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

Are you trying to heat your home this winter, but unsure of the difference between a cord and a rick of wood? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Many people are confused by the terminology used to describe firewood, but it’s actually quite simple once you understand the basics.

In this blog post, we’ll explain the difference between a cord and a rick of wood, and give you some tips on how to choose the right amount of firewood for your needs. So grab a cup of cocoa and get cozy, because by the end of this post, you’ll be a firewood expert!

What is the Difference Between a Rick and a Cord of Wood?

a cord is a precise unit of measurement, while a rick is a more general term that refers to a pile of wood.

A cord is a specific unit of measurement for firewood, while a rick is simply a stack of wood that may or may not be a cord in size.

A cord is a unit of measurement used to describe the volume of firewood. It’s equal to 128 cubic feet of stacked wood, or a stack that is 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall, and 8 feet long. This is the standard unit of measurement for firewood in the United States, and it’s what you’ll typically see when buying wood from a retailer or supplier.

On the other hand, a rick of wood is simply a stack of wood that has been cut and split into smaller pieces, typically around 16 inches long. A rick of wood is not a standard unit of measurement, so the size and volume of a rick can vary greatly. It’s not uncommon to see a rick of wood that is much smaller or larger than a cord, depending on the size of the logs and how they are stacked.

How Big is a Rick of Wood?

A rick of wood is not a precise unit of measurement like a cord. A rick of wood is simply a general term used to describe a pile or stack of wood that is ready to be burned.

As such, the size of a rick of wood can vary greatly and is not standardized.

A rick of wood could be a small stack of wood that is just enough to last a few days, or it could be a big pile that is enough to last for several weeks or months. The size of a rick of wood is often determined by the needs and preferences of the person who is stacking the wood.

It’s worth noting that the size of a rick of wood can also vary depending on the type of wood and the length of the logs. For example, a rick of firewood made up of shorter logs may be smaller in size than a rick of wood made up of longer logs, even if the wood is the same type.

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.

How Big is a Cord of Wood?

which is bigger a rick or cord of wood

A cord of wood is a unit of measurement for firewood that is equal to 128 cubic feet. It is usually stacked in a neat and tidy pile that measures 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long, although the exact dimensions may vary slightly. One cord of wood is equivalent to about three pickup truck loads of firewood, or about one-third of a cord per pickup truck. It is a large quantity of wood, and it is typically enough to heat a home for an entire winter.

How Big is a 1/4 Cord of Wood?

A 1/4 cord of wood is equal to 32 cubic feet, which is equivalent to a stack of wood that measures 2 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 feet high.

One way to conceptualize the size of a 1/4 cord of wood is to imagine a small pickup truck. A 1/4 cord of wood is roughly the same size as a pickup truck bed that is filled to a depth of about 2 feet. This is enough wood to fill the bed of a small pickup truck, but not enough to completely fill the bed of a larger truck.

Another way to think about the size of a 1/4 cord of wood is to consider the amount of space it takes up in your home. A 1/4 cord of wood is about the same size as two standard washing machines stacked on top of each other. It is also roughly equivalent to a small chest freezer, or a large piece of furniture such as a sofa or armchair.

It’s also helpful to consider the amount of wood that you might need for a specific task. For example:

  • A 1/4 cord of wood could supply a single fireplace for a single evening, depending on the size of the fireplace and the intensity of the fire.
  • It might be enough wood to fuel a small outdoor fire pit for a few hours.
  • If you are using wood to smoke meat, a 1/4 cord would be enough to smoke a small batch of ribs or a single turkey.

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.

Jay Green
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