headed in. Wasn't that long ago most "pulp wood" was in 4 ft lengths. Even when it was handled with a loader.








    We still got some deeds that still have "rods" "chains" etc .
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