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A cord of wood

The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used in Canada and the United States to measure firewood and pulpwood. A cord is defined as 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3), [1] corresponding to a woodpile 4 feet wide × 4 feet high × 8 feet long. Any other arrangement of linear measurements that yields a volume of 128 cubic feet is acceptable. In Canada, it is legally defined by Measurement Canada.[2] In the United States, the cord is defined by statute in most states. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 130, section 2.4.1.2[3] defines a cord and provides uniform regulations related to the sale of fireplace and stove wood. In the metric system, wood is usually measured in steres or cubic metres: 1 stere = 1 m³ ≈ 0.276 cords.

Other non-legal definitions of firewood volume include standing cord, kitchen cord, running cord, face cord, fencing cord, country cord, long cord, and rick. As none of these terms is a legally defined measurement, they are all subject to local variations. According to the Weights and Measures Act in Canada, the only correct measurement of firewood and pulpwood is the cord, and fractions thereof (e.g., half cord, quarter cord, etc.).

The name "cord" probably comes from the use of a cord or string to measure it.[4]

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