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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Carryover from another forum.
    Lowe's judgement in Calf suit dealing with dimensional lumber and signage.

    In short it seem Lowe's was wacked for signage on products that didn't meet Calf standards. It also seems it may be the issue of comparing apples to donuts. Effectively comparing 2x4 wood to 2x4 composite dimensions, at least that is what I have gleamed from all that I have found on case, and the use of what a supplier provides as description of their product.

    Calf. is out to protect us from our selves again in what seems like a really stupid area of concern. What is the dimensions of a 2x4? My interpenetration is that it boils down to Dumber meeting Dumbest .

    Really think it's just a pissy little bureaucrat looking to obtain a gold star to justify their job.

    Marin Co press release.

    Lowe's Settles Civil Consumer Protection Action


    The final judgement :
    http://cdnassets.hw.net/8f/fa/17292a...-judgement.pdf


    http://www.sbcmag.info/news/2014/sep...fret-using-2x4

    "The complaint, flied in the Superior Court of California for Marin County, referred to advertising of dimenstional products on in-store shelf tags, flyers, signage, newspapers and on the Internet.
    The accepted actual size of a softwood 2x4 is 1.5 in. x 3.5 in. ?In other words, if the 2x4 measured 1 in. by 3 in., then you?d have a problem,? Perez said.
    In California, it?s not permitted to use the same ?nominal? terms to describe composite dimensional products. These composite products require actual dimensions to be used in labeling. "

    "Lowe's spokeswoman said the dimensions of the company's products are not changing -- just the labeling. Using the 2x4 as an example, our products have always measured 1.5 inches x 3.5 inches, said Amanda Manna. The change we are making is that product information will now include the actual dimensions of a product (example, 1.5 inches x 3.5 inches), in addition to the commonly used measurement (example, 2 inches x 4 inches)."


    District Attorney OKs Nominal Lumber Descriptions | Remodeling

    "...problem arose when California inspectors found that Lowe's advertised dimensional building products under nominal descriptions when they didn't actually fit the standards set forth by the NIST. Some of those descriptions, …were provided to Lowe's by the manufacturers or other suppliers of the lumber."

    "...if a dimensional building product fails to meet the NIST nominal standards, or lacks a nominal dimension standard—as is the case with composite wood—you must include actual dimensions in the advertisement."

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    "It also seems it may be the issue of comparing apples to donuts. Effectively comparing 2x4 wood to 2x4 composite dimensions,"

    What's the problem with that case? Looks reasonable to me.

    Would you want to go into DD and order a dozen donuts and discover, when you get out to the car to eat one, that they gave you apples instead?

    Except that in that case the apples would would have been the same size and shape as the donuts and have the same hole in the middle ... the difference would be when you bit into one and ... it was an apple, not a donut - just like composite lumber is not the same stuff as sawn lumber is.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    I guess I was ripped off when I bought plywood that was not the exact thickness advertised?
    The lawsuit is just a truck load of BS IMHO.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I guess I was ripped off when I bought plywood that was not the exact thickness advertised?
    The lawsuit is just a truck load of BS IMHO.
    Plywood and OSB (structural panels) have a standard, and that standard is how plywood is made (number of plies, etc.) and how thick it is.

    Composite lumber (apparently) had no standard - THAT is what created the ruckus.

    Composite lumber not having any standard ... think about that a minute when you plunk down big bucks for it ... no standard means you don't know what you are getting, mixture of actual wood within the composite, width, thickness, etc. - you are at the mercy of the plant manager which produced the product.

    I think that lawsuit has merit and will actually do good as the composite industry may now feel the need to create a standard.

    I'll closes the lid on your box for you ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Composite lumber (apparently) had no standard - THAT is what created the ruckus.

    Composite lumber not having any standard ... think about that a minute when you plunk down big bucks for it ... no standard means you don't know what you are getting, mixture of actual wood within the composite, width, thickness, etc. - you are at the mercy of the plant manager which produced the product.
    So isn't this like the Chicken and the Egg issue , which comes first Standards set and by who ? the manufacture ? , Industry ? .. Seems that industry has set the standard for deceptive product sizing , I worked on a house that was built around 1900 and the studs were rough cut and they were 2" X 4" unlike today where they are 1.5" x 3.5" So what happened , in this case finishing but shouldn't the finish size be what they say it is ?

    I do some what agree some one is looking for a gold star but on the other hand isn't the responsibility of industry to make standards that make sense (in this case I think they did for sizing) but then again we were suppose to go metric by so long ago too , what happened ?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Composite lumber (apparently) had no standard - THAT is what created the ruckus.

    Composite lumber not having any standard ... think about that a minute when you plunk down big bucks for it ... no standard means you don't know what you are getting, mixture of actual wood within the composite, width, thickness, etc. - you are at the mercy of the plant manager which produced the product.
    So isn't this like the Chicken and the Egg issue , which comes first Standards set and by who ? the manufacture ? , Industry ? .. Seems that industry has set the standard for deceptive product sizing , I worked on a house that was built around 1900 and the studs were rough cut and they were 2" X 4" unlike today where they are 1.5" x 3.5" So what happened , in this case finishing but shouldn't the finish size be what they say it is ?

    I do some what agree some one is looking for a gold star but on the other hand isn't the responsibility of industry to make standards that make sense (in this case I think they did for sizing) but then again we were suppose to go metric by so long ago too , what happened ?


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    What bugs me, don't remember if it's Lowe's or HomeDepot, is marking some sheet material in mm or some other nonsense than 4' x 8'. When I'm looking at it I scratch my head---is it actually 4' x 8' or smaller (or larger). Don't always have a calculator with me.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    So isn't this like the Chicken and the Egg issue ,which comes first
    Nope, the product is developed, improved, then the product has a standard developed to which all the product should meet. Kind of difficult to develop a standard for a product one has not yet made or improved upon ...

    Standards set and by who ? the manufacture ? , Industry ? ..
    The various manufacturers get together and form an industry group (association), that association then develops the standard that all product should meet.

    Seems that industry has set the standard for deceptive product sizing , I worked on a house that was built around 1900 and the studs were rough cut and they were 2" X 4" unlike today where they are 1.5" x 3.5" So what happened , in this case finishing but shouldn't the finish size be what they say it is ?
    Not if one has been paying attention to the changing times and the reasons for the sizing changes.

    Sooo ... you would prefer to work with hand hewn 2" by 4" studs? Oh, and you wold prefer to pay $150 per hand hewn 2x4x8' long?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    What bugs me, don't remember if it's Lowe's or HomeDepot, is marking some sheet material in mm or some other nonsense than 4' x 8'. When I'm looking at it I scratch my head---is it actually 4' x 8' or smaller (or larger). Don't always have a calculator with me.
    I suppose this brings us back to another problem, where the US is the ONLY country which does not use the metric system, as standard. And, of course, the only country whose citizens don't have the IQ to instantly convert between units of measure. And this is brought on by Americans' tendency to consider themselves superior to using the metric system.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    I suppose this brings us back to another problem, where the US is the ONLY country which does not use the metric system, as standard. And, of course, the only country whose citizens don't have the IQ to instantly convert between units of measure. And this is brought on by Americans' tendency to consider themselves superior to using the metric system.
    Europeans don't instantly convert between imperial and metric either. They don't use imperial, so there is no need to convert.


  10. #10

    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    This case is all about standards. This article explains it a little more. The problem is that they were advertising a dimensional lumber product yet not conforming to the dimensional standard for what a 2x4 is supposed to be (that pretty much is fraud in my book). In addition they may have been doing some other less than honest practices.


    WCLBMA: Lowe's Case Partly Involves Labeling Non-Wood Products as Wood | Builder Magazine


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Maybe I missed it when skimming the links, but who gets the $1.6 million (other than the legal fees)? The judge? The DAs in the affected counties? Certainly not everyone who has proof of purchasing a 2 x 4? That would probably work out to something like less than a dollar per person.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    I suppose this brings us back to another problem, where the US is the ONLY country which does not use the metric system, as standard. And, of course, the only country whose citizens don't have the IQ to instantly convert between units of measure. And this is brought on by Americans' tendency to consider themselves superior to using the metric system.
    Nooo..... I think that we have had our system so long that it would cost too much to convert everything to the metric system. Think of what needs to be converted---it's not worth the effort. If metric is your baby--sorry. It's not an IQ issue, excuse me if that is the issue in your case however. We tried once. It didn't work. You could not get what you needed to complete a metric measured task. However, I occasionally use it when measuring. There was one federal highway converted to metric in Arizona, but that has been changed back.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Isn't this subject great fun - look at all the issues it digs up

    Who gets the money ?
    US vs World in measuring units ?
    Standards - who sets them and how ?

    Now I just saw a segment on GMA about highway Guard rails being unsafe - There is a lawsuit currently going on because people who have crashed into them lost limbs and are blaming it on the guard rail - what does that have to do with this subject Lawsuits for the sake of making money. I ask myself in this issue what would the result have been if the guard rails had not been there ?

    is a 2 x 4 a description of a piece of lumber or a measurement ?

    Again I will reiterate Bridgemans quote - Who Gets the MONEY

    Reminds me of a Joke , In a divorce who wins Wife or Husband = Neither the Lawyers win


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    Maybe I missed it when skimming the links, but who gets the $1.6 million (other than the legal fees)? The judge? The DAs in the affected counties? Certainly not everyone who has proof of purchasing a 2 x 4? That would probably work out to something like less than a dollar per person.

    $ 1.4 mil goes to Miran Co. as civil penalties
    Page 11 - 12 of http://cdnassets.hw.net/8f/fa/17292adc448980b6eab02fa96fcb/lowes-2x4-final-judgement.pdf




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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    is a 2 x 4 a description of a piece of lumber or a measurement ?
    Both.

    It is a description of its standard's nominal measurement.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    Nooo..... I think that we have had our system so long that it would cost too much to convert everything to the metric system. Think of what needs to be converted---it's not worth the effort.
    There was one federal highway converted to metric in Arizona, but that has been changed back.
    IN 1866 Congress passed the metric system as the standard in the US. Metric masters of weights and measures were provided to each state at that time with intent to convert.

    It is INDUSTRY that is entrenched in the current system. I readily convert mentally most dimensions at least to a "cognizant" degree. Example 20cm is about 8 inches. Notice that 4 inches is 10 cm or 100mm (thickness of concrete) .03937 is 1mm in inches. 40 thousanths of an inch in round numbers. 39.37 inches to the meter. A square meter is 10.7 square feet, round to 10 for easy numbers (remember the 10cm number for volume of concrete in cubic meters but use 9 as 4 inch concrete is generally poured closer to 3.5 inches). Easy stuff really.

    The hardest mental conversion is MPG to kilometers per liter. That confuses a lot of people and the numbers resulting dont make much sense to the average person. Certainly at the pump the cost of fuel would be hard to understand at first.

    To show how close many measurements are, 6mm is very close to 1/4 inch, and 8 mm is very close to 5/16. For screws and bolts the conversion is VERY easy, including resultant strength, elongation and shear forces.

    We will be seeing a lot of metric products now as many products are being made in asia and europe where metric is standard. We will eventually move to metric (as we have in computer hardware industry and other tech industry already). The easiest part of conversion is that almost all manufacturing is now CAD/CAM and the computers only see the geometry, not the dimensions. A simple flick of a radio button dimensions the geometry into either system!

    Hope this helps with the thought process for you that dont use metric at all. The important thing is to gain some reference mentally to approximations of the values between the imperial and metric systems. Dont worry about exact values as you learn it, just think of being close to a number that lets you be aware. As time goes on you will find that you can actually think in metric as well.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post

    Now I just saw a segment on GMA about highway Guard rails being unsafe - There is a lawsuit currently going on because people who have crashed into them lost limbs and are blaming it on the guard rail - what does that have to do with this subject Lawsuits for the sake of making money. I ask myself in this issue what would the result have been if the guard rails had not been there ?
    Actually, having spent most of my professional career working in the highway/transportation business, I've observed many instances of incorrect guardrail installation. The Oregon DOT is particularly bad--came across another one yesterday on an I-5 onramp in Eugene, where a section of steel rail was recently installed with incorrect lap splice, allowing the protruding steel to penetrate a vehicle's passenger compartment in a collision, like a spear. You can believe me when I say cutting someone's foot off is very messy (and expensive) business.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    I suppose this brings us back to another problem, where the US is the ONLY country which does not use the metric system, as standard. And, of course, the only country whose citizens don't have the IQ to instantly convert between units of measure. And this is brought on by Americans' tendency to consider themselves superior to using the metric system.
    Well here in Canada, where we are officially metric all of our building materials are still metric. That includes plumbing, electrical, etc. Why? Well for one reason, if it did not one would have trouble doing renovations, 2X4 still needs to be the same size, ceilings are same height, etc. So all materials are still sold in imperial measurements. Our drywall and plywood is still 4 ft X 8 ft (although the plywood is stamped with metric equivalents).

    As far as conversions, very few would convert. If in building trades, they still use imperial (inch/foot) tapes and measurements. Other items such as retail purchases of goods, fuel, highway speeds or temperatures are typically metric. Most boomers or older may convert, those younger work in metric only typically (other than trades as mentioned).


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Both.

    It is a description of its standard's nominal measurement.
    Which brings up an interesting point. Why isn't a 2" x 4" actually 2" x 4"? If my memory is sound, sometimes it isn't , we were told that the 1/2 inch or so was lost in cutting, finishing or something.

    I think now, and thought then, that that was a load of BS---they want to cut it smaller so they can get more pieces out of the log. If cutting and planing/sanding actually takes a 1/2" off a piece of wood we are doing something wrong.

    Maybe just cutting the rough piece a tad larger to accommodate the finishing process so it ends being a 2" x 4" is just a concept that is too radical for acceptance. Of course this would make it easier for everyone. But we'd have nothing to talk about then.....


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Strangely, rough cut fencing lumber is actually 2"x4" but the 2"x4" framing lumber is 1 5/8" x 3 5/8" or whatever it's metric equivalent is. I'm sure it's to make everything a standard metric size being dimensional lumber is processed, manufactured and shipped all over the world.
    So what do they call 2x4s in metric only countries?


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Strangely, rough cut fencing lumber is actually 2"x4" but the 2"x4" framing lumber is 1 5/8" x 3 5/8" or whatever it's metric equivalent is. I'm sure it's to make everything a standard metric size being dimensional lumber is processed, manufactured and shipped all over the world.
    So what do they call 2x4s in metric only countries?
    I spent many years grading lumber and can tell you why we in Canada still use standard measurements but have adopted the metric system for just about everything else, it's simple, our customer is the US and when 90% (sometimes more) of your product is sold there, you accommodate. That is the reason why we sometimes see a plywood measuring standard and labelled with metric.

    You can still buy dimension lumber measuring exactly 2 inch X whatever but in rough lumber only and green (not kiln dry). For a long time they were the same price, but now it is starting to fall under "special order"

    Milling lumber with machines of today. Boards are cut rough at 1 5/8" (max 1 3/4") They loose 1/16" in drying and 1/16" in the planer.


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    Default Re: What is a 2x4 in Calf.?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    ....another problem, where the US .... the only country whose citizens don't have the IQ to instantly convert between units of measure. And this is brought on by Americans' tendency to consider themselves superior to using the metric system.
    Don't know it's so much IQ as a matter of interest and use. In addition to the concept that rather than fix something yourself you sub it out to be fixed.

    Superior? Why not? The US and their measurement system is the reason that Europe is not called Germany. The tanks that went to Europe were built using imperial measurements, weren't they??? 13/16's rules.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Wells View Post
    Well here in Canada, ..... 2X4 still needs to be the same size, ceilings are same height, etc. So all materials are still sold in imperial measurements. Our drywall and plywood is still 4 ft X 8 ft (although the plywood is stamped with metric equivalents).

    As far as conversions, very few would convert. If in building trades, they still use imperial (inch/foot) tapes and measurements......Most boomers or older may convert, those younger work in metric only typically (other than trades as mentioned).
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    ..........
    So what do they call 2x4s in metric only countries?
    2x4s ?

    Ultimately it may create a group of professionals that, by the ability to work effectively in imperial measurements, will be the highest income group. If only by the fact they can use a complicated measurement system that nobody else understands.....The New Masonic Order of Carpenters might be their name.

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 09-21-2014 at 08:31 AM.

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