Board silly

I recently argued with a guy over availability of lumber. He said 24’ 2x4s were common; I thought not, and more or less said you’d never find one. Looks like I lose.

And boy howdy, do I hate to lose. Posting the question on one of the woodworking forums, I quickly learned that there were a number of sources for 2x4s that length. To be sure, at most of these places a 2×4 24’ long was something they had to special order or custom make; far fewer places actually have them as a stock item. You’re certainly not going to hop down to your local Big Box store, grab a few and toss them in the back of the pickup.

So naturally, the old talk show host in me can easily twist the facts around and present them in such a way as to convince the guy that I was right and he was wrong. I mean, they’re anything but common, and in my rebuttal I’m sure I can bamboozle him to forget that I used phrases like, “They don’t exist, you idiot.”

But, exist they do if you really want one. The question that hits me then is why would you ever want a 2×4 that’s 24’ long? A 2×10 or 2×8, sure, I can see that. Maybe even a 2×6. But what use would there be for a 2×4 that long? Seems to me that it’d snap under its own weight. And if it didn’t, I can’t imagine handling one without it flopping around like a limp piece of fettuccini. It’d take three evenly spaced guys to carry it just to keep it from sagging to the ground. (The mental image reminds me of a bunch of guys holding a giant boa constrictor at full length for a newspaper photo taken at the zoo.)

But for what truly practical purpose would you have for a 2×4 that long?

Discuss.

Till next time,

A.J.

COMMENTS

  1. Thomas Skaggs wrote:

    Considering the density of fast growth 2X material I doubt you could lift a 24′ 2X4 without it snapping under it’s own weight! They don’t make ‘em like they used to….literally.

  2. Doug Bittinger wrote:

    Scissor roof trusses. They use W shaped bracing to support the rafter so smaller dimension lumber can be used.

  3. Allan Douglas wrote:

    I agree with him.

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