Posted on April 2, 2018
For anyone who has created wood projects has come face to face with the “padding” in measurements of common wood stock. There is a well-known saying, measure twice cut once, but there is another one I use that is Measure Accurate, Buy Once, which means be sure to know the actual measurements before going out to the wood supply store so you don't end up with extra, or come up short in the middle of your project or build.
It would be nice to have 2x4 be actually 2x4 but it's 1.5 x 3.5 and everyone knows round numbers are easier to use, but making a bench, cabinets or a desk that need to fit exactly in a spot, you are going to need exact measurements.
When you are studding out a wall, it doesn't really matter a great deal, but when you are building more precise projects, those .5”'s can add up quickly. Thanks to Lee Wallender at The Spruce on putting together an article that explains this is great detail, but here is a cheat sheet that will cover the most common pieces. This should help ensure that your pieces are going to fit and measure up to what you think they should.