2x4's


What type of wood are the common *cheap* 2x4s cut from? Is this typically true for the other *cheap* 2x whatevers? John
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John DeBoo wrote:

all i've purchased has been Douglas Fir. Pretty cheap at HD.
Dave
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David wrote:

Only if you're in the far NW...
Virtually all framing lumber these days is what is generically labelled as "SPF"--spruce/pine/fir and is an undifferentiated mixture of almost anything that has a limb large enough to make a tubaX out of...
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Even cheaper is their "whitewood" 2x4's. Usually KD and much lighter than the green DF and not as strong. OTOH they're straighter and don't warp/bow/twist like GDF. "Whitewood" seems to be pine/spruce or whatever logs the mill had at the time; no one at HD could give me an answer.
Art

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Anyone remember those old HD commercials from years ago (when they were still trying to convince people they were a quality outlet) where their young recruits were put through grueling "boot camp" training and were shown being able to ID various lumber by size, type, and even area of origin by feel and smell? [wasn't believable then either, just even more ironic now]

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SPF, which stands for Spruce, Pine, Fir.
--
Life. Nature's way of keeping meat fresh. -- Dr. Who

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Dave Balderstone wrote:

I just checked the last stud I bought. It is from Stimpson and is marked KDHT. It ISN'T marked fir as those I've bought in the past.
Dave
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On 10/10/2005 9:18 PM David mumbled something about the following:

KDHT only means Kiln Dried Heat Treated (Heated to 56C for 30 minutes for sterilization).
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Odinn
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On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 13:21:51 -0600, with neither quill nor qualm, Dave

And if you're a connoisseur, ask the lumber yard guy for Birdseye SPF. Gorgeous! <ww, nn, say no more>
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wrote:

depends where you are.
could be: spruce pine fir hemlock
ask the seller.
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snipped-for-privacy@all.costs wrote:

More than likely they won't know... :)
It'll almost certainly be "SPF"...an undifferentiated mix standing for spruce/pine/fir including all of the above and more. Many of the really cheap framing 2x4 now is even more generically labelled as "whitewood". About all that could be said for it is it is almost certainly a conifer of some sort.
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Reminds me of my engineering days where we would have specifications for some parts that called out for 1008 or 1010 steel. You might as well just say "steel", as anything that could be called steel fit the metallurgical requirements for 1010.
todd
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That's the answer. Where you are sort of rules out certain woods, but you'll have to determine what you have on your own.
Here in the "uppa you ess" we have the white spruce (P glauca) and balsam fir (A balsamea) that is most abundant in boreal forests. Plantation pine runs to red (P resinosa) and jack (P banksiana), because they grow the fastest on decent soil - red- or lousy soil - jack.
The one thing you can use to determine if you have a pine or fir/spruce, is the color of the knots. Pine has darker knots than either spruce or fir. Beyond that, the characteristics of the wood are so similar that the grouping of SPF suits them all.
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John DeBoo wrote:

Depends on where you live. Soft pine. Soft firs. Hemlock. Spruce. Doug Fir would be the strongest.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

I'm in the SW, Albuquerque to be exact. I would expect a little pitch or sap here and there like we had 10 years ago when they cost 99 but none that HD or Lowes are carrying have any, plus none of them have the odor of SPF, thats why I was wondering. There is virtually no odor to them at all, most are pretty light in weight and almost no knots & straight. Whats up with that? Quality lumber? I don't think so! John
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wrote:

sounds like spruce.
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The only odor in our HD lumber aisles is that kind of sour, stale smell from the too-wet timber fermenting in its own juices. :-( [bleah!]
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Downstate NY, cheap 2x4's are usually SPF. Larger 2x lumber on the cheap end is usually Hem-Fir (hemlock or fir, mostly hemlock). Home Depot was all DF for the larger 2x's last time I shopped. Lowe's started out with hemlock but may have upgraded recently.
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Around here (mid Atlantic East coast USA) the cheapest is usually marked SPF which means it could be spruce, pine or fir, NOT Douglas fir, which is usually more costly and has its own stamp. 2nd cheapest is usually stamped HF which means it can be hemlock or fir (Again, not Douglas Fir)
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Ever notice the "grade stamp" and various other stamping ???
SPF is a "normal suspect" and that means:
Spruce,pine,fir (which means it "could" be any of those three) and is acceptable to be a building quality 2x4.
John DeBoo wrote:

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