Questions tagged [lumber]

For questions involving the use of lumber as a construction material.

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24
votes
5answers
67k views

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

I'm doing some home improvement, and have the necessary skills, tools, etc, for the job. There is one thing I'm lacking: a large pickup truck for transporting lumber. A buddy of mine used to have one, ...
23
votes
3answers
17k views

Why are 2“x4”'s really 1.5“x3.5”?

Just curious as to the reasoning, is it a spec, or is it simply 'backwards compatibility'?
22
votes
7answers
56k views

What are framing dimensions like in the metric world?

I was always curious about this. In the states we have: Lumber - Comes most commonly in 2 inch (2x4,6,8,10,12,16) and 4 inch (4x4,4x6) varieties. Plywood - Almost always 4x8 feet Drywall/...
14
votes
1answer
6k views

What's the difference between “Framing Lumber” and “Framing Studs”?

The Home Depot website has these two as categories under Dimensional Lumber. Why would one want to exclude items from one category during a search for wood to use in a project? What is the ...
10
votes
8answers
3k views

Is straight lumber a thing of the past?

I am working on a bathroom project, which is a brand new room. I've gone out to purchase 2x3" lumber for this project (I don't prefer metal studs). It seems like everywhere I go to buy lumber, ...
10
votes
9answers
116k views

Should I let pressure treated lumber dry before building with it?

I bought some treated 2x4's from Lowes, and it was fairly wet and heavy. I went ahead and built a firewood rack, but screwing into it releases a lot of water. It got me thinking, is it better to let ...
10
votes
4answers
18k views

Does decking board orientation really matter?

I've been told that decking boards should always be installed "bark side up" so that the boards crown (and shed water) as they age rather than cup (and collect water). But then I've also heard that ...
10
votes
2answers
19k views

Outdoor kids playset - type of lumber use/look for

I'm looking at getting a wooden playset (one of those with a rock wall, swings, slide, and small clubhouse up top) and I was wondering what type of lumber I should be looking for. Not so much the type ...
8
votes
1answer
706 views

How do I understand this description of lumber?

The instructions to a DIY project asks me to purchase something described as: 8-foot ¾-inch clear pine 1 x 8 What exactly does this mean. Here's my guess 8-foot: the length of the board ¾-inch: ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Can cutting pressure treated wood harm my saw blade?

Should I take time to clean my circular saw blade after cutting pressure treated lumber? Since fasteners other than stainless steel or galvanized can corrode when used in pressure treated wood, is it ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

How long should I wait before painting new lumber?

I am building a fence. I just bought some treated 4x4s from the lumber yard and they are water logged from being out in the rain for an unknown amount of time. The weather has been cool and wet for ...
6
votes
9answers
8k views

Can I build a hot tub using lumber?

So, as it stands now I am hoping to build a hot tub from lumber. I've done ponds and makeshift pools and such, but this I want to be a lasting thing. It'll be framed and then lined with a thick rubber....
6
votes
5answers
22k views

Can I use the area above my garage for storage?

The ceiling joists in my garage are 2x8 spaced 24" o.c., and span 21'. The roof load appears to be carried by the walls, so the joists seem to only be in place to hold the drywall. I'd like to use ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

When ordering lumber what percentage of waste should be expected?

Let's say I'm getting ready for a remodeling project, and I'm getting ready to order 2x lumber for framing. Specifically, I'll be ordering No. 2 or better 2x lumber. What percentage of my order should ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Does RTD in plywood mean “Rated” or “Resistance Temperature Detectors”?

Lots of plywood at Home Depot have the letters RTD in the title, with no further detail. Many of these have multiple user questions of the form "What does RTD mean?" Answers seem to be split 50/50 ...
5
votes
12answers
2k views

Are wooden pallets decent wood?

What type of wood are most pallets made from? Are they worth the trouble - removing boards, removing nails, etc?
5
votes
5answers
1k views

What's a high R-value insulation material alternative to dimensional lumber

Years ago I read somewhere about a building material described like this : a composite/synthetic material (not wood) available in traditional dimensional lumber sizes (e.g. 2x4) rigid enough to have ...
4
votes
3answers
255 views

What amount of wood defects is acceptable in a lumber delivery?

I took a delivery ($200 delivery fee!) from 84 which included eighteen 2x6 studs. Of those, only two didn't have significant defects. About 14 have significant (1"+) wane on two sides. Four have long ...
4
votes
5answers
17k views

How long will a treated post last in the ground?

The power company says I can put my permanent service entrance on a 6" x 6" pressure treated post. My friend suggested I consider a metal post sunk in concrete, for greater longevity. How long should ...
4
votes
3answers
61k views

What is the proper way to join two beams on a post?

I'm working on a deck that will involve two 10ft wooden beams across three wooden posts. One of the posts will be in the middle of the two beams. What is the proper method for joining the beams to the ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

How to connect two bed legs to make a bunk bed from two regular beds?

I am planning to make a bunk bed from two regular kids' beds and looking for ideas how to connect two bed legs so that the result would be aesthetically pleasing, as well as constructionally sound. ...
4
votes
1answer
961 views

Are railroad ties suitable for a retaining wall under tree canopy?

This video shows a sharp cliff near my house that leads down to a stream. The drop is about 20 feet. I would like to build a 4' high retaining wall right around where you see a stack of dead branches. ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I handle a deck beam member that's slightly shorter than the others?

So, I had a load of wood delivered a few days ago for a deck build. With the beams, I have one board that is about 1/4" smaller in width than the others. What is the right way to deal with this?...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

I'm building a Deck. Is it cheaper to buy wood from a mill rather than a box store like Home Depot?

I'm building a Deck. Is it cheaper to buy wood from a mill rather than a box store like Home Depot? Are there any benefits to choosing one over the other? Should I expect to see better quality from a ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

How to saw inground lumber

My townhouse has some outdoor stairs built out of 6" x 8" lumber. A couple of the steps are rotten and I need to change the lumber. There is also a perpendicular long piece of lumber that crosses ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Baseboard lumber choices for staining

I am in the process of selecting lumber for my baseboards. My flooring is prefinished maple, dark red/brown, stained, looks great. I was thinking about also smooth finished but not stained maple but ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

A-Frame Bracket for 4x8 swing beam

I would like to build the A-frame swing structure. One end of the beam attaches to the playhouse. The other end is the A-frame and I plan to use 4x8x12 treated lumber as the beam since I already ...
3
votes
1answer
38k views

Is 90mm x 45mm a metric 4x2?

This is similar to this question about metric measurements. In Australia, a common measurement is 90mm x 45mm for timber. A 4x2 would be (approx) 100mm x 50mm but, as I understand it, that is the ...
3
votes
1answer
361 views

Framing a non-load bearing basement wall - are plates required to be a single piece?

Are either top or bottom plates required to be 1 continuous piece of lumber? If it's not required, what is the best way to attach the separate sections; a lapping piece over the top of the joint?
3
votes
2answers
783 views

Dimensional treated yellow pine lumber, non-standard widths?

I ordered lumber from Lowes for building deck beams, but now I realize after putting up the beam that while they are all level, the boards are of slightly different widths. Of the 2x10 boards I had ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Which lumber to use to rip my own molding?

I need to rip some custom sized molding on my table saw. Which is the best kind of lumber to use? I imagine plain 1x Spruce-pine-fir (SPF) is not the best choice.
3
votes
2answers
19k views

Rain Got To Untreated Wood Furniture Project - What to Do?

I've been building a bedframe from unfinished wood on my deck (due to lack of indoor workspace), and tarping it off at night to protect it. Apparently I did a poor job last night though, as the wind ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I keep the top of my dog ear fence level when the ground slopes?

I've been working on a privacy fence for our yard. I purchased individual 1x6 dog ear PT fence pickets and cut them accordingly to fit the contour of the yard. However, at one point the yard slops ...
2
votes
3answers
16k views

Without using dowels, how do I join 2x4s edge to edge to be 1.5“ x 7”?

I am trying to join a 2x4 supporting a workbench tabletop to another to make a backsplash of sorts. Any ideas how to do this without dowels? (No, I can't use 2x8)
2
votes
1answer
191 views

What is/was tunneling into this 2x4?

I have a piece of scrap 2x4 lumber that I was planning to use until I saw these little tunnel markings. Any idea what insect/creature made them? And is there any way to tell if it's still infested? ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

I spend long time in picking lumber. What do you look for when selecting boards?

I typically spend very long time in front of the lumber aisles inspecting boards. Many times I end up not getting anything after all because I thought all boards are imperfect. I see pros spent few ...
2
votes
2answers
367 views

New Pressure Treated boards are wider than existing ones

I am adding to a deck that is framed with 2"x10" beams and joists. I bought new Pressure Treated boards to add to it, but have found that the new boards are 9-7/16" versus the 9-1/4&...
2
votes
2answers
335 views

55g aquarium dimensional lumber support

I know there are a lot of questions on here questioning the weight bearing capabilities of dimensional lumber but this seems like such a specific scenario since the load is static and completely even. ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How to remove nails from 6 x 8 lumber

My townhouse has some outdoor stairs built out of 6" x 8" lumber (i.e., the first step is comprised of two pieces of lumber (with no "nosing")). A couple of the steps are rotten and I need to change ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it necessary or recommended to kerf baseboard?

I've been told that baseboard, unless done so already by the sawmill, should be kerfed before installation to prevent warping in the future. Is that really necessary or just a good thing to do? I ...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

Inexpensive ideas to extend the height of my fence cinderblock wall outdoors

I live in the desert and a local bud of mine used landscape grade timbers that he attached vertically onto the cinderblock wall every 8ft. Then he laid outdoor rated privacy fabric over the timbers ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are my joists smaller than standard size?

I was preparing to replace a cantilevered rim joist on my house today. I bought a 2x10 treated board to replace it. I cut a piece to use as blocking and found that the board was much wider than the ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

How to drill straight hole in 4x8 beam?

I need to drill a 0.5" hole for a big bolt going through 4x8 beam (used in swing). Now I only have the hand drill and no drill press tool (which could be nice). I only need to make 2 holes and they ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Will 2x6 cedar be ok for monkey bar rails?

I'm planning a build of a back yard jungle gym/mini ninja warrior obstacle course and I'm in a bit of a pickle. On the one hand, I don't mind spending more for cedar and I prefer the look, however, ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Preventing swing set legs from sinking

I'm putting together a swing set in my backyard mostly following this Youtube video. I'd like to make sure that the legs of the A-frames don't sink into the ground over time when it rains, etc. What ...
2
votes
1answer
8k views

Can I use two 2x8 beams instead of one 4x8 beam for deck?

I am trying to "optimize" materials purchase when building a deck. So I got two questions: Is two 2x8x16 beams the same as one 4x8x16 beam for deck support? Do I need to bolt / nail them together or ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between LVL 1.9 and 2.0?

A structural engineer gave me a header design using beams made from LVL 1.9. Looking around, I'm seeing more LVL 2.0 available locally. What is the difference?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a name for thin (3/8") redwood/cedar boards for basketweave?

I have to replace a "basketweave" style fence section on my property. The horizontal fence boards in the existing fence sections are 3/8" thick redwood boards (approximately 4" high, 3/8" thick, 8' ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

White specks on framing lumber

I'm asking about advise\idea\help. I'm new home buyer in Austin area TX. I bought a new home in the foundation stage. Now it's in the framing stage. I found that some lumbers (about 4-5) on the first ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

garage storage area project

Thanks for reading my question! I'm trying to setup a storage area in my garage. I have an RV garage which is 14.4 feet tall and no RV so right now it's useless space. I'd like to make a room above ...