Cord of Wood Measurements | How Big is a Cord of Wood in Cubic ft?

Last Updated on by Jay Green

How Big is a Rick of Wood?

A cord measures 128 cubic feet, so a typical “rick” of wood would measure 4’x4’x8′.

But is is not as easy as this.

A rick of wood is a stack of firewood that’s about 4 feet tall and can range from 8 to 12 feet wide. You may think you know how big a rick of wood is, but it turns out there are many ways to measure the size and weight of one.

A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet and a rick of wood is 108 cubic feet, but the difference in size between these two measurements can be hard to recognize without a visual aid. This means that for every 12 cords, you get one extra rick! So when it comes down to choosing what measurement you want your firewood delivered in, make sure you know which measurement will work.

What is a cord of firewood?

Firewood, being used as fuelwood, is sold by measurement and should be represented in terms of being a cord measurement and or a fraction of a cord measurement.

A cord meaning “the amount of wood that is contained in a space of 128 cubic feet, when the wood is ranked and well stowed in a compact manner”.

Fractions of a cord meaning part of a cord such as 1/4 of a cord (32 cu ft), 1/3 of a cord (42.666666 cu ft) and so on, when stacked in a compact manner. A standard cord measurement is 4′ high by 4′ wide by 8′ long (4′ x 4′ x 8′) = 128 cu ft.

how big is a cord of wood

The length of each 4′ log, is usually cut into equal lengths of either 12″, 16″ or 24″ pieces, resulting with no leftover ends of shorter pieces. However, regardless of what length of sticks you purchase, either in round form or split form, it must stack to the amount (in cubic feet) that you ordered and paid for, upon delivery of sale.

What is a rick or rack of firewood?

A Rick, Rack or Face cord is only part of a cord of a stacked measurement, ( less than 128 cu ft or a cord).

A Rick or Rack meaning the same is the amount of firewood stacked in a space of 4′ high by 8′ long by “one row” of the length of the stick.

A Face Cord is also, one row, of the same 4′ by 8′ space. But the difference is, A Face Cord has lengths of sticks that will evenly add up to 4′ (48″) when stacked in two, three or four rows.

Example Face Cord of wood measurement

  • 4 rows of 12″ sticks = 4′,
  • 3 rows of 16″ sticks = 4′
  • 2 rows of 24″ sticks= 4′

Therefore purchasing a face cord of 12″ lengths, is actually only 1/4 of a cord or 16 cu ft. and purchasing a face cord of 16″ lengths is only actually 1/3 or a cord or 42.66666 cu ft and 24″ lengths is 1/2 cord or 64 cu ft.

As to Ricks or Racks, the stick lengths are usually cut to other than 12″,16″ or 24″, like 14″,18″ or 20″ lengths, whereas multi- rows do not add up to 4′ (48″) evenly.

This is very confusing and deceiving to most and using these terms in offering for sale or advertising firewood for sale is prohibited in most states, whereas, firewood is sold by using the term in cord measurements only.

Consider purchasing a face cord of 12″ lengths = (16 cu ft) for $60.00 delivered. You are actually paying $240.00 per cord or ($1.875 per cu ft) and a Rick/Rack of 18″ lengths = (48 cu ft) for $60.00 delivered.

You are actually paying $160.00 per cord or ($1.25 per cu ft). A cord meaning 128 cu ft of stacked measurement of wood. It is recommended that you purchase your firewood only by the standard cord measurement, which has been adopted and regulated into law in most states, (like “1/8 of a cord “, “1/4 or a cord” and Etc.) and not by any other term or terms.

Ricks/Racks or Face cords are not the same quantity and or volume as you would receive in a “Cord” measurement, and its also, less deceiving to most and is prohibited to use in almost all states, in the sale of firewood.

See: How to start a firewood business

Is a “thrown-in”, “pick-up load” or “pile of wood” acceptable as a true volume of measurement?

No. When using these terms, there is no true measurement or standard that can be used for sale. These terms are prohibited in most states for the sale, purchase, or advertising of firewood as fuelwood.

Using these terms it is almost impossible to know how much cubic feet of wood you have purchased. Fuelwood should always be purchased by the cord or fraction of a cord.

When you purchase your firewood, if it is not stacked in a compact manner, restack it. After you have stacked the firewood in a compact manner, measure the stack.

Using the formula for measuring a cord or fraction of a cord, found on this web site, compute how much wood your purchased. Hopefully, your numbers are the same as what the vendor sold you.

If I sell wood in 16”-18”pieces how can I stack a cord?

measure of cord of wood

For example, if I make 3 rows of 18” pieces the stack will be 54” wide instead of 4 feet. If I make 2 rows, I only come up 36” wide.

In order to compute the space needed in cu ft. You need a height, width and length in inches preferred.(4’x4’x8′ = 48″x48″x48″ = total and divide by 1728.) There are 1,728 cu inches in a cu ft (12″x12″x12″=1728cu inches) Measuring in (all) inches is better and easier than using feet and inches..(like 51″)wide vs (4’3″)wide.

Example #1 using 16″ – 18″,I would use a measurement of an average of 17″ lengths. (three rows [email protected]″= (51″) x 96″ (8′ long bed) x’s (X) = 128 cu ft. You have to find what X is (algebra). X=45.18 or about(45 3/16″). So using three rows of 17″ sticks = 51″ x’s 96″ x’s 45.18″= 221,201.28 cu inches divide by 1728= 128.01 cu ft.= one cord .

Example #2; Again,using only two rows of 17″ [email protected] 34″ x’s 96″ x’s (X). X = 67.80″. 34″x’s96″x’s67.80″=221,299.20 divide by 1,728= 128.06666 cu ft =1 cord.

Its all in mathematics.O nly advertise in cords like $ 200 per cord delivered or sell in fractions of a cord like(1/4 cord @ $ XX.XX , delivered. or 1/3,1/2 cors, delivered. You can use, selling by cu ft in sizes less than 16 cu ft (less than 1/8 cu ft lots like in .75 cu ft bundles or 3 cu ft bundles.

You can ONLY use the cu ft rule selling under 16 cu ft(1/8 or less of a cord) anything 16 cu ft or over is sold and advertized in fractions of a cord.It’s very simple once you get it down,on computing it mathematically.

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