LumberJocks

All Replies on Is there a standard sequence for writing measurements ?

  • Advertise with us
View OldBull's profile (online now)

Is there a standard sequence for writing measurements ?

by OldBull
posted 09-25-2020 07:14 PM


20 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10785 posts in 4562 days


#1 posted 09-25-2020 07:23 PM

I write thickness first, then width, then length. Even in the case of a wood panel wider than it is long I can tell which way the grain is going that way. Sometimes I write thickness last. I’ll write W and L often as well, at least once on a piece of paper to remind myself that’s the format I’m using.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

4124 posts in 2136 days


#2 posted 09-25-2020 08:20 PM

No standard that I’m aware of, consistency is the key.

Most engineering drawings will/would say “all dimensions are in inches, L x W x T/D unless otherwise noted”
Woodworking plans often have the cut lists that would say “3/4” stock, dimensions are length x width”. Of course in these lists often you will see every dimension shown with the format “3” L x 4” W x 3/4” T”
That “noted” part means that when a dimension is called out in the drawing (like an angle or arrow pointing to a dado), there would be a notation saying what that dimension represents, i.e. 1/4” wide dado, 1/8” deep).

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6208 posts in 3223 days


#3 posted 09-25-2020 09:15 PM

Not on this forum.

What Loren said.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Sycamoray's profile

Sycamoray

26 posts in 154 days


#4 posted 09-25-2020 09:24 PM

I don’t write them on the same line. I draw a little isometric angle thingie and label each leg. Yes, that means I might end up with a lot of little scribbles, but each one is labeled and almost idiot-proof.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6208 posts in 3223 days


#5 posted 09-25-2020 09:28 PM

Go to the lumber yard and tell the counter person you want 10 4×2 x 10

Or you want 10 2×4 x10

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View SMP's profile

SMP

2860 posts in 820 days


#6 posted 09-25-2020 11:58 PM

When ordering stuff from china you are lucky to get the 3 main measurements at all. Sometimes looking at stuff online I am thinking there is no way those are the measurements. Then I look at the Q&A and luckily a lot of times people clear up what the measurements actually are. No standard I have ever seen unless dealing with same company.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1813 posts in 1502 days


#7 posted 09-26-2020 12:58 AM

I order 5 8’ 2×4s on the materials notation.

Different things have different units.

Rough lumber thickness is in quarters: 4/4, 6/4, 8/4. Board feet is always based on the rough dimension. Widths are usually multiples of 2”.

Finished lumber is given as nominals, 2×4, 2×8, etc. But it is known that the actual dims are 1-1/2” x 3-1/2”. The nominal dim can be used for bf calculations but the actual dims cannot.

Build drawings have the final dims: 5/8” x 3-3/8” x 17-1/2”.

Doors are measured by feet and inches so a 32” wide door is 2-8 (pronounced “two-eight”)

A 36” door is 3-0 (three-oh) and this causes endless confusion as folx think “three-oh” means 30” – which it doesn’t.

Rough and finish lumber tend to have the length as the first digits because that’s how lumber yards sort, by length.

Final dims are generally listed by thickness first, again because this is how stock is sorted.

There are no absolute rules. In England they call a 2×4 a “four by two”. Both are correct.

Board feet math is easy in your head if you know the trick. None of this multiply the inches and divide by 144 crap. Memorize this:

  • 2” = 1/6 board feet per lineal foot
  • 3” = 1/4 bf per lf
  • 4” = 1/3 bf per lf
  • 6” = 1/2 bf per lf
  • 8” = 2/3 bf per lf
  • 10” = 5/6 bf per lf
  • 12” = 1 bf per lf

So an 8’ 2×4 is 2×1/3 bf/lf or 2/3 bf per 8 lf = 16/3 bf or 5 1/3 bf.

A 8’ 1×6 = 8×1/2 bf/lf or 4bf.

A monster beam that is 12’ 4×8 = 4×2/3 bf/lf or 8/3 bf/lf x 12 lf = 96/3 bf or 32bf

It seems complicated but in practice you can measure bf and closely estimate costs in your head faster than the counterman can enter it into the calculator.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1135 posts in 1093 days


#8 posted 09-26-2020 01:09 AM

In the furniture world most go
W x D x HT. But there is not a standard.

When I design a case piece, I like to make a story board front to back. It will include dimensions, joinery, etc. writing it out for some reason helps me think through the processes needed to make it.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6208 posts in 3223 days


#9 posted 09-26-2020 01:16 AM



I order 5 8 2×4s on the materials notation.

Different things have different units.

Rough lumber thickness is in quarters: 4/4, 6/4, 8/4. Board feet is always based on the rough dimension.

Finished lumber is given as nominals, 2×4, 2×8, etc. But it is known that the actual dims are 1-1/2” x 3-1/2”.

Build drawings have the final dims: 5/8” x 3-3/8” x 17-1/2”.

Doors are measured by feet and inches so a 32” wide door is 2-8 (pronounced “two-eight”)
A 36” door is 3-0 (three-oh) and this causes endless confusion as folx think “three-oh” means 30” – which it doesn t.

Rough and finish lumber tend to have the length as the first digits because that s how lumber yards sort, by length.

Final dims are generally listed by thickness first, again because this is how stock is sorted.

There are no absolute rules. In England the call a 2×4 a “four by two”. Both are correct.

- Madmark2

England???? Like Quigley said “We already run the misfits outta our country. We sent ‘em back to England.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1813 posts in 1502 days


#10 posted 09-26-2020 01:23 AM

don’t let lbd hear you talk like that! Lol

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6208 posts in 3223 days


#11 posted 09-26-2020 01:36 AM

Never in my life have I heard a trades person call a 2×4 anything but a 2×4 other than calling it a stud.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Eric's profile

Eric

711 posts in 787 days


#12 posted 09-26-2020 02:19 AM

Good comments. I will to try an remember the board foot (mentioned) lumber, yes standard measurements. As it was mentioned doors are in feet, but try to explain the swing to someone can be difficult for them to understand. When I measure windows it always the width first then the height.

-- Eric, building the dream

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

1813 posts in 1502 days


#13 posted 09-26-2020 02:54 AM

Windows also have a lite count like 6/1 or 4/4 (six panes over one pane, four panes over four panes).

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6642 posts in 1488 days


#14 posted 09-26-2020 04:17 AM



No standard that I m aware of, consistency is the key.

- splintergroup

Bruce nailed it. Consistency.

Think it over for a while, you probably have in your mind what you do automatically. Big thing is, make it something that is comfortable, and makes sense to you. Type it out, and make the font huge. Copy it, have it laminated, and hang it on the shop wall. After a while you won’t need to look at it, but for a bit it may not immediately come to mind, you have it pre-written down.

-- Think safe, be safe

View HodgeDianne's profile

HodgeDianne

5 posts in 64 days


#15 posted 09-26-2020 04:48 AM

I’ve always used the H x W x D order.

View Spaceballs's profile

Spaceballs

9 posts in 61 days


#16 posted 09-26-2020 05:23 AM

There is no standard because the industry is so varied. That’s like going into a big box store and asking for the standard plumbing pipe to hook up my sink, that animal doesn’t exist. In the softwood framing lumber industry, everybody uses 2’x4’x8’ so that’s T” x W” x L ’. Now go order a door from Weyerhaeuser and they are going to list the dimensions W x L x T and it will look something like 2’-8” W x 6’-8” H x 1 3/4” T and somebody in the Hardwood lumber industry might use something entirely different to show their lumber sizes so there is no industry standard because there is too much variety in the industry. * The main thing is, when you are working on your your project and you are trying to get your cut sizes or inventory of goods, whatever it is you are trying to do, keep it simple and convert down to the simplest common item, like all inches. forget about the feet – inch dimensions, like 4’-3”, just convert that to 51 inches and save yourself a lot of headache and problems. Use inches and not Feet and Inches together when figuring your cut sizes or product amounts.

-- Mark of Dixie Woodcraft

View OldBull's profile (online now)

OldBull

256 posts in 210 days


#17 posted 09-26-2020 11:46 AM

Thanks everyone.

View Bstrom's profile

Bstrom

205 posts in 87 days


#18 posted 09-26-2020 01:16 PM



I write thickness first, then width, then length. Even in the case of a wood panel wider than it is long I can tell which way the grain is going that way. Sometimes I write thickness last. I ll write W and L often as well, at least once on a piece of paper to remind myself that s the format I m using.

- Loren


While I agree with that convention as a default based on construction dimensioning, it makes sense when writing descriptive copy that we add D, W and L after each figure to remain clear. Just sayin’...

-- Bstrom

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1749 posts in 2644 days


#19 posted 09-26-2020 01:54 PM


* The main thing is, when you are working on your your project and you are trying to get your cut sizes or inventory of goods, whatever it is you are trying to do, keep it simple and convert down to the simplest common item, like all inches. forget about the feet – inch dimensions, like 4 -3”, just convert that to 51 inches and save yourself a lot of headache and problems. Use inches and not Feet and Inches together when figuring your cut sizes or product amounts.

- Spaceballs

Thanks, Spaceballs. You nailed it exactly like it should be done. T x W x L. I learned that 65 years ago, at 8 years old. As far as doors as windows, take your dims to whoever you’re gonna have supply them and they will make the fit.

Engineering and Aviation go by tenths of an inch. That’s a little tough when you’re working with 16ths and don’t have have the proper tape or ruler, but it’s doable.

For woodworking, I’ve found dimensions can vary about 1/64th. The eye can’t perceive anything less. ...... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View Eric's profile

Eric

711 posts in 787 days


#20 posted 09-27-2020 12:25 AM

Now add in centimeters, some cabinet shops build them that way. Easy to add once you get the hang of it.

True with windows, about the grids.

Doors also have the jam thickness too.

-- Eric, building the dream

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com