Here are the common sizes of lumber and their actual sizes. Measure the actual width and thickness of a pine board like a 2×4 and then look at the sign above the rack.
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If you can stop someone in the store to help explain the inconsistency theyll start throwing around a few words like nominal sizes and actual sizes and softwood lumber and hardwood lumber.
2×6 actual size. When the board is first rough sawn from the log it is a true 2×4 but the drying process and planing of the board reduce it to the finished 15×35 size. Actual board sizes in inches nominal size. In north america the 2×6 size is actually referring to the lumbers nominal dimension.
Standard full sheets of plywood are 4 feet wide and 8 feet long and come in thicknesses ranging from 18 inch to 1 inch. Thus the nominal size of the lumber you purchase is different from the actual size. The flange of metal studs measures 1 58 inches slightly larger than the narrow face of a nominal piece of 2 inch dimensional lumber which in modern times really measures 1 12 inches.
Same for 1×4 2×4 and 4×4 etc. A 2x6s real or true dimension is 15 x 55 within the industry it is referred to as its actual size. A stud with a web size or long face of 3 12 inches is termed a 350s and takes the place of a two by four.
Commercial lumber dimensions american softwood lumber standards nominal and actual sizes are indicated in the table below. 2x4s are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. Usually there is 12 inch difference in measurements over 2 inches and 14 inch in measurements less than 2 inches.
1 x 1 34 x 34 1 x 2 34 x 1 12 1 x 3. The nominal size is used when discussing lumber nearly 100 of the time. Aww nominal vs actual.
Dimensional lumber is a term used for lumber that is finished planed and cut to a standardized width and depth specified in inches. While the nominal width and length typically are true to the actual sheet size the thickness often varies slightly from the nominal dimension. Something doesnt quite match up.
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