2 x 4's the old ones

Most of the houses in my neighborhood were built in the late 19th or early 20th century.
Recently someone totally rebuilt a house near here, they stripped it down to the 2 x 4's and rebuilt...they even put in a new foundation.
At first I wondered why they did not raze it entirely until I realized the old style 2 x 4's are superior to the ones used today.
They actually measure 2" x 4" and use better wood that today's soft pine.
My question is: what kind of wood was actually used.
It's denser than soft pine but not actual hardwood, though it is sometimes referred to as such.
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On Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 7:40:52 AM UTC-4, philo wrote:

The framing in my house (built in 1948) is white cedar. Smells like sharpening pencils when you cut it.
Cindy Hamilton
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On 03/19/2017 06:54 AM, Cindy Hamilton wrote:

My grandparents had their house built in 1948 also. I believe the end of the war housing boom was when the builders started using the lower grade soft pine.
I recall my grandmother telling me the builder used the better grade lumber because all the soft pine in the area was already snapped up by other builders.
My house was built in 1898 and will probably be around for a while...
I am living at a time where I actually see buildings less than 50 years old being demolished.
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On 03/19/2017 08:12 AM, philo wrote:

Ever notice free government public housing for welfare democrats lasts less than 30 years before it's demolished?
OTOH, republican taxpayer farmers will take care of their homes and pass them on for many generations.
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On 03/19/2017 07:59 AM, Oliver Douglas wrote:
<snip>

LOL you sure got that exactly WRONG, the three examples I was thinking of when I posted were:
1) Allen Bradly was a large local electronics firm that is now owned by Rockwell. The very generous Allen Bradly family donated millions of dollars to build a sports center, 35 years ago.
It mainly caters to the wealthy suburbanites just outside of Milwaukee County. (The sports center is in downtown Milwaukee)
It has now been decided that it's too old and a new one is being constructed and paid for by the taxpayers of Milwaukee. A special freeway ramp is even being built so the wealthy suburbanites can come into the city, watch their game and head back out to the suburbs. If anyone else would even think of having an event in downtown Milwaukee on the same night as a sports event, forget it. Parking which is normally $10 for 24 hours is now up to $70!!!
The 35 year old sports center will then be demolished
2) In the mid 60's, my uncle who was a wealthy businessman had a beautiful house built . It's reminiscent of a design by Frank LLoyd Wright or Eero Saarinen . When my uncle died my aunt sold the house and later learned the new owner only wanted the land, the house was demolished and replaced by a McMansion.
Beautiful 50 year old house demolished
3) Of the same vintage (approx 50 years old) is the Milwaukee Museum, considered one of the best in the country. Now it's not good enough, supposedly the storage are is too leaky. The city is going to build a new one...cost the the taxpayers $100 million.
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On 03/19/2017 09:25 AM, philo wrote:

There's often a lot of intolerant democrats at public sporting events. Intolerant democrats often riot when things don't go their way. Raising the price of admission often keeps the intolerant democrats out.

You just unwittingly made my point. Your aunt's privately owned house was in excellent condition when she sold it. The new owner obviously didn't like the style but liked the neighborhood. No tax dollars involved.

Preserving history is important. If the museum has valuable pieces, they need a secure and dry building. Hopefully the new museum will be fireproof in case some intolerant welfare democrats decide to protest and burn the neighborhood down.
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On 3/19/17 9:25 AM, philo wrote:

Yep, the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta which was completed 25 years ago in 1992 will be demolished this year.
Magnificent stadium, seats 70,000+, largest cable-supported fabric stadium roof in the county, all seats with unobstructed view of the field. Most Atlantans love the facility. Former home of the Atlanta Falcons.
But Falcons owner Arthur Blank arm-twisted the local politicians into building him a nice new tax payer financed stadium under threat of moving the team to the burbs- as the Atlanta Braves just did, abandoning Turner Field, downtown site of the 1996 Olympics stadium.
The Georgia Dome is being replaced by Mercedes-Benz Stadium, under construction right next door.
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On 03/19/2017 09:59 AM, Fast Eddie wrote: <snip>

It's really nuts.
I can recall when all of these buildings were constructed and now they are tearing them down. Still almost new.
I recall thousand year old buildings in Europe so it's odd to see this.
I still recall the "temporary" tax for our new ballpark became a permanent .1% hike.
Also: Here in Milwaukee as I suspect elsewhere, new construction is occurring at a pace I've never seen before yet there are hundreds of store-fronts vacant.
I talked to a fiend of mine yesterday who owns a bookshop in a rental space. Our city which should encourage business did everything they could to deny him a ten year occupancy permit. He had to go to court to obtain one as long at 14 other permits and paid inspections.
He said now that he knows the city will at least allow him to be there for a while, he'll spend the money to make minor improvements such as more lighting.
If he thought he was going to be kicked out after a year he would not bother
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On Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 8:38:08 AM UTC-7, philo wrote:

g


her
The worst part is finding enough that were the same size. Great lumber but rough cut varies sizes sometimes grossly. I tore down an old country scho ol planning to use the framing lumber in an addition. I gave up after I sp ent one afternoon sorting to get enouth matching 2x4 for one 18' wall. Did use rough cuts salvaged from the schoolf for the floor joists - had to trim or shim the end of most of them to get a flat floor.
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On 3/19/17 7:59 AM, Oliver Douglas wrote:

The federal government has had subsidy programs for farmers going back to the 1930s. The story I've been told is the feds wanted to keep the farmers down on the farm to avoid having them in the cities competing for jobs during the Depression. <https://www.fsa.usda.gov/about-fsa/structure-and-organization/commodity-credit-corporation/index The programs used to involve the farmer idling some ground in return for the government help. The requirement to idle ground was eliminated with the Freedom to Farm Act passed in the later 1990s. I haven't seen any farmers walking on water. Some of the places are immaculate considering the environment. Others are dumps, with junk and weeds everywhere. I've been on or around farms for six decades and have indirectly benefited from the government programs. My livelihood still depends on farmers. The first house I grew up in used some of the old, real 2x4s. The builders didn't waste anything. They nailed one 2x4 to another one if the first one was too short. The walls mostly plaster. One room had some softer material that I forget the name of.
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On 03/19/2017 08:50 AM, Dean Hoffman wrote:

I still recall back in the 50's seeing carpenters pulling nails and straightening them out with a hammer for re-use.
Heck I still do that too.
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On Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 8:59:41 AM UTC-4, Oliver Douglas wrote:

Low bidder.

Republican taxpayer farmers built their own houses, so of course they built to last. I've lived in some poorly built houses, poorly built apartments, and very well built dorm when I was at college. My current house was built by a stonemason who built it to live in himself. It's going to be here long after I'm gone.
I hope I'll be dead before it needs repointing. The mortar is beautifully struck and it would cost a fortune to replace.
Cindy Hamilton
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On 3/19/2017 11:05 AM, Cindy Hamilton wrote:

Home owners tend to take care of their largest investment.
Public housing occupants typically don't care.
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On Sun, 19 Mar 2017 08:59:34 -0400, Oliver Douglas

How about democrat farmers? And welfare republican rednecks?
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On 03/19/2017 05:36 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I've never seen a working productive democrat. Democrats are lazy and expect others to provide for them.
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Just what we need - another blind bigot.
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Many were built using "local lumber".Others used Douglas Fir or old growth white pine, or even old growth spruce. The "local lumber" could be anything from jack pine to white cedar to elm, maple, chestnut ash, or Gumwood.. Some of the wood used for framing back then would be good for high end trim today!! My shed is all "mixed hardwood", some of it 2 1/2 X 4 - originally used as pallets for sheet metal
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On 03/19/2017 07:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Thanks for the good answer. I know the old wood has a lot of value.
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On 03/19/2017 8:27 AM, philo wrote: ...

Depends greatly on location as the above implies; much framing lumber even as early as before/around WW I was SYP except it was first-cut rather than "plantation-grown" as is most all today. As such it has a much finer grain pattern and typically is also from much larger logs so has a higher percentage of heartwood vis a vis sapwood.
There was no native lumber out here on the High Plains; the barn and house were built in early '10s to about 1920 when rationing after WW I was lifted. They're all SYP, also full dimension, and there are built-up columns in the loft of the barn of 3 2x6 that are 24-ft in length. I've looked at some of them carefully while we were doing the repair/restoration/re-roof and there are a few that appear to be knot-free over that entire length...
We built a set of bins in the loft in the late '50s for a small feed mill, the framing lumber for it came from west coast instead of east and is Doug fir. There are some leftover 2x12-20 still stacked up there that are also clear; I've no idea what one of them might cost today! I haven't yet found a project that justifies cutting one of them. since I've been back... :) They're the 5/8"-over era instead of full dimension before the pare-back to the current 1/2". Nice for the extra "beef" for strength but a pita for matching up for doubling up as you've got an extra eighth or quarter-inch to make up, depending...
But, the general tenor is true; the quality of framing lumber these days is far inferior and it is mostly owing simply to there no longer being the virgin timber stands to harvest and so it comes from mostly faster-growing species and plantation-grown stands that simply don't produce the same wood properties.
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On 3/19/2017 8:53 AM, dpb wrote:

We've been watching a show called Barn Wood Builders. They take apart old barns and often re-build them elsewhere for people, and they're turned into modern buildings. Interesting show. Some of those barns they disassemble are gigantic!
--
Maggie

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