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  • Q: What is 8/4 stock?

    I recently had a question from a reader about what we meant by 8/4 stock in a recent Fine Woodworking magazine article. This is a very common question so I thought it would be helpful to post an answer here the in the Start Woodworking QA forum as well.

    Most hardwood lumber purchased at the lumber yard is rough cut, meaning it hasn’t been planed, so the thickness can vary. This is what the “nominal” numbers mean; the “actual” numbers might vary:

    4/4 means it is roughly 1” thick – the actual measurement might be anywhere between 7/8” and 1-1/16” thick, for example.
    5/4 is roughly 1 1/4” thick
    6/4 is roughly 1 1/2” thick
    8/4 is roughly 2” thick
    10/4 is roughly 2 1/2” thick
    and so on

    So, if your project calls for a 1-3/4” thick piece of lumber you might want to get 8/4 stock so after you plane it you have the correct thickness. Remember to bring your tape measure and measure the thickness as well as the length and width.



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