This morning I called the local sand and gravel company to order the 20 cubic feet of gravel that I need to complete the next step of my project. What follows is the conversation (as best I can reconstruct it) I had with Jim, the guy that takes phone orders for this company.
Me: I'd like to order 20 cubic feet of 3/4" road base please.That's right - I ordered a volume of gravel in 2-D. My 128 square feet of gravel will be delivered between 9 AM and 11 AM tomorrow morning. I weep for the future.
Jim: I'm sorry, how many square feet do you want?
Me: I want 20 cubic feet.
Jim: We only sell in square feet.
I'm sorry, I want a volume of gravel, so I think that should be measured in cubic feet.
Well we only do square feet, like I said.
Ok, I'd like a volume of 3/4" road base that's 20 square feet across the top and 1 foot thick.
Our minimum order size is 100 square feet.
Ok, let's try this - how much does 100 square feet of 3/4" road base weigh?
I don't know. Let me ask somebody. (Puts me on hold for a couple minutes). Okay, sorry about that. 200 square feet of road base weighs 1 ton.
And how thick is that layer of road base spread over 200 square feet?
(Pause for some quick math) Ok, then I want 128 square feet of 3/4" road base.
(Note: I originally wrote the I ordered 228 square feet in this post. After several intelligent comments pointing out that I would have ordered far too much gravel that way, I went back and checked my order and I did, in fact, order "128 square feet" of road base.)