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Thread: 2x4's

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    3

    Cool 2x4's

    why is construction lumber not exactly the size it indicates.
    For instance a 2x4 is actually 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 in diamentions.
    Is their a reason that it is not a true 2" thick and 4" wide.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,195

    Default Re: 2x4's

    Dimensional lumber used to be true, but then as time went on people didn't like getting splinters, so mills started surfacing the lumber, reducing it from it's original dimension. Today, the normal size is 1-1/2" x 3-1/2", rough dimension before surfacing is only 1/8" more. This maximizes utility (how much lumber can be milled from a single log ) and minimizes waste.

    If you need true dimension you'll have to purchase a 2x6 and rip it down to 4" or/or laminate a strip of plywood to the side to gain 2" in width.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Long Island, NY
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    Default Re: 2x4's

    I'll give any DIY'r a free handmade antique rosehead nail if they can tell us what the lil' black diamonds are used for on a tape measure.
    No Google cheating either
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  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: 2x4's

    Ooh!! Ooh! Me! Me! I know I know!

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: 2x4's

    Ooooo, oooooo.......me too, me too!!!

    I do my own work here at home. Does that make me a DIYer?

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: 2x4's

    As far as the 2x4 deal goes, me thinks this is the deal ....or should I say......the new deal?

    The lumber is now cut to 2x4 when green/before it ever hits the kiln. After drying it to 19% and surfacing......the result is 1 1/2" x 3 1/2". It's been that way for a long time now. 2x4s used to be 2x4 and then became 1 3/4 x 3 3/4 for a while.

    Simply put.......it's a "cheater's system" invented by the lumber companies to benefit the lumber companies. Ever notice how the candy bar has shrunk,too. Think of it this way; 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" became the new "fun size".
    Last edited by goldhiller; 10-01-2007 at 10:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 2x4's

    Pick me ... Pick me...
    Last edited by canuk; 10-02-2007 at 12:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: 2x4's

    I know what it's for but the real question is why?
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
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    340

    Default Re: 2x4's

    I am a serious DIYer and have pretty much completely rebuilt my house over the past two years. I Know what the diamonds are for but I bet there are a lot of pros out there who don't know. I have never seen a situation where someone used them to layout anything though Was it ever common that that was used? Not sure if you want one of us DIYers to really say the answer.

  10. #10
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    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    Default Re: 2x4's

    Hey...I was kiddin'. Go ahead...anyone's free to answer the black diamond question I posed.
    The ONLY time I ever used them was when I was laying out the TJI's on this current house. Actually...that was the first time I ever used TJI's (five years ago)...oh yeh..and THE first time I ever used Advantech.
    I really like engineered products like those two more than I ever could have imagined!!!
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