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Actual Dimensions Of A 2×4 Piece Of Wood

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Lumber sizes and measurement. The tables below provide both the nominal and actual sizes so many common north american lumber sizes.

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First the tree is cut to basic sizes.

Actual dimensions of a 2×4 piece of wood. The process of drying might kink the wood shrink it etc. 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. Dimensional lumber is cut to a specific length width and depth.

The chart can be downloaded and printed from additional information below. The most common nominal thicknesses of plywood are 12 inch and 34 inch but once again the actual sizes are slightly different. Here are the common sizes of lumber and their actual sizes.

Once planed the wood is considered finished. This new wood has a natural high moisture content and will shrink when kiln dried. 2x4s are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches.

Thus the nominal size of the lumber you purchase is different from the actual size. Usually there is 12 inch difference in measurements over 2 inches and 14 inch in measurements less than 2 inches. 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.

This dried piece is trimmed to actual dimension. Hence a 2×4 becomes 1 12 x 3 12 etc. However there is a difference between the nominal size what the lumber is referred to and the actual size.

Plywood is graded so that each face receives a grade of a b c or d grades. A sheet of 12 inch plywood is really 1532 inch thick while a 34 inch sheet is 2332 inch thick. For example 2×4 2×8 etc.

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