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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 12:38 pm 
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While I know what the finished sizes really are I always snag a tape measure and confirm the length is what it is supposed to be. I was burned on a project more than once when I really needed the 2x4 to be 96 inches long only to find that it was a couple inches short most likely put back as a customer return. Its not like an associate will measure and throw it on the cull cart as discounted lumber. When youre quickly tossing lumber on a cart to rush home and get to work you sometimes miss this.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 1:00 pm 
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I'll chime in here. I've worked at HD for 24 years. I spent many of those years running the lumber department. You wanna guess how many people asked me about the measurements of a 2x4, 4x4, etc?....

....a whole lot.

You wanna guess how many of them cried foul when I explained it to them?

....NONE.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 1:30 pm 
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flyboy71 wrote:
I was burned on a project more than once when I really needed the 2x4 to be 96 inches long only to find that it was a couple inches short most likely put back as a customer return.

Those are short on purpose. If you're framing an eight foot wall, the studs need to be 3" shorter to accommodate the top and bottom rails.


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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 2:59 pm 
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A "standard stud" is 92 1/4 "
To make a "standard wall" means you are going to use 2 sheets of 4' wide sheet-rock. So you want the framing to be 96" high. Bottom plate 1.5" +, Top plate 3", + stud 92 1/4 gets you to 96"

2x4s are also routinely sold 96" long.

Never go to HD without your tape measure. It helps to get the right stuff, and it also makes you look like you know what you are doing.....;)

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 4:05 pm 
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Actually 92 5/8" or 96" Depends on the usage. I dont measure them that closely but I wanna be in the ballpark. Now I DO know that larger sizes like deck lumber is slightly longer by 1/4 to 1/2 inch as I trimmed it when I built my deck. Measure twice, buy once.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/2-in-x-4-in ... /202093349

https://www.homedepot.com/p/2-in-x-4-in ... /202091220

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 5:17 pm 
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There was a guy in Central California doing the same type of fishing. He went around suing small restaurants with bogus ADA compliance claims. He put dozens out of business. He tried it on Clint Eastwood. Eastwood spared no expense to stomp him in court. He now barred from filing such lawsuits in California.....Scumbag.


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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Re: stud length, yes, 8 footers are trimmed short to allow for the top and bottom plates.Studs save hours of trimming at the job site. A good clerk will specify, as one did with me last week, 'studs or 8 footers?'
Lumber is marked by end paint as a rule, so a stud in the 8 foot pile should be easy to spot.

Someone doing a backyard structure might want full dimension 4X4's but they would need to search for rough cut lumber.
What can happen in a box store is that the goof in the shirt knows less than you do. So I can see the possibility of a grievance, due to the wrong product being loaded into the truck.
On the other hand, HD has a very good return policy, 90 days, no hesitation. They will not lose this case, just a waste of money and time.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Scott wrote:
Oh boy...hard to believe that some idiot actually filed a lawsuit...like Home Depot was ripping him off. All the wood they sell is sized to industry standards and has been for many, many decades. You would have to go back nearly a century to find 2x4's that actually measured that, and they were rough sawn.


TWO IDIOTS! Both the client and the lawyer who did not investigate before he took the lawsuit! I learned the oddities of planed lumber as a kid 60 years ago. That is the system HERE! YOU have to adapt to this culture.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 6:00 pm 
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not at all, if you buy pre-cut wall studs, they account for 1 1/2" thick 2x4's.
Carpenters don't have an issue with this, "sensitive" people do, who probably couldn't saw
a correct length piece of "2x4" at 90 degrees anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 6:10 pm 
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flyboy71 wrote:
Actually 92 5/8" or 96" Depends on the usage.

OOPS--that one missed me---I wonder if it was 92 1/4 at one time (We won't discuss how long since I actually built something.....;) )

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 6:21 pm 
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Its not just Home Depot. Of course this has already been challenged in California. Who knew?

http://www.prosalesmagazine.com/news/de ... labeling_o

Thats it! Im suing that a bakers dozen is not 12. This tomfoolery has got to stop.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 6:26 pm 
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We should standardize on the furlong/firkin/fortnight (FFF) system to eliminate such confusion :shock:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FFF_system

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 13, 2018 6:41 pm 
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Scot Armstrong wrote:
There was a guy in Central California doing the same type of fishing. He went around suing small restaurants with bogus ADA compliance claims. He put dozens out of business. He tried it on Clint Eastwood. Eastwood spared no expense to stomp him in court. He now barred from filing such lawsuits in California.....Scumbag.
There were many of them operating such a scam. Even Brown finally tired of it. Had they simply put a provision into ADA that a business had a certain amount of time to correct or respond before anything else happened, the scams would not have been possible. That may finally happen. Good for Mr. Eastwood! We need more like him.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2018 2:32 am 
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As a carpenter with 45 years experience at the trade, it seems amazing to me that many people do not realize that a 2x4 stud does not measure exactly 2" by 4". But this is understandable for those who do not routinely work at the trade as I do, or who do not have experience with home improvement projects.

A little history on this subject: Some people with older homes will claim that their wall studs actually measure a true 2" x 4". If so, these are invariably rough-cut studs, straight from a sawmill without planing. Such were commonly used in the early 20th century and before, and sometimes are still used in rural areas. As for kiln-dried planed 2x4 studs from a commercial lumber yard, 1-7/8" x 3-7/8" was common in the early 20th century until the first World War era when, by federal government and private industry agreement, intended to promote economy for the war effort, the size was reduced to 1-5/8" x 3-5/8". This was intended more to reduce the weight/volume demands on railroad and other shipping than as an actual economy of wood, and although proposed during WWI did not actually come into effect until the early 1920's. This 1-5/8" x 3-5/8" size remained the standard in many parts of the country well into the 1950's; in some areas even until the early 1960's. But since then, 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" has been and remains the industry standard.

The current 3-1/2" width of 2x4 studs fits into standard manufacturing standards of many building products. For example, it being assumed that a typical exterior 2x4 stud wall will have 1/2" sheathing on the outside and 1/2" drywall on the inside (or 1/2" drywall on both sides for an interior wall), this totals 4-1/2". Most factory-made windows and pre-hung doors will be furnished with jambs 4-5/8" wide to accommodate this. (The extra 1/8" width to allow for space between the applied stud coverings, drywall finishing, etc., as well as a slight protrusion past the finished surface to allow door and window casings to lay flat on the surface.)

Of course the same also applies to finished dimension of 4x4 lumber, which is the actual subject of this thread.

For those desiring further information on the history of US standard lumber sizes, the following article is recommended:
https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/misc ... b_6409.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2018 5:02 am 
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Nice - 45 years a carpenter. The wide variety of backgrounds is one of the best aspects of this hobby and forum. Since I inspect buildings, I have seen the rough cut studs. But did not know about the intermediate size.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2018 5:04 am 
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Thx for the education, Poston!

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2018 5:49 am 
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Everyone who works with lumber should know that at 2X4 isn't actually 2 inches by 4 inches. I bet this is the same guy said he wanted to purchase some four by twos. The lumber guy said, "Don't you mean two by fours?". "Yeah, thats right", he says. Lumber guy, "How long do you want them?". "Long time, I am going to build a house".


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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 14, 2018 6:32 am 
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Something I did not mention in my post above, but which is also worthy of comment:

There is now, and never has been, any U.S. government control over lumber sizes sold to the public. The closest we ever came to this was the attempt by Herbert Hoover, when he was serving as Secretary of Commerce in the Coolidge administration from 1924-1928, but his efforts to establish national standards for this failed due to resistance from the lumber industry and the failure of the Coolidge administration to support Congressional legislation in support of Hoover's efforts. Since that time the lumber industry itself has remained in control of the dimensions of all wood products which we purchase here in the U.S.A.

For many decades these sizes have remained fairly consistent, at least since 1956 when the most recent standards were adopted by the industry. But in recent years "cracks" have developed in the system. Some due to the U.S. lumber industry itself, others due to foreign competition. Although board lumber still remains fairly standard at 3/4" thick, and dimensional lumber at 1-1/2" thick (at least for the most part), plywood products (including OSB) are not nearly so consistent. For example, most (but not all) nominal 1/2" plywood at lumber yards will now be only 15/32" thick, most nominal 1/2" OSB will be only 7/16" thick. But this will sometimes vary by U.S. manufacturer. And if the plywood products come from a foreign source, there is no consistency at all.

This trend is likely to continue, and I suspect that in the near future we will start seeing nominal 2" dimensional lumber decrease from its long-established thickness of 1-1/2". In some localities, this may already be occurring.

One of the few wood products which has remained consistent in size is nominal 1" tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring. Under the standards maintained by NWFA/NOFMA, this has remained consistent at 25/32" thick for more than 100 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 15, 2018 2:52 am 
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Plywood is not full thickness either. Its actually 1/32" less; and sometimes that varies a little by manufacturer. That doesn't seem like much, but if you use your standard size router bit to cut a slot or dada; your fit will be loose. Consequently, you can buy plywood dado cutting bits so you have a snug fit. If one is making shelving or furniture, this is nice to know.


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 Post subject: Re: Are you confused by 4x4 lumber?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 15, 2018 12:08 pm 
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I will admit plywood is confusing at times also. Where it gets hairy is when the big box stores carry fairly cheap imported plywood typically from South America and its usually closer to metric than imperial. The other issue when they carry it is its not available for long so if you buy it get what you need or it wont be there in 2 weeks.

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