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Back in the day ... before mobile phones, tablets, computers and even hand calculators people invented amazing devices to aid in mathematics and calculations. In fact, many of these devices are still in use in some industries today because they are still as fast and as accurate and anything invented since then.
One of the items that fits this category is something called the Lumber Rule. They are still being manufactured today, though in much smaller quantities. The only real disadvantage of a lumber rule is that anyone who uses one is probably also carrying around a smart phone, which ... will do the same thing, kind-of, though often slower, and the smartphone still needs a tape measure to go with it.
Click here to see a Lumber Rule on Amazon ...
I have seen these Lumber Rules listed on a different auction sites, for some pretty serious money, I guess anything that is perceived to be "old" must be expensive (???) So I decided to make my own version of a lumber rule to help me quickly figure out the board feet contained in a board so that I can know how much that board is worth.
If you are at the lumber store and are only buying one of 2 boards, or some small quantity, who cares? ... a smartphone, or even just a tape measure will work fine. IF - however you are buying a quantity of boards, or you are wanting to compare prices of different species in the lumber store, and do it quickly - nothing will beat a Lumber Rule for accuracy and speed.