A Real 2x6


Old 08-09-06, 12:35 AM
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A Real 2x6

I'm planning on building a shed and have a pile of lumber we salvaged from demolishing the conductor's house by the rail yard (built in 1893). The wood is in good shape. The lumber is fully 2" by 6" rather than modern lumber dimensions. I have information on joist spans for modern redwood 2x6 and 2x8 and I was wondering if there's any reason I couldn't consider one of these old 2x6s to be equivalent to a modern 2x8 since the amount of wood, given a cross section, is essentially the same...
it's for an 8x12 shed floor, no permit needed.
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Old 08-09-06, 06:15 AM
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Unless you plan to stack the shed plumb full of heavy items your 2x6's should be fine. I have always figured a saw mill 2x6 [full size] was equivalent to a store bought 2x6 [5.25x7.25] although I have no data to support it.

Be sure to use PT lumber anywhere the wood will be in contact with the ground or masonary.
Old 08-09-06, 07:52 PM
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I read an article several years ago where someone tested the difference between old and modern lumber. I can't remember the details but basically the old stuff was better. The old wood's growth rings were much closer together because old growth lumber grew in the forest competing with other trees where modern farm raised lumber grows much faster and it's growth rings are spaced further apart and since the wood is growing faster each "rings worth" is not as dense/strong.

I have tried to drive nails into hundred year old yellow pine lumber and it was not fun and in some spots I had to masonry/concrete nails.

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