Dimensional lumber is cut and finished lumber (planed on all four sides) that comes in standardized sizes. Lumber for construction purposes available in variety of different sizes. For instance, using the most popular dimensional lumber, two-by-four, the nominal dimensions are 2-by-4. Dimensions … Lumber dimensions in widths and thickness are 1/2-inch less than the size. A four-by-six post measures 3 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches. 2x4s are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. Lumber Dimensions. However, the actual dimensions are 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Lumber measurements in width and thickness normally 0.25 inches (6 millimeters) – 0.75 in (19 mm) smaller than nominal sizes. If you are using rough-sawn, or "true dimension" timbers, however, 4 inches means 4 inches. It's important to remember this when purchasing lumber, because mixing nominal and actual dimensions … These lumber sizes are typically described in inches in the United States and in millimeters in most other countries. Nominal dimensions which identify certain board, beam or post do not represent its actual parameters. It also standardizes milling and makes the market more competitive. For example: a 2-by-4 actually measures 1 1/2 inches thick and 3 1/2 inches wide. Here are the common sizes of lumber, and their actual sizes. The two numbers used to describe a piece of dimensional lumber… Knowing lumber sizes in advance helps reduce waste. What is dimensional lumber? When the board is first rough sawn from the log, it is a true 2x4, but the drying process and planing of the board reduce it to the finished 1.5x3.5 size. The change in dimensions usually results because of the milling processes the lumber is taken through and sometimes because of the size … Are 2-by-4 which identify certain dimensional lumber sizes, beam or post do not its... Of lumber, two-by-four, the actual dimensions are 1 1/2 inches.! For construction purposes available in variety of different sizes mm ) smaller than nominal.... 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