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Thread: DIY Lumber Tips and Advice

  1. #31
    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Do any of you have any advice on getting true measurements if using 2x4's ? Typically they are not well edged and more rounded by design. It use to always frustrate me that you setup your measurements and then when the stand is built, you find it's off by a long shot because the wood wasn't really 1.5 inches x 3.5 inches. I usually find that the width can vary as you go down the length of the board, so some parts might be 1.5 and other parts might be more or less, a real PITA. This is one of the main reason why I chose to go with smaller sized 1x nicer wood at a higher price, that and having to sift through a hundred 2x4's, just to fine one decent one, not a very fun experience.

    I was thinking if perhaps I extended or overshoot the width and length, that way even though the stand might be off in the measurements, the tank would fit in the top center. I would prefer to have true measurements though, it's always funny when you have to tell someone the dimensions, well it's not actually 24 inches wide it's kind of 24" on one end and 27 on the other end. lol

  2. #32
    DIYFK member GeoJB's Avatar


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    The old adage of measure twice cut once, comes to mind.
    Cut your lumber at the site of the construction.

    Not trying to sound snarkey.

    Depends on the equipment and talent you have. ME? I have the equipment but, not much talent. When ever I am making something, I always think out loud. Drives My wife crazy. and it will always take twice as long as originally thought. And I still sscrew stuff up......

    What part of town you live in? If your near by, I'd be willing to help.

    I just saw your other thread, "quick stand" You did fine. Sanded plywood and molding, you will have a very nice stand. for you 90.
    Last edited by GeoJB; 02-06-2013 at 05:02 AM.

  3. #33
    DIYFK member kyle6185's Avatar


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    Hey Kraken, when I worked construction it was mostly with aluminum, however the cut concepts were the same, never trust beam sizes, always measure and then adjust. Everything was always changing from the blue prints as the beam sizes were slightly different. You always want to take your over all constructed length and subtract the lengths you can not change and make your cut based upon that size. Another word of advice, always make sure your saw is square before you start cutting. As another rule of thumb, I always cut the edge just to make sure when i pull my tape, It is not pulling from an edge that is fractions of an inch too long or too short. Those fractions add up to an uneven fit.

  4. #34
    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by kyle6185 Click here to enlarge
    Hey Kraken, when I worked construction it was mostly with aluminum, however the cut concepts were the same, never trust beam sizes, always measure and then adjust. Everything was always changing from the blue prints as the beam sizes were slightly different. You always want to take your over all constructed length and subtract the lengths you can not change and make your cut based upon that size. Another word of advice, always make sure your saw is square before you start cutting. As another rule of thumb, I always cut the edge just to make sure when i pull my tape, It is not pulling from an edge that is fractions of an inch too long or too short. Those fractions add up to an uneven fit.
    exactly what I was going to say, was measure from the sides not the edge, if I can I try to buy 2x4" with straight corners as opposed to the rounded edge, also for the same reason as you can't always get an accurate measure of the those corners.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

  5. #35
    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Divinehammer Click here to enlarge
    exactly what I was going to say, was measure from the sides not the edge.
    What do you mean by measure from the sides, as in each end or the thickness only? I wish I had the skills to redo wood but I don't have the skills or the tools. Only a trusty miter saw and a circular handsaw that I dare not touch ever again lol The stand frame length and width would basically determine the length/width of the plywood that sits on top. If the frame happens to be off then by adding extra to the plywood measurements it should be fine I think. I'm still debating whether to use 2x4, trying to save some money and they are dirt cheap.

  6. #36
    Divine Moderator Divinehammer's Avatar


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    when you get your 2x4" measure from the flat parts of it not the corners it will give you a more accurate thickness of the 2x4" as not all manufactures make the 2x4" the exact same thickness. I always check my wood first then adjust my measurements accordingly the 1.5x 3.5 is a good starting point for ball parking measurements on the plans.
    Canadian Pleco lover! Soon to be built DIY 2000 Gallon RTC tank, Go Big Or Go Home!

  7. #37
    DIYFK member ThriftyFish's Avatar


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    ya, 2x4s are probably the worst for consistency, especially if you get the really cheap econostuds. definitely not meant for woodworking endeavors. but if your patient and can deal with the inconsistencies cut by cut they can pay off. pay close attention near the factory ends as these are usually the most whacky due to the first couple inches not being fed into the planers perfectly strait.

  8. #38
    DIYFK member Kordova's Avatar


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    Excellent thread!! Haha, any tips I would share have already been stated, and it seems I learnt a few things too!! I defiantly enjoy working with wood so I usually jump at the chance to build something (only when it's warm outside or in a shop) Being on Vancouver Island it tends to rain almost everyday of the year, not really in the summer but that's only a couple months.


  9. #39
    Banned kracken's Avatar


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    Found this very handy guide on how to measure and mark, it's in .pdf format.

    http://barelybad.com/HabitatKC/measu...ureAndMark.PDF

  10. #40
    DIYFK member Stryf's Avatar


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    nice guide

  11. #41
    DIYFK member PreposterousFish's Avatar


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    with screwing as divine mentioned the pilot hole is a must so timber dosnt split and u can use a clearance hole thats bigger than the thread of the screw so your top piece actualy pulls together with the peice your screwing it too
    Can you explain this a little more. I always drill my holes slightly smaller than the screw. I don't understand how if the hole is bigger the screw would have anything to grab onto. Maybe I just misunderstood?

    Also, does anybody ever just use self tapping screws?

  12. #42
    DIYFK member Dasasa's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PreposterousFish Click here to enlarge
    Can you explain this a little more. I always drill my holes slightly smaller than the screw. I don't understand how if the hole is bigger the screw would have anything to grab onto. Maybe I just misunderstood?

    Also, does anybody ever just use self tapping screws?
    When screwing two items together (ei. item1 into item2) , drill the hole thru item1 into item2 at a smaller size than your screw. Then with the drilled hole still lined up run a slightly larger drill bit thru item1(clearance hole) , that way your screw can best draw the 2 pieces together.
    Using Tapatalk

  13. #43
    DIYFK member Count_Sudoku's Avatar


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    Measure twice. Cut once. Little errors quickly add up and become big errors. The more accurate you are with each cut and the straighter the board, the less headache you will have later during assembly.

    Build a track jig for your skill saw.

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