How big is a 2 X 4

When purchasing lumber for any woodworking project, it is essential that you get the right size so you won’t have to cut off a portion if it’s too long or wide; and you won’t also get one that is a tad smaller or narrower than what you needed.

Getting the right size will help speed-up the process of completing your project. This being said, it is of utmost importance that one understands the exact dimensions of each piece of lumber, board or timber to get the right fit for specific projects.

How Big is a 2 x 4?

When buying a board that measures 2 x 4, what you are actually getting is a piece of wood that measures one and one-half inches thick by three and one-half inches wide. This is roughly about 38 millimeters thick by 89 millimeters wide.

The 2 inches by 4 inches dimensions are the actual size of the piece of wood when sawn off from the log. But as it undergoes the milling process, the size decreases to 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.

Nominal Size vs. Actual Size

To understand better how each piece of wood measures in its actual size, check out the list below for some of the more common sizes that lumbers come in.

- 1 x 2 is three-fourths by one and one-half inches in actual size or 19 millimeters by 38 millimeters

- 1 x 3 is three-fourths by two and one-half inches or 19 millimeters by 64 millimeters

- 1 x 4 is three-fourths by three and one-half inches or 19 millimeters by 89 millimeters

- 1 x 6 is three-fourths by five and one-half inches or 19 millimeters by 140 millimeters

- 1 x 8 is three-fourths by seven and one-fourth inches or 19 millimeters by 184 millimeters

- 1 x 10 is three-fourths by nine and one-fourth inches or 19 millimeters by 235 millimeters

- 1 x 12 is three-fourths by eleven and one-fourth inches or 19 millimeters by 286 millimeters

- 2 x 2 is one and one-half by one and one-half inches or 38 millimeters by 38 millimeters

- 2 x 4 is one and one-half by three and one-half inches or 38 millimeters by 89 millimeters

- 2 x 6 is one and one-half by five and one-half inches or 38 millimeters by 140 millimeters

- 2 x 8 is one and one-half by seven and one-fourth inches or 38 millimeters by 184 millimeters

- 2 x 10 is one and one-half by nine and one-fourth inches or 38 millimeters by 235 millimeters

- 2 x 12 is one and one-half by eleven and one-fourth inches or 38 millimeters by 286 millimeters

Knowing the actual sizes of each piece of wood, you can easily get lumber that will be of the right size for your projects.

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