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Converting among Log Scaling Methods: Scribner, International, and Doyle versus Cubic

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Sawlogs in the United States, whether scaled on the ground or cruised on the stump, have traditionally been measured in terms of their lumber yield. The three commonly used measurement rules generally underestimate true recoveries. Moreover, they do so inconsistently, complicating the comparisons of volumes obtained by different board foot rules as well as by the cubic rules used internationally. In particular, for smaller log diameters, the undercount of board foot volume by US log scales can rise sharply. As sizes available to sawmills have declined, the ratios between scaled and actual volumes have changed. Thus, the factors used to convert volumes from one system to another have become outdated. A transition to cubic would improve domestic log market transparency by reducing the worst inequities of board foot scales and making regional comparisons easier, and would create a level playing field internationally.
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Keywords: conversion factors; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; inventory; marketing; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: Economist Forest Products Laboratory USDA Forest Service One Gifford Pinchot Drive Madison WI 53726-2398, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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