real wood sizes

Board Size                             Actual Size

1 x 2                                                             ¾ x 1 ½

1 x 3                                                              ¾ x 2 ½

1 x 4                                                              ¾ x 3 ½

1 x 6                                                              ¾ x 5 ½

1 x 8                                                              ¾ x 7 ¼

1 x 10                                                              ¾ x 9 ¼

1 x 12                                                             ¾ x 11 ¼

2 x 2                                                               1½ x 1 ½

2 x 4                                                              1 ½ x 3 ½

2 x 6                                                              1 ½ x 5 ½

2 x 8                                                              1 ½ x 7 ¼

2 x 10                                                              1 ½ x 9 ¼

2 x 12                                                             1 ½ x 11 ¼

This chart will help you pick out wood and determine what the finished size will be. The reason the sizes are so different is because the board size is taken from the wood when it was first cut. As it dries, the wood shrinks until it becomes its actual size. Ahh, makes sense, right? When shopping, there will be three numbers associated for a board, for example, 2 x 4 x 8. The first number represents the thickness, the second is for the width, and the third tells you how long the board is. So, this one is two inches thick by four inches wide by eight feet long.

When picking out your boards be very…well, picky! Knowing and understanding how to choose the right board takes a good eye and a little digging. You don’t want to use anything that is curved or bent. Take a board and tilt it up to eye level and look down the length of it. If it’s straight put it on your cart. If it has a curve or twist in it put it back and keep looking.

I’ve been known to make a huge pile on the ground as I’m in the process of finding the right one. Just be sure you stack them back up! You don’t want to be THAT customer.

Remember, you don’t want to use any that have cracks or gouges in it either.

When you bring them home make sure you stack them flat on the ground to keep them flat if you don’t plan on using them right away. If you get boards that are still damp you should spread them out to dry for a couple of weeks.

You’ve been schooled, now do me proud and pick those beautiful boards!