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2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

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  • 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

    Around what year did actual full 2x4s become the 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 that they are today?

    The reason I ask is because my house was built in 1916 with full size 2x4s. I am currently taking down an old porch and when I busted up the drywall on the inside of it I found modern 2x4s.

    This is just one of those odd history things I am interested in. I bought this house from the original owners sons estate (this son was 86 when he died in the house) From what the neighbors say he was never married and pretty much kept to himself, which makes me wonder why he did the projects he had done to the place. The porch in question should never have been there according to my building inspector. When I went to see him I showed him pics of what I have and then told him what I want to do. He told me that this porch I have now is against codes, and he was glad to see I am tearing it off. If he saw the rafters above it he'd freak

  • #2
    Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

    here you go it it a long PDF. format document but it explaines everything. you wanted to know about the change in lumber sizes.

    http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/misc/miscpub_6409.pdf
    American by birth. Canadian at heart.

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    • #3
      Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

      Not sure what year, but now days the KD 2x4's I get measure 1 7/16 x 3 7/16

      They are getting smaller and smaller over the years...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

        newman i agree with you, in that pdf in 1964 a 2x4 was 1-5/8 x 3-5/8 then when i was framing they were 1-1/2 x 3-1/2 and just last week i bought a few 2 x 4s and like you said they are now 1-7/16 x 3-7/16.

        orange
        you can still get real 2x4s you have to go to your local saw mill and ask for "rough cut" witch is lumber cut to the right size before going though the planner
        9/11/01, never forget.

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        • #5
          Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

          OSC,

          even the rough sawn 2x lumber used to be 1 7/8 for many years, and then 1 3/4, and recently the stuff I got from my local lumber yard varied between 1 1/2 and 1 3/4

          The only way to get a net 2" 2x is to order resawn lumber, which gets to be quite spendy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

            The past few years, the 2"x12" are 11 1/2"-11 1/16", same with the 2"x10" and some 2"x8", now its getting to be a pain in the ars getting things leveled with no humps and dips in the floor, major inconsistency. The 2'x4" and 2"x6" are still running the proper dimensions which makes framing walls alright. Maybe its just here in MN. but I'm finding this only with the home centers and not local lumber yards. It has gotten to the point that I have to buy a 100 more 2"x12",10", 8" so I can match things up then return the ones not used. Explanation from the home centers are, because they lose dimensions from drying and not from the saw mills cutting. Are there other builders out there in other states finding the same problem??
            Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

            http://www.contractorspub.com

            A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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            • #7
              Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

              Spent the past week knocking down a closet and redoing a wall for a homeowner here in town. The new wall meets an older wall, and I re-used the lumber from the closet to close it in. Well...the older, existing wall was put together with older 2x4's, probably in the 40's. The closet was done using newer (circa 2000) "2x4s". Not only is the newer lumber not the same dimension as the old, but the newer lumber was twisted all to heck! Fortunately, on the other side of the wall, the room had been plaster skim-coated over wallboard so I have some leeway there.

              I had to leave one side open this weekend so the electrician can do the wiring. I suspect I'll have to do some funky things to get the wallboard to meet up properly with the existing wall. I have NO idea how I'm going to do this....yet....That'll be next week's problem!!!

              I'm running my own computer business, but as a side to make some cash, I do general home repairs and remodeling. Seems people would rather spend money on fixing up their home than their computer...go figure...resale value of home repairs far and away exceeds computer service!
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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              • #8
                Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

                Its not just 2 x 4s. The last 2 x 8s I bought were 1 1/2 x 7". by the time I got the warp and bow out of it it was a 1 x 6. IMHO: That's just plain fraud.
                Practicing at practical wood working

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                • #9
                  Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

                  I'd say sometime early to mid 50's, around here anyway. All the 40's houses I've torn into have been actual 2x4. The newest house I found them in was a 1953 vintage.

                  Small 2x's, wallboard, and 3 conductor wiring all seem to happen about the same time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

                    Originally posted by VASandy View Post
                    Spent the past week knocking down a closet and redoing a wall for a homeowner here in town. The new wall meets an older wall, and I re-used the lumber from the closet to close it in. Well...the older, existing wall was put together with older 2x4's, probably in the 40's. The closet was done using newer (circa 2000) "2x4s". Not only is the newer lumber not the same dimension as the old, but the newer lumber was twisted all to heck! Fortunately, on the other side of the wall, the room had been plaster skim-coated over wallboard so I have some leeway there...






                    I run into this situation way too often when remodeling. I often have to shim the new studs and/or plane down the old studs to make the wallboard totally flat. PITA.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

                      Originally posted by garager View Post
                      The past few years, the 2"x12" are 11 1/2"-11 1/16", same with the 2"x10" and some 2"x8", now its getting to be a pain in the ars getting things leveled with no humps and dips in the floor, major inconsistency. The 2'x4" and 2"x6" are still running the proper dimensions which makes framing walls alright. Maybe its just here in MN. but I'm finding this only with the home centers and not local lumber yards. It has gotten to the point that I have to buy a 100 more 2"x12",10", 8" so I can match things up then return the ones not used. Explanation from the home centers are, because they lose dimensions from drying and not from the saw mills cutting. Are there other builders out there in other states finding the same problem??


                      Same problems here.
                      As far as the shrinkage from drying goes, the mills usually factor in a percentage for shrinkage factor of wet lumber. Usually they mill lumber with a certain moister content. That's how it used to be anyway...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 2x4's vs 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

                        Called my plywood suplier last week and asked about 1/4 inch plywood. The answer was, "No problem, if the plywood was manufactured in the United States it is full 1/4 inch." I called again a couple hours later and same answer from a different person. I cut a 1/4" slot in the rails and stiles for some doors I was making, sized for a 1/4 " panel and went to pick up my wood. Yep, the plywood was 7/32". I was upset and let them know it. I have a 7/32 bit for undersized plywood and would have used that to cut the rail and stile slots if they had told me the correct size.

                        Last year I bought a cube of 2X4s. I anticipated some twisted stuff, there always is. Even after cutting the twisted ones for jacks etc there were a number of twisted ones that were beyond use. I brought them back and got a kid in the yard to help me unload them and picked through a pile until I found ones I liked. Then I went to the office. You are supposed to stop at the office first, before entering the yard. They didn't like my trick of going to the yard first and told me the price of a cube is already lowered based on quantity and some twisted ones inside the cube. Well, it was too late, I already had the useable 2X4s on my truck and a correct count validated by the guy in the yard.

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