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What is Dimensional Lumber?

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Row of Studs - These Studs are Dimensional Lumber

Row of Studs - These Studs are Dimensional Lumber

Copyright Lee Wallender; Licensed to About.com
Definition: Dimensional Lumber is lumber that is cut to certain pre-defined sizes. This type of lumber is sawn, planed, and smoothed (though not always smoothed) and ready for building applications.

The most common type of dimensional lumber is the 2x4 (two-by-four). Due to the thickness of the saw, the 2x4 is not 2 inches wide, 4 inches deep but is 1 1⁄2 in × 3 1⁄2 in (38 mm × 89 mm).

Dimensions are only given to the width and depth. Thus, a 2x4 board can be 8 feet long, 10 feet long, 12 feet, and so on, but the length is never figured into the dimensions.

Also Known As: cut lumber, finished lumber

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