Now 2x4s have changed dimension to accomodate the additional 12 of plywood. This measurement refers to the thickness and width of the lumber and the length varies.
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Actual dimensions and nominal dimensions.
Actual 2×4 measurements. Then its edges are surfaced reducing its width and depth. Actual for wood with 24 dimensions wood dimension chart this chart shows the nominal in name only and corresponding actual real dimensions of common wood sizes like 24 dimensions and 14 lumber. In north america hardwood lumber is usually specified using the quarter system where a board is identified by its thickness in quarters of an inch.
2x4s are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. Then the freshly cut board dries ending up an actual 1 12 inches by 3 12 inches. Here are the common sizes of lumber and their actual sizes.
The final final measurement can change because wood is hydroscopic it absorbs and releases water into the air. When the inch symbol is used is lumber measurements it indicates that you are referring to the actual size. When a 24 is cut out of a log it is 2×4.
A nominal 2×4 board starts its life 2 inches by 4 inches. Its the same with all lumber2x6s are 5 12 2x8s are 7 12 etc. For instance hardwood trim that ends up being just over 1 thick surfaced on 2 sides is called a five quarter 54 board.
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. Thus the nominal size of the lumber you purchase is different from the actual size. The true measurement of a 2×4 is actually about 15×35.
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. Hardwood board widths vary.
After the board is dried and planed it becomes its actual size of 1 12×3 12. The extended answer as to why theyre called 2x4s is like was mentioned earlier in the times before plywood sheeting the dimensions were truly 2 x 4. Lumber manufacturers typically cut a tree into the various standard types of dimensional lumber very shortly after the tree is felled.
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. In reality these measurements are not a true measurement of the lumber thickness or width. If your memory is like mine and you need a little help remembering the actual dimensions of the lumber youll need for your next project then here is a quick conversion chart.
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. Usually there is 12 inch difference in measurements over 2 inches and 14 inch in measurements less than 2 inches. Something doesnt quite match up.
When the board is first rough sawn from the log it is a true 2×4.
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