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
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
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.
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:
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
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??
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
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.
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.
Loose Cannon wrote:
10.4 feet per gallon? You steal a rocket transporter from NASA or something?
(Yes, I am procrastinating working on chores. See
http://simpsons.shafe.com/hogshead.html for a converter utility.)
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.
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.
Loose Cannon wrote:
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.