Gun Foot vs Cft vs Board Foot - Clearing the air

If you've been to a wood shop, or timber mart or a ply mart and have bought timber you will probably have come across the terms gun foot or board foot or cft.

Now buying wood in India is mysterious and fraught with peril. Timber marts stock a number of different woods and bandy around acronyms like CPC, BTC, SAAG, SAAL, at the drop of a hat. To make matters worse they will then deepen the fog by asking if you want do-ek or do-ada and worse still is the ek-dedh. I hate that word dedh, is it one and a half or effing two and a half... I never get it right.
But after you've gone through the selection of the type of wood CPC - Central Province saag, BTC - Burma teak saag (dont ask), saag - teak (sagwan), saal - a type of indian hardwood. And after you've decided on the dimension, do-ek is nothing but 2 x 1 inches, etc. You are faced with the dreaded billing.
The guy will pull out his calculator and do some heavy division and then he will do some multiplication and then some addition, notice that he never does any subtraction and he will come up with an astonishing amount. Then typically you will ask how, what is the rate of CPC and the answer you will get, 10 times out of ten is 1450 gun foot. Now; you are screwed my dear reader and he knows it, he will hammer the nail in harder by even showing you, very slowly the calculations on the calculator, but you don't have an idea of the starting point, who is a gun foot, where did it come from, is there is gun somewhere.
Now I don't know where it comes from, but the basic concept is most simple. Haha haha, ROFL
First off; a gun foot or ghan foot or cubic foot (cft) is the same thing.

Timber is sold by volume, not area like plywood, laminate or other sheet goods. Hence a cube of timber 1 foot high, 1 foot wide and 1 foot deep is a cft/ cubic foot / gun foot/ ghan foot.
Imagine that please.
So if you go to a wood shop and purchase a board 12 inches long x 12 inches wide and 1 inch thick, the guy will simply divide the gun foot cost by 12.
Incidentally, this is known as a board foot (used in the US)

Note the symbol for foot is a single quote ( ' ) and that for inches is ( " ) 

Great, so now a little practice
Let's say the gun foot cost for BTC is Rs 3600 and you wish to have a 1ft x 1ft x 1in board, then all you do is divide the gun foot by 12

3600 / 12 = Rs 300

At Rs 3600 gun foot for BTC what would an ek by ek x ek foot cost... that is 1in x 1in x 12in.
This is easy its the gun foot rate divided by 12 and divided by 12 again.
the first division gave us a 1in x 12in x 12in, so another division by 12 will give us the desired 1 x 1 x 12.
3600 /12 /12 = 3600 /144 (and this if you watch closely is the first step on that calculator)
Hence an ek x ek, foot long is worth 25 bucks (which is true at Marol naka).

Ok, a slightly tougher one. What about a 6 foot long board of teen ek pine, thats 6 feet of 1in x 3in
gun foot of pine = 650
hence 1x1x12 = 650/144 = 4.5
Now build it up we want a 1in x 3in x 6ft
hence 1in x 1in x 1ft multiplied by 3
= 4.5 x 3
=13.5
hence 1in x 3in x 1ft is 13.5 which is 1 foot of 1in x3in
Now for 6ft
= 13.5 x 6
= 81

Now go do the same for 4 feet of ek ada saal at 1400 gun foot
Let me what you get.

156 comments

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