AsstChiefMark
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2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:25 am

In the USA, a 2x4 measures 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches. They start out measuring 2 inches by 4 inches, but the drying process shrinks them.

What is this miraculous house framing timber called in other countries and what are its dimensions?

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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:44 am

...got the day off Mark?  rotfl   duck 
 
Klaus
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:08 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Thread starter):
What is this miraculous house framing timber called in other countries and what are its dimensions?

We have actual houses - wooden shacks aren't common over here...!  mischievous 
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:08 am

Here we don't usually build houses out of timber, like in the US. Our houses are being built out of bricks, with the basic German standard brick having the dimensions of 24 cm x 11.5 cm x 7.1 cm. Add to this 1 cm for the mortar between the bricks and the layers of bricks. There exist also other standards, like hollowblock bricks 24 cm x 17.5 cm x 11.3 cm or large hollow blocks like e.g. 30 cm x 24 cm x 17.5 cm. On the inside the walls will be covered by a layer of plaster, while the outside will today often by covered by 8 to 15 cm of styrofoam blocks for thermal insulation, which will then be covered by plaster for weatherproofing.

Internal non-load bearing walls are often made up of a frame made of U-sections of galvanised steel sheet metal, which gets attached to the load bearing walls, floor and ceiling by screws. This framework will then be covered on each side by plasterboard sections (after pipes and electrical wires have being installed in the space between, also the space gets filled up with glass wool mats for sound and heat insulation).

Internal ceilings are often cast reinforced concrete slabs, often also made up out of timber.
Roof constructions (except for flat roofs) are often built out of timber and covered, depending on the region either with roofing tiles or slate.
Timber is mostly pine, beams go from 8 cm x 20 cm to 20 cm x 26 cm, what you call framing timber goes between 6 x 10 cm to 18 x 18 cm and the laths used for holding the roof tiles go from 2.4 cm x 2.8 cm to 5 cm x 8 cm.

You'll find the relevant information in the DIN publications of the German standards institute.
See e.g.

There are great regional differences though in house construction in Germany. A house from the northern German plains will look quite different from one in the Bavarian mountains.

Jan

[Edited 2007-03-29 23:26:45]
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Bongodog1964
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:13 am

Here in the UK it depends who you are

if you are the person using it its 4 x 2

If you are the builders merchant selling it its 100 x 50

If you buy 4 x 2 sawn the finish is as rough as hell and the dimensions are 4 x 2

If you buy 4 x 2 PAR (Planed All Round), its the same stuff which has been put through a planer to smooth it off, generally its then about 3 3/4 x 1 3/4.

You can buy "studs" which come in 8 foot lengths specifically for internal partitions these come as 38 x 89 mm which is near enough your 1 1/2 x 3 1/2

Its not the drying that causes the loss, its the planing

The general term in the UK for wooden partitions is studwork, don't ask me why, I just know it is.
 
LY744
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Thread starter):
What is this miraculous house framing timber called in other countries and what are its dimensions?

38 x 89 mm, according to the Ontario Building Code  Wink


LY744.
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Arrow
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:21 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Thread starter):
They start out measuring 2 inches by 4 inches, but the drying process shrinks them.

You might want to check that out. I think the 1.5 X 3.5 is quite deliberate. Wood doesn't shrink that much when it goes through the kiln, and it would ultimately depend on the moisture content of the various saw logs as they go through the mill -- and that is in no way uniform.
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AsstChiefMark
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:25 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 6):

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LY744
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:27 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 6):
You might want to check that out. I think the 1.5 X 3.5 is quite deliberate.

The srhinking is the explanation I was given as well. Although I have also heard theories about how the stud/joist is 1/2" short because it will be covered with a 1/2" piece of drywall. Doesn't make much sense, because:

a) who cares if the wall thickness is a round number?
b) not all drywall is 1/2" thick
c) why is the board also 1/2" short on it's LONG side?
d) there's a good chance the board will have something attached to it on BOTH sides (drywall and drywall, plywood and drywall etc.)

So I'm gonna go with the shrinking as the reason.


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AsstChiefMark
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:43 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
We have actual houses - wooden shacks aren't common over here...!

Well... They're not exactly wooden shacks.  Big grin


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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:56 am

Quoting LY744 (Reply 8):
So I'm gonna go with the shrinking as the reason.

Wanna try explaining why studs are 92.625 inches long and not 96 inches?  Wink
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:58 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 9):
Well... They're not exactly wooden shacks.

They are wooden shacks - just large.
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LY744
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:52 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 10):
Wanna try explaining why studs are 92.625 inches long and not 96 inches

Because those are precut "studs", you can get an actual 8' (96") 2x4 as well. Well we use 2x6's for external walls actually, what with the weather and all. 2x4's internal, 2x8 or 2x10 for floor joists depending on span, 2x6 for ceiling joists. But I digress.

Standard ceiling height in residential dwellings is 8'. But if you use an 8 foot stud, it'll end up being slightly more, because the stud has a cingle plate on the bottom and a doulbe plate on the top (well only load bearing walls really need the double plate, but most of them are in our wooden shacks  Wink ), so that adds 4.5" to the affair. On the other hand, drywall drops the ceiling down by about 1/2", and whatever flooring material is chosen will raise the floor a little bit.

So... 92 5/8" + 4.5" - 1/2" - 5/8" = 96" = 8 foot ceiling


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j_hallgren
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:58 am

It's my understanding that 2x4's used to be actually 2x4 but that changed somewhere in last 50 yrs...and as example, the studs in my cottage built in 1950 are true size...as are the 1x5's used for porch floors, which makes it a PITA to get replacements...I've had to use 5/4x6 decking and trim it to width...since thickness is given as 1-1/4" which actually means it's about 1" thick...
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LY744
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:12 am

Quoting J_Hallgren (Reply 13):
It's my understanding that 2x4's used to be actually 2x4 but that changed somewhere in last 50 yrs...

They started using a different method for drying out the wood, something that gets the job done faster, sometime in the 60's or 70's. That's what I've been told anyways.


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MD11Engineer
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:15 am

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 9):
We have actual houses - wooden shacks aren't common over here...!

Well... They're not exactly wooden shacks. Big grin

this type of building houses becomes more popular here, since it is cheaper than the traditional brick / masonry style, but many people see it just as this... cheap and not good quality, especially using the chip boards on the outside.

Jan
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:40 am

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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:12 am

Quoting Mham001 (Reply 16):
A forest will renew itself far faster than a quarry.

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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:49 am

Quoting LY744 (Reply 12):

aren't you a smartypants.  Wink

Quoting LY744 (Reply 14):
They started using a different method for drying out the wood

They dry the wood?... hell, we get wood on the job site thats still green and still growing.  eek 
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L-188
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:27 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
Our houses are being built out of bricks, with the basic German standard brick having the dimensions of 24 cm x 11.5 cm x 7.1 cm.



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 15):
this type of building houses becomes more popular here, since it is cheaper than the traditional brick / masonry style, but many people see it just as this... cheap and not good quality, especially using the chip boards on the outside.

Up here wood is extremly common as the prefered building material.

Bricks as a general rule do pretty lousy in earthquakes.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:45 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 19):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
Our houses are being built out of bricks, with the basic German standard brick having the dimensions of 24 cm x 11.5 cm x 7.1 cm.



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 15):
this type of building houses becomes more popular here, since it is cheaper than the traditional brick / masonry style, but many people see it just as this... cheap and not good quality, especially using the chip boards on the outside.

Up here wood is extremly common as the prefered building material.

Bricks as a general rule do pretty lousy in earthquakes.

You are right that brick walls tend to collapse during earth quakes (just look at any demolition of a brick building). The purpose of the mortar is not to glue the bricks together, but to distribute the load equally by filling up gaps.
Actually the house I currently live in has a wooden framework, which has been then filled up with bricks, nobody builds a house like this anymore, because nobody could pay the carpenter's bill, but it has been standing now since more than 100 years (it used to be a farm). The roof is covered with slate, which is a very common material around here (almost every village in the region used to have it's own small slate mine).
The house has been thoroughly modernised about 10 years ago, including double glazed windows, 10 cm styrofoam insulation on the outside and a modern propane heating system.

In an earthquake zone I also would prefer a house with an elastic framework, which does not depend on weight to keep standing.
But if you build a house from whatever material, build it properly and not too cheap. For example most modern houses I have seen in Ireland are just slapped together out of hollow blocks and plasterboard. They are not very well insulated and the quality of work is not very good.
Build a house out of wood, but build it correctly and not like some wooden housses I have seen over here.

Jan
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L-188
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:55 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 20):
The purpose of the mortar is not to glue the bricks together, but to distribute the load equally by filling up gaps.

Yeah, we go with the cinder blocks up here and even then after they are mortared together concrete and rebar is put in the void spaces to bind it all together.

Wood stick construction at least sways a bit and has some give to it.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 20):
Actually the house I currently live in has a wooden framework, which has been then filled up with bricks,

You are describing timber beam construction and you are right it was very common, in your part of the work a wicker web would be woven in between the frames and then an "adobe" applied to the outside to weatherproof it. When I was based out of Illiesheim some of the buildings built in that method where still standing 600 years later.

The slick way to do it these days is to use an insulated panel. in the beam system. No seams for air to infiltrate, OSB on the outside and drywall on the inside and you can get them in 6", 8", 10" thicknesses.
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bhmbaglock
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:22 pm

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Thread starter):
They start out measuring 2 inches by 4 inches, but the drying process shrinks them.

It's actually a variety of factors that have over time reduced the size. The amount of material historically removed by planing is more significant than shrink though. Today the amount of material lost to shrink and the kerf(thickness of the saw blade) is very small. Computerized drives, electronic scanning of the log/optimization, and modern alloys for the blades have made a big difference.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Thread starter):
What is this miraculous house framing timber called in other countries and what are its dimensions?

In my experience, the most common sizes in metric countries are 35x70 and 35x90. 35x120 is the typical substitute for 2x6 and 45x90 is fairly common as well for heavier load bearing conditions.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 4):
Its not the drying that causes the loss, its the planing

As mentioned above, it's both.

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 10):
Wanna try explaining why studs are 92.625 inches long and not 96 inches?

1/2" flooring allowance
96" 2 widths of sheetrock
5/8" typical ceiling rock thickness

-4.5" for bottom plate, top plate, and very top plate

Note that 104 5/8" studs are nearly as common these days to work with 54" stretch rock and 9' ceilings.
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LY744
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting YooYoo (Reply 18):
aren't you a smartypants

Smartypants in training. Maybe someday I'll become a licensed one.  Wink

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 20):
Actually the house I currently live in has a wooden framework, which has been then filled up with bricks, nobody builds a house like this anymore, because nobody could pay the carpenter's bill, but it has been standing now since more than 100 years (it used to be a farm).

Sounds a lot like many commercial buildings that are built around here. Only instead of wood beams they use steel ones, and fill in the (large) gaps with blocks, bricks, framed walls with stucco on the outside, windows, or whatever else is practical/aesthatically pleasing.


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WSOY
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:06 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
Here we don't usually build houses out of timber, like in the US.

In Finland I see quite often houses being built out of "straight stuff" (my literal translation). There's a big wood prefab industry here, but you may be able to beat their prices (which have gone up and up) and have a design freedom of your own as well.
Only I think the builders here employ far more diagonal members in the structure than what is shown in the originator's picture. A "two-fours" still goes as a building term, although even the salespeople talk has gone metric in this respect.

[Edited 2007-03-30 23:07:09]
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bhmbaglock
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RE: 2x4 Lumber In Other Countries?

Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:33 am

Quoting WSOY (Reply 24):
Only I think the builders here employ far more diagonal members in the structure than what is shown in the originator's picture. A "two-fours" still goes as a building term, although even the salespeople talk has gone metric in this respect.

The diagonals you see in the picture are temporary bracing that will be removed. Standard practice here is to use plywood/OSB and sheetrock rather than diagonal bracing. Unless you are getting into a severe loading situation, i.e. multiple story commercial and/or high wind or earthquake area, you just won't see permanent diagonal bracing except in low end construction where non-structural sheathing is used. Most permanent diagonal bracing used today will be metal rather than wood as well.

Finland is absolutely the home of innovation in the pre-fab building industry. Companies like Makron have come up with some absolutely amazing technologies over the years.
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