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2x4 size difference

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  • 2x4 size difference

    I am framing my basement. I bought some 2x4s and I also kept some 2x4s from the old finished basement. I just found the actual width of the them are different. There are about 3 different measurements. The differences are about 1/8 to 1/16. Should I avoid mixing them?

  • #2
    Re: 2x4 size difference

    Keep them 16" on center and you should be fine. There was a time when a 2x4 "was" 2x4


    • #3
      Re: 2x4 size difference

      back in the good ol days when I was a young pup, they were 1 5/8 x 3 5/8" and now in theory there 1 1/2" x3 1/2" most likely it would be easer if you do not mix, or at at least line them up all on the same edge if only one side is going to be used, one could use some dry wall shims to shim out the newer so there the same depth for a double sided wall.

      or you could run the older through a table saw and make all the same width,

      watch using for plates as it could through you off for stud lengths. or wall heights

      Normally it is just easer if all is the same sizes on the lumber. less to keep track of, to do a good accurate job

      yes at one time they were 2 x 4 but I have never seen a planed 2x4 at 2x4" only rough cut.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      • #4
        Re: 2x4 size difference

        Glad you posted this as it has been irritating me these past few years.

        As though it isn't enough of a battle to find straight kd lumber, the ever changing dimension deal does add that extra grain of sand. I've had variations from 3 3/8 to 3 11/16; not so much with 2x6 though.

        Our doug fir here was only sold green for some time-you don't want them for plates, I assure you.

        For a while my local yard was selling lumber which was cut in the Czech Republic; great stuff and clearly old growth w/ tight grain,etc. That disappeared to be replaced by lumber from a Canadian outfit; don't recall the name but blue end paint & was pretty good stuff. After a while, that was gone too.

        Each mill seems to have a slightly different interpretation of nominal size and if the yard switches suppliers between orders, as has been happening more often lately, I know what to expect.

        Ditto plywood, especially when they were switching to metric sheets.

        Timber really is being phased out. Ever seen the (essentially) OSB studs, headers,etc? Uggh.
        Last edited by Bldr; 07-23-2013, 10:41 AM.


        • #5
          Re: 2x4 size difference

          I don't know if I killed the thread but...

          rec'd a 2x6 orders a few weeks ago-plates & studs. After culling approx 25% for splits and extreme bowing/twisting I framed the walls.

          Last week I filled out the remainder from the same supplier, different yard.

          Initial load was 5 1/2" on the money, square edge. Sticks I picked up were 5 3/8" shy, round edge.

          New stamp- CANFOR.

          The studs were inked "premium" , "select" and "prime"; there was live edge in all three grades so I'm unclear what the distinction is.


          • #6
            Re: 2x4 size difference

            I feel your pain!

            At Home Depot their 2x4 lumber was also varying in
            size from 8 feet to 16 feet long....

            The salesman asked how long do I want the 2x4 and I told him
            "a long time, I'm fixing a deck"!!!

            I'm no longer welcome at this particular Home Depot

            Cactus Man