2x4's

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frodo

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2x4's
when did 1 5/8 x 3 5/8'' turn into 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 ''
 

Sparky617

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Per this 1961.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumber

Early standards called for green rough lumber to be of full nominal dimension when dry. However, the dimensions have diminished over time. In 1910, a typical finished 1-inch (25 mm) board was 13⁄16 in (21 mm). In 1928, that was reduced by 4%, and yet again by 4% in 1956. In 1961, at a meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Committee on Grade Simplification and Standardization agreed to what is now the current US standard: in part, the dressed size of a 1 inch (nominal) board was fixed at  3⁄4 inch; while the dressed size of 2 inch (nominal) lumber was reduced from  1 5⁄8 inch to the current  1 1⁄2 inch.[10]

Dimensional lumber is available in green, unfinished state, and for that kind of lumber, the nominal dimensions are the actual dimensions.
 

nealtw

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I think there is something to do with the moisture too. If it isn't 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 when you by it. it will be when it is dry.
 

bud16415

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It happened in the 60’s as sparky posted. When they sent out the memo around here the Amish never got it. All the Amish saw mills make 2x4’s that are 2x4. Mostly hemlock. My 1880’s house is all dimensional and it is a pain ripping down 2x6 to frame in with old 2x4. So you just drive over to the Amish and get the real deal for half the price.
 

nealtw

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It happened in the 60’s as sparky posted. When they sent out the memo around here the Amish never got it. All the Amish saw mills make 2x4’s that are 2x4. Mostly hemlock. My 1880’s house is all dimensional and it is a pain ripping down 2x6 to frame in with old 2x4. So you just drive over to the Amish and get the real deal for half the price.
I have just used 1/2 plywood or osb to make a 2x4 bigger for the old houses.
 

bud16415

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I have just used 1/2 plywood or osb to make a 2x4 bigger for the old houses.
I have too. The trouble I have with the 1800’s milling is one is 4.0 the next one is 4.12. All they did was space them the length of their hammer and nail wood lath to them and slather on a ½ of plaster to level it all out. sometimes I use a modern 2x4 sometimes I have shimmed and other times I ripped. I save a lot of the lath I rip off it makes great shims.
 

nealtw

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I have too. The trouble I have with the 1800’s milling is one is 4.0 the next one is 4.12. All they did was space them the length of their hammer and nail wood lath to them and slather on a ½ of plaster to level it all out. sometimes I use a modern 2x4 sometimes I have shimmed and other times I ripped. I save a lot of the lath I rip off it makes great shims.
If you consider the tools they had, they did a wonderful job. No tape measures,and fold out measuring sticks were just 6 ft.

But yes working on very old building is a pain in the ***.
 

bud16415

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If you consider the tools they had, they did a wonderful job. No tape measures,and fold out measuring sticks were just 6 ft.

But yes working on very old building is a pain in the ***.
My favorite part is drilling into a 140 year old yellow pine beam and smelling a fresh cut Christmas tree smell. Drill comes out sticky with sap. That’s what I call pressure treated.
 

nealtw

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In grade three I was in a basement class room that smelled like more than a few people had urinated on the soft wood floor. 40 years later I bought a sling load of 1x12 pine and found that same smell in half the lumber. Not sure what caused that, type of pine or maybe where it was from, but that was not my favorite. Here the old building are doug fir or hemlock and hard as a rock.
 

Sparky617

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I think there is something to do with the moisture too. If it isn't 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 when you by it. it will be when it is dry.
With the exception of pressure treated wood, most lumber is kiln dried and is about as dry as it is going to get at the lumber yard.
 

nealtw

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With the exception of pressure treated wood, most lumber is kiln dried and is about as dry as it is going to get at the lumber yard.
True for studs, wets are used for plates and sometimes for joists. Wets are much easier to staighten out when you nail a wall down or straight out for bracing. SPF joists we get mostly dry at 9 5/16 but we would also get wet fir that would be 9 5/8. Most times the fir had been dried but because it isn't called for as much it had been sitting out getting rained on and swelled up again.
 
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