# newbie question

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• posted on February 24, 2005, 2:46 pm
I've read and seen timber dimensions that is a little puzzling to me. I know what a 1x2 is or a 2x4 or a 4x4 but what is a 5/4, 4/4, 8/4 or whatever Y/X is ?
tia
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 4:01 pm

Woodies use all dimensions in quarters, 1/4, 2/4, etc. 8/4 = 2"
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 4:11 pm
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Primarily in rough lumber...that's the way mills process/size lumber.
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 4:47 pm
Yes, but we try to be a little more confusing. If I buy rough 4/4 hardwood, it's about an inch thick. The same item, S2S (sanded two sides) can be from 3/4 inch to nearly 7/8 thick, depending on where you get it, but it's still called 4/4 lumber at yards, while places like Home Depot probably say 3/4 inch.
GerryG

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• posted on February 24, 2005, 4:52 pm

To clarify/correct:
S2S = *surfaced* two sides. Sometimes it's sanded, but usually it's planed.
4/4 hardwood S2S is normally 13/16 thick. It would be unusual for it to be as thin as 3/4.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 5:24 pm
Doug Miller wrote:

And to hopefully clarify even a little more for the OP, the 4/4 surfaced hardwood or graded softwood from a mill/supplier is still listed/priced as "4/4" because that's the raw material from which it came and is priced on a bd-ft basis rather than piece-wise or by the linear foot...(retailers, otoh, may price on other bases, typically much more favorable to them :) )
Construction material is sized on nominal rough mill dimensions from historical sizes although now have standardized on nominal finished dimensions. At one time a "2x" was about 1-5/8" thickness and even earliear was rough-sawn at the nominal 2" thickness...
And, just in case he's unaware of the definition a "bd-ft" is a volume measure of 1" thick by 1-ft width by 1-ft length.
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 7:15 pm

And to muddy things up a bit... We have a lumberyard here in central Indiana that sells only rough-sawn lumber, which they price, *not* by the board foot, but by the linear foot (so much per linear foot for 4/4 x 5 maple, a bit more per foot for 4/4 x 6, a bit less for 4/4 x 4, etc). I wish they wouldn't do that. It drives me up the wall. OTOH, the prices are great and so is the wood, so I guess there are compensations.

My previous house was built in 1928; all the framing is rough-sawn *beech* two-bys. Floor joists all beech 2x10s, an honest 2" by 10", on 16" centers. Even after all those years, only a little sag and hardly any bounce in the floors. Ahh, the good old days...
The downside was in running electrical wires in the basement or the attic. The tool kit included a drill, a spade bit, and a bastard file to resharpen it every three or four holes.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 7:38 pm
Doug Miller wrote: ...

Guess it's best to take the calculator along :) ...unless, as you say, you have enough past history to know it's where you're going no matter the grief...

While in VA many years ago the local school board took down a ca 1880-90 school building. Went to look at some of the material they were selling thinking primarily of getting the kids a slate blackboard. Looked at the timbers and started to get sorta' excited... :) Surrepetitious check w/ the knife confirmed my suspicions--went home, got buddy, truck and checkbook(s) and we bought about 4000 bd-ft of walnut beams and studs from 2xX to 5x10-20-ft lumber for \$1500!

Been going through renovation/restoration of the old barn (1918) here built of virgin growth southern yellow pine--hard stuff, indeedy! :)
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• posted on February 27, 2005, 4:08 am

Heyy...waittasec.. I know I'm new here..but THAT was a drive-by, right?
Under 3 bucks a bd-ft for walnut? I'll go out on a limb here, but you suck!
r
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• posted on February 27, 2005, 5:31 am

Rob, re do the math, and see just how badly...
\$1500, divided by 4000
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• posted on February 27, 2005, 12:41 am
On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 23:31:31 -0600, Patriarch wrote:

Rob was thinking interms of Canuckistani loonies, before the US dollar turned into pesos.
--
Luigi
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email
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• posted on February 27, 2005, 3:24 pm

Waaaay under.... try thirty-seven CENTS a bf.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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• posted on February 27, 2005, 7:35 pm
Doug Miller wrote:

What you have to remember is that what we bought was used construction material...wasn't our fault it happened to be walnut! :)
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• posted on February 27, 2005, 11:00 pm
Duane Bozarth wrote:

I hope you had to buy nineteen sets of blades for your thicknesser/surface planer.
FoggyTown
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• posted on February 27, 2005, 10:58 pm
Robatoy wrote:

Yeah! It was a backdoor gloat allright! Find out where that school was and complain to the county auditor about the shameful waste of taxpayers' money! :)
FoggyTown
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 8:26 pm
Hello Doug,
I'm in Bloomington. Whereabouts would that lumberyard be? I have seen one off of 67 south of Indy.
-Kevin

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• posted on February 24, 2005, 9:53 pm
wrote:

That'd be Hollingsworth Lumber in Russiaville (pronounced roosh-uh-vill, BTW), about 5 miles or so SW of Kokomo. The board-foot prices for any given species all work out to be the same within a few pennies, regardless of width, so it's not like they're trying to cheat anybody. It's just awkward.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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• posted on February 24, 2005, 9:04 pm
Thanks, Doug and Suane. True on the planing; don't think I've ever seen it really sanded, but that's what they call it. As for size, I agree that many yards give you a nominal 13/16. However, a few stores call it 4/4 and have dressed it down to 3/4 (stores, not yards). Finally, I just got 100 BF of 4/4 S2S ash, and it measures 15/16.
So what can I say? I live in the desert, and it's now raining yet again:-)
Hopefully, with your additions, he'll have some idea what he might find. Oh yeah, we forgot S3S which has one straight and square edge, and (though the term isn't often used) S4S which is what Home Depot sells..
GerryG Kanab, Utah
wrote:

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• posted on February 24, 2005, 9:43 pm
GerryG wrote:

<snip> There's a difference between surfaced and dimensioned. Home Depot sells dimensioned lumber. Some hardwood dealers surface their stock, usually for a fee. Some skip plane the boards to allow for the person buying the stock to determine what the grain will look like.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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• posted on February 25, 2005, 5:32 pm
Duane Bozarth wrote:

Though, does YOUR hardwood supplier, when calc'ing how much to charge you for 4/4, multiply length x width by 13/16 or 7/8 !?!?! I mean, the couple hardwood suppliers I deal with will all tell you what the bd.ft. price is, but if it's 4/4 (i.e. real thickness of 13/16 or 7/8), they just calc length by width.
-Chris
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