Tag Archives: Microsoft Excel

Measure Twice, Calculate Once

After drafting a new project or case piece but before you head to the lumber yard, you have to make a stock list. This inglorious bit of work is a necessary evil if you want to get all the necessary supplies on your first trip. The past few weeks I’ve been working on drafting up several upcoming projects and as I used this spreadsheet a few times and thought it was worth sharing with you.

Empty Stock List
Empty Stock List

Back when I was a student at the North Bennet Street School they had a nice little photocopy of a stock list that looked like it was originally made in Excel.  We’d enter all the details for our project and then calculate the board footage for our projects by hand with a calculator. This often tedious work was susceptible to the occasional human error so I’d usually wind up checking and rechecking my calculations as I went. After doing this a few times, the computer scientist in me thought ‘Wait a minute, I can code this up in Excel and let it do all the work for me’ — plus printing this spreadsheet for a customer or when dealing with a supplier looks better than a hand written version.

Stock List For Shutters
Example Stock List For Shutters

Highlights:

  • Keeps track of name of pieces, quantity
  • All values are in inches
  • Automatically calculates board footage
  • Adds common extra length (+1″), width (+1/2″) and thickness (+1/4″)
  • Totals up board footage
  • Adds extra at the end to take care of test cuts, small amount of scrap etc

This spreadsheet has worked well for me over the years and I hope you will benefit from using it as well. You can find a copy of it here (*.XLSX format):

Excel Stock List