Dimension Lumber- history

What were the dimensions of dimension lumber in the past? When did the standards change? I vaguely recall US dimension lumber standards changing in the 60's ?? I suppose the standard has changed several times.
In our old 1927 house, boards are true 1" and studs are true 2" x 4". I recall when we moved in 40 years ago finding some 2x4's in the garage rafters and needing some quick sawhorses I bought some sawhorse brackets and had to shave those old 2x's down so they'd fit. When I replaced some rotten fake half-timbering, I had to shim out my 'modern' boards.
Anyone know the history of the sizes of US dimension lumber or where to find it? Google failed me, but maybe I used poor search keywords.
--
Al K


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Al K writes:

2 x 4 has always been 2 x 4. This refers to the rough cut size.
You're confusing whether the lumber has been planed, which is a relatively recent practice (mid 20th century).
See my earlier post:
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=rough-sawn+author%3Akinch
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Plywood has gone the same way in the past 15 years. When I started building boats in the early 60s ply was still full 1/2", 3/4", etc. But in more recent years the plywood miles started determining the nominal measurement 'before sanding'. Hence what we now get is 1/2" less what ever was sanded off..
This change has sure sold a lot of 'special' router bits for cutting grooves to fit the new plywood thickness.
Now what do I do with all my old standard bits??
Steve
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Are you sure this isn't caused by the enroachment of the European Metric system into America. I live in Canada which went on the metric system 15 or more years ago. Metric is a real pain in the ass. I had tools (wrenches, etc.) for Imperial sizes and was quite happy. The cars made with Imperial size fasteners seemed quite well-built to me. Never had any problems with pieces falling off or such stuff due to Imperial sized nuts and bolts. Can't figure out why we ever thought we needed this foreign Metric stuff anyway. Now, Canada is in a never, never land with Metrification. Old guys like me still order things in pounds and ounces and let the store clerk figure out how many Milli-whooies that might be. I still drive 30 MPH in the City and 60 MPH on the hiway. The price signs for fruit and veggies in the grocery store are all in Pounds with the Metric price for Milli-whooies in small print beneath the Imperial pricing. We still buy eggs and donuts by the dozen. When I go for a walk, I know how many miles I have walked because there are 8 city blocks to a mile. Don't know how many blocks there are to a Milli-whooie and don't really give a damn. What a joke and huge waste of precious tax $ this half-assed Metrification has been.
The only time the Metric crap really bothered me was when I was replacing some of the plywood sections on the floor of my sundeck. Went to the local lumber yard and bought what I thought was 5/8 plywood, but when I installed it along side some of the original plywood, I realized I had some Metric abortion of what 5/8 should be. Returned the plywood to the lumber yard and borrowed my neighbor's pickup and took a short drive down to the good ol' US of A and got some sheets of 5/8 plywood that did match the thickness of the original plywood. It was cheaper than the plywood I had purchased in Canada to boot. Also needed a new thermostat for my heating system. The ones they sell in Canada are all in Milli-whooies. No damned good to me. Bought a Farenheit one in the US that I can understand and makes me feel warmer too. 68 sure feels a lot warmer than 20 does.
Keep America pure! Don't contaminate America with this Stinkin' Commie Metric stuff. Milli-whooies are for Commies and Woossies.
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Some folks can learn, adapt, and evolve. Then there are the others.
I would prefer to see the US fully adopt the metric system since it is far easier to use, but I understand the reasons (mostly tooling and fabrication related issues) that have prevented universal adoption.
Boden
Loose Cannon wrote:

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@earthlink.net says...

My car still gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I like it. :-) Marc
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says...

(Yes, I am procrastinating working on chores. See http://simpsons.shafe.com/hogshead.html for a converter utility.)
aem sends....
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We did that over a hundred years ago, when the units the US uses, were defined in terms of the Metric/SI, so they are numerically conversable.
The length of the inch is defined in metric terms.
Otherwise, commerce would be damned near impossible, if everything had to be re-measured, between boarders.
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Loose Cannon wrote

Napoleon was not a communist.
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:-)
I was in school during that period.
I still can't figure out whether I need coat or not at 15C. I can't measure in metric. I search for tape measures that don't have metric on one side and imperial on the other.
But it was a godsend in chemistry where a cubic meter is very easy to convert to cubic centimeters, and a cubic yard has how many cubic feet? 10s of 10s of 10s make a lot of sense.
Then again there's liters at the gas pump. In the US riots would begin if the price of gas jumped 40 cents a gallon between going to Ikea and coming home. But we just suck up a 10 cent a liter jump every long weekend. (Disclaimer: My math isn't exact and no I don't go to Ikea every long weekend :-)
And finally maybe if we embraced metric whole-heartedly I could carry 1.2 x 2.4 m sheets of plywood home in a Dodge Dakota, but I sure can't fit a 4 x 8 ft sheet of plywood between the wheel wells. In metric it would work because the companies would take the change to reduce the size of the sheet to save money and blame it on metric.
Rob S.
Loose Cannon wrote:

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Try guessing at some industry groups...America Framing Timber Assoc., Wood Council, stuff like that. Maybe 1 of them will have a history section.

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