Lumber used in building Bridge #4 will be "rough sawn" and it is sold by volume and the unit measure for wood is the Board Foot (Bd ft). In most text books a Bd ft is described as a piece 1" thick, 12" wide and a foot long. A simple formula is Bd ft = (T" x W" x L' ) / 12.
So a rough sawn 2" x 4" - 16' board would = 10.7 Bd ft
Hopefully some readers were saying the question was poorly written because I did not specify if the 2x4 in question was finished dimensioned lumber or rough sawn lumber. What would its green dead weight be?
When I first started teaching the third time, in 2001, I went to the different skilled trades people in the area and asked them to give me the top three specific knowledge/skill things they would want a new, entry level, co-worker to know. The owner of the lumber yard said, "The real size of a 2 x 4." He was serious and I was stunned, but he was right on! To build Bridge #4 we are going to have to know a few things about the materials we use. How is knowing the nominal and actual sizes of wood, how much it weighs, how it is sold, etc. going to be of any use for things other than building bridges?
Puzzler - What circumference pine tree would be required to obtain a 12" square Cant?