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Posted By bruce,
Nov 28, 2005 at 10:54 PM
i know its silly for a wood burner to forget but what are dimensions for a cord of wood?
4' X 4' X 8'
1/16th of a cubit x 1/16 of a cubit x 1/8 of a cubit
Noah: "Hey Lord!"
Noah: "What the &*^%#% is a kubit?"
HA! I loved that! Who did that routine, Cosby, right?
Cubit is the name for any one of many units of measure used by various ancient peoples. The natural cubit is based on the distance between thumb and an other finger to the elbow on an average person. It was employed consistently — to measure originally cords and textiles for example — also in Middle-Ages up to the Early Modern Times. This natural cubit measures 24 digits or 6 palms or 1½ foot. This is about 45 cm or 18 inches.
Early on, greater cubits (in a larger sense) featured on: 7 palms, ~52.5 cm or 21 inches, also cubits of 8 palms, ~60 cm or 24 inches, like cubits of 9 palms, ~67.5 cm or 27 inches. From the late Antiquity a Roman 16-palms-cubit (ulna ~1.20 cm) is as well attested. This is the measure from a men's hip to his fingers of the other side with a stretched arm; very practical for measuring quickly textiles or cords over one's ellbow. Even the English yard can be considered to be a 12-palms-cubit, ~90 cm or 36 inches. This is the measure from the middle of human's body to his fingers always with streched arm. (To conceive this measure as being the distance between the tip of his nose and the end of the thumb of Henry I of England is rather anecdotic or actually legendary.) The English Ell is essentially such a great cubit of 15 palms or 45 inches.
Boy, was my post boring.
o.k. so I was off a lot.
1.1 cubit x 1.1 cubit x 2.2 cubits...
Riiiiiiiiight....What's a cubit? We now have our answer.
Hmmm...being a little older and wiser now I've also started using the standard measurement of a true cord being 4x4x8, but most folks around here still use a "face cord" (4x8' x whatever length) when talking about, or buying wood. I think it comes from the idea that there is a huge timber industry here, so if you were talking about wood for work, it was a "bush cord", but if it was for civilian use, the "face cord".
This no longer applies, as wood for pulp purposes is now measured in cubic metres (damn metric system again), or if for lumber, in board feet.
That's what's really confusing. Although Canada is supposedly officially metric, most people interchange back and forth. For a while in the 70's and early 80's there was a switch to metric lumber and sheeting, which caused huge headaches for the construction industry, particularly if you were renovating, rather than building new. Caused a great backlash from the construction industry.
So guess what...now when you go to the lumber store now, you buy 2x4's in eight, ten, or whatever length, and you buy a 4'x8' sheet of plywood. Metric is still available, but usually special order and more expensive.
Back when metric lumber was the"standard" the material was a bit larger, i.e. lumber was longer and sheets were slightly bigger, so most of the material had to be cut to retro-fit, thereby causing a lot of waste (but a great source of free firewood !)
Okay, I meandered a bit, but the point of this post is to highlight that it's hard enough to keep track of "old" measurements like cubits, and "new" Imperial measurements like feet and yards, and then you throw in some metric? Sheeeesshh!
A cord of wood is 4 feet high, 4 feet thick, and 8 feet long. Face cords are still 4 feet high and 8 feet long but of a lesser depth than 4 feet. Many times wood for sale is cut to 16 inches long and stacked as a face cord. If the wood was cut to 16 inches long stacked 4 feet high and 8 feet long it would be a 1/3 of an actual cord.
And Mo Heat's wood man would sell and deliver it as a full cord.
Back in the construction industry switch to metric, They should have given out metric framing squares and rulers. What a nightmare it would be converting standard measurements to metric, when doing compound miters for hip and l valley rafters and the connecting jack rafters. Every now and then I am faced with working with existing metric roof shingles trying to slove a leak. As I remember the stud spacing was 19.5" on center for metric plywood. Then code issues based on 16" on center came into play. I was happy to see the metric system vanish
Thanks Elk, I didn't realize that the U.S. dabbled in metric for construction. You know what I'm talking about then.
Was this as a result of an anticipated change to metric, or was it because a lot of the softwood used in the U.S comes from Canada, and therefore would have been in metric?