Need a true 2 x 4!

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    I need a 2′ or so length of true 2×4 to replace an old rafter tail. Does anyone have a piece lying around they have no use for? The big box stores and lumberyards only carry 1.5 x 3.5. I could fake something, but then it would be – well, fake.



    Many years ago, it was a rude awakening to me that a 2 by 4 was really a 1.5 by 3.5. What’s with that?



    Rules of rounding. ;-)



    Dimensional lumber has gotten smaller and smaller over the years. Higher yields per log.

    I’m sorry anonyme, but if you want something that really looks right, you’ll have to have it fabricated either by you – if you have the tools – or by someone else. I recommend asking the guys at Blackstock downtown or Dunn in Des Moines where to start. (Probably join two pieces of 2×6 and then cut to actual size. If you had them match the ends well, you wouldn’t be able to tell from any distance.)

    I know this issue well. I had to try and match my 70yr. old, 13in. clear cedar siding last month. I could have had Dunn special order it (mill has to set up a special jig) at crazy $ or I could substitute an “10in.” plank which is…you guessed it…9.5in. And even that was pricey.



    Dimensional lumber sizes are determined from pre final milling dimensions. If you get rough cut lumber, say cedar lumber for fencing, the dimensions will be 2″x4″. I know that this can be viewed as misleading but the standard 2″x4″ has been 1.5″x3.5″ for a long, long time…at least 41 years (that’s how far I go back). I know that some will come out and say “I remember when…” but gas isn’t a nickel either.



    get a 4X6 and rip it on a table saw. if you have the wood I could rip it on my table saw for you



    Thanks everyone. Looks like I’m SOL on finding an old piece of wood. Clark, thanks for the offer; if I can’t do it myself, I may be in touch!

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