Weight of Eastern Red Cedar

Information on calculating the weight of Cedar lumber. January 8, 2010

I don't have a decent scale, so I am wondering if someone could tell me what one board foot of eastern red cedar would weigh (fresh cut, no drying in log)?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor R:
On WOODWEB’S home page you'll see a lumber and timber calculator. If you know the green MC of ERC in %, you can figure out the weight. I know that Nyle had a table in their kiln instruction book with average MC % of green wood(s). I used an MC of 30% for ERC and came up with about 2.9 pounds per bdft - that may be off some, but you get the idea.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. The 30%mc should be real close. I wanted to figure how close my log buying by the bd ft was comparing to what they would get per ton taken to the chipper.

From contributor A:
I took loads of logs across the weight scale then scaled the logs and sawed it into lumber. In log form green ERC averaged between 9 to 10 lbs per bd ft. I would saw out about 250 bd ft per ton of logs.

From contributor R:
The information I give may not always be reliable, but I like to be responsible. Contributor A has to be the expert here - the stuff we get in my neck of the woods (Minnesota) is generally more like a shrub. Here's what I see: the dry weight of a cubic foot of ERC is listed at 33 lbs., so a bd ft would divide out to 2.75 lbs., approx. The lumber calculator was more or less in line with that, so that leaves a question - is the green MC of ERC pretty high (or is the lumber calculator confused, or no way ERC is 33 lbs. per bd ft, etc.)?

From contributor C:
We buy a lot of cedar in tractor trailer load quantities and we bought by weight at our Alabama mill when it was in operation. Green, you will be real close to the cedar scale at 11#per board foot. If the logs have dried some then you can get down to around 9# per board foot. Log taper can play some part in this as lots of taper will mean more weight per board foot. Cedar lumber will weigh about 3 to 3.1# per board foot green and about 2.9# per board foot dry. Also it depends a bit if you cut it at 1 1/16, 1 1/8 or exactly 1" thick. We send a lot of lumber out by LTL and weigh the loads on a very accurate scale. 33# per cubic foot seems about right for dry cedar. Green heartwood is about 25 to 28% moisture. Sapwood is scale pegging green.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The text above is 33# per cubic foot, not board foot. As mentioned, the thickness is very important and the calculators here do ask you to input a value for actual thickness so that the estimate is quite accurate. The calculators also ask for the lumber's size, as when cutting 2x4s of softwood that are actually 1.5" x 3.5", this must be accounted for as well. You will not find a better estimate of weight of lumber at any site than the one here.