Lumber depth and width are typically given in nominal dimensions but those arent the true sizes. But these sizes are not the actual 13 dimensions 24 dimensions 26 dimensions 28 dimensions and 44 dimensions of the wood.
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Because a nominal 2×4 board is really 1 12 inches by 3 12 inches.
2×4 actual dimensions. That means a 2 x 4 board is actually 1 12 inches by 3 12 inches. Thus the nominal size of the lumber you purchase is different from the actual size. Most lumber is sold in nominal in name only sizes such as 13 24 44 and2x2 lumber.
Here are the common sizes of lumber and their actual sizes. Usually there is 12 inch difference in measurements over 2 inches and 14 inch in measurements less than 2 inches. At this point the 2 x 4 is actually 2 inches x 4 inches a 2 x 10 is actually 2 inches x 10 inches etc.
However there is a difference between the nominal size what the lumber is referred to and the actual size. Dimensional lumber is cut to a specific length width and depth. Measure the actual width and thickness of a pine board like a 2×4 and then look at the sign above the rack.
But then the newly sawn but soaking wet lumber is then kiln dried until it reaches the desired moisture level. Standard full sheets of plywood are 4 feet wide and 8 feet long and come in thicknesses ranging from 18 inch to 1 inch. The tables below provide both the nominal and actual sizes so many common north american lumber sizes.
Actual dimensions and nominal dimensions. Which means for example three 2×4 boards laid side by side will not measure a foot across. Something doesnt quite match up.
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. While the nominal width and length typically are true to the actual sheet size the thickness often varies slightly from the nominal dimension. When the inch symbol is used is lumber measurements it indicates that you are referring to the actual size.
Common sizes include 24 pictured also two by four and other variants such as four by two in australia new zealand and the uk 26 and 44. On your next trip to home depot or lowes take along a tape measure and head over to the dimensional lumber aisles. During this process it shrinks as the moisture in the wood is removed and the wood cells shrink.
Carpenters extensively use dimensional lumber in framing wooden buildings. 2x4s are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. Dimensional lumber is lumber that is cut to standardized width and depth specified in inches.
For example for a piece of lumber commonly known as a 2×4 customers will see both the common name 24 and the actual product dimensions 15 x 35 inches. Both lowes and the california das agreed that a settlement is in the best interest of all parties.
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