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Home Improvement Chains Accused of False Advertising Over Lumber Dimensions (consumerist.com) 548

per unit analyzer writes: According to Consumerist, an attorney has filed a class-action lawsuit charging Home Depot (PDF) and Menards (PDF) with deceptive advertising practices by selling "lumber products that were falsely advertised and labeled as having product dimensions that were not the actual dimensions of the products sold." Now granted, this may be news to the novice DIYer, but overall most folks who are purchasing lumber at home improvement stores know that the so-called trade sizes don't match the actual dimensions of the lumber. Do retailers need to educate naive consumers about every aspect of the items they sell? (Especially industry quirks such as this...) Furthermore, as the article notes, it's hard to see how the plaintiffs have been damaged when these building materials are compatible with the construction of the purchaser's existing buildings. i.e., An "actual" 2x4 would not fit in a wall previously built with standard 2x4s -- selling the something as advertised would actually cause the purchaser more trouble in many cases.
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Home Improvement Chains Accused of False Advertising Over Lumber Dimensions

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  • In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:06PM (#54672325) Homepage Journal

    If you buy a 20GB hard drive, you might only get one with 19GB of free space.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Waffle Iron ( 339739 )

      No, you just think that because some applications on some OSes report the size in asinine GiB units, notwithstanding the fact that no persistent storage device ever made has had any natural relation to 2^20, 2^30, etc.

      It's like if the home center sold you boards that are actually 2 inches by 4 inches in size, but they also gave you a ruler with bogus extra-large inches that made it look like 1.5 X 3.5. (The same rulers would have bogus feet that have slightly more than 12 of those bogus inches, so a calcula

      • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

        by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:44PM (#54672551)

        the fact that no persistent storage device ever made has had any natural relation to 2^20, 2^30, etc.

        How come? Disks use 512/4096 byte sectors, erase blocks of powers of two, etc -- not a single power of 10 around. And non-sleazy manufacturers who provide sizes in actual rather than marketing gigabytes do exist.

        I got an unopened SD card whose back writing includes "1GB = 1,073,741,824"; I remember a few disks that mention their capacity in real giga/terabytes too.

        • Disks use 512/4096 byte sectors

          But they are not restricted to power-of-two sector counts. That would be stupid. What if technology improves enough for a 30% increase in disk size ? Would you want to buy that disk, or do you insist on buying the smaller one, just because it has a power of two ?

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Waffle Iron ( 339739 )

          There is absolutely no power-of-two dependency above the block size, which is typically in the range of 2^9 to 2^`12. As I said, this makes measuring things in 2^20, 2^30 and 2^40 completely useless, especially when you try to mix two or more of those non-decimal multipliers.

          Naming those silly multipliers exactly the same as previously established decimal magnitudes is just icing on the stupidity cake.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by KiloByte ( 825081 )

            What if your filesystem has 1GB block groups, 4MB erase blocks, etc? With real gigabytes it's all nicely aligned. On the other hand, if you use drivemakers' units, either your partitioning program needs to ignore what it's told to do and do large rounding, or, even worse, the user needs to give really unfriendly numbers.

            Not being able to hibernate 8GB ram into 8"GB" disk space is another problem.

            1KB meant 1024 bytes for 70 years, it's no time to break everything just because some marketroid wanted a bonus

            • What if your filesystem has 1GB block groups, 4MB erase blocks, etc?

              Since, like 99.9999% of the population, I'm not a file system developer, I have no idea what the sizes of such implementation details of any of the file systems in any of my devices are. Things like that simply aren't visible or relevant to the end user.

              What is relevant to me are things like how many more 600 MB videos will fit onto my partition with 9 GB of free space. If I had measured those with MiB and GiB, I would need a calculator to figure it out.

              • You don't want the filesystem to be misaligned wrt erase blocks, trust me -- especially on cheap flash. Measuring in actual GB means a naive user will get good performance without any special steps.

                As for those "600MB videos on 9 GB" -- both real MB/GB and those silly millions bytes will be off. The filesystem has to store metadata somewhere. Videos can use large extents so we're talking about a fraction of a percent, but for smaller files the difference can be far bigger. And you really want to err on

        • Hard drives are a sort of exception. The block sizes presented to the interface are powers of two so that they can align with memory sizes, but there is nothing naturally binary in the physical structure of the stored data. It would be no problem to reprogram a drive's interface to view a 4 TB drive as a ~35 trillion bit array, if there was some application for that.

          Disk sizes tend to be funny hybrids. The old 1.44 MB 3.5" floppy had 1440 * 1024 bytes capacity. 2 sides * 80 tracks/side * 18 sectors/trac

        • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday June 23, 2017 @12:27AM (#54673169)

          Look the metric prefixes up: Giga, tera, etc are base 10. Giga means 10^9, not 2^30. They always have, they predated widespread base 2 usage. The standard SI prefixes are for base 10 as that's one of the big ideas behind the SI system is using base 10 for all units.

          Now there are base-2 prefixes that have been introduced, those are Gibi, tebi and so on. If you want to talk base 2 orders of magnitude, you use those.

          However using regular base-10 SI prefixes makes sense since basically everythign else in our computers uses that. When a processor says 3GHz it means 3 billion cycles per second, not 3,221,225,472. When a network is "gigabit" it means 10^9 bits per second, not 2^30. When we say DVDs are sampled at 48kHz we mean 48,000Hz not 49,152Hz. It makes sense to display our storage likewise. About the only area where the base-2 prefixes make sense is RAM, since it is actually sold along base-2 boundaries.

        • "not a single power of 10 around"

          8 megabytes is evenly divisible into 15,625 sectors of 512 bytes each.

          2^3 * 10^6 = 2^3 * (2*5)^6 = 2^3 * 2^6 * 5^6 = 2^(3+6) * 5^6 = 2^9 * 5^6 = 512 * 15625

          The rest follows from there. There is nothing constraining the number of sectors to be any multiple of a power of two. Heck it has been twenty years since the number of sectors per track has been constant across the platter.

          "an unopened SD card"
          Solid-state memory is very much tied to physical array dimensions that are mu

      • notwithstanding the fact that no persistent storage device ever made has had any natural relation to 2^20, 2^30, etc

        I dunno man. Magnetic core seems to be pretty persistent to me. That was back when memory actually remembered things, rather than forgetting them. Today you have NAND Flash and MRAM.

        • Re: In other news (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Magnetic core was X * Y of whatever arbitrary count the array of magnetic core was beaded to. No power of two is required.

      • Re:In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday June 23, 2017 @01:40AM (#54673407)

        No, you're just an idiot. 1 GB has always meant 1,073,741,824 bytes, and it always will.
        GB is not an SI unit. The B (or b) is part of the unit. It is not ambiguous. It absolutely and clearly means 1,073,741,824 bytes.

        Marketers did this shit intentionally in the days of early storage devices. The "oopsie" then was counting sectors and "forgetting" digital storage was measured. The networking engineers of the day properly measured things using powers of 10 because they were talking about baud. The clownshoes generation after them were retarded, and forgot to convert when calculating bandwidth from baud rate and symbol size.

        The fucking shitheel Frenchies at SI tried to take control and hijack existing terms like KB, MB, etc., and force everyone to use stupid shit like KiB and MiB. The problem is that establishing new terms and changing the meaning of existing terms CAUSES the fucking confusion in the first place. Now when you see "MB" you have to wonder: Is the author a fucking retard who uses MB to mean 1,000,000 bytes? If so, did they write this before or after the abomination of MiB?

    • Re:In other news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sdinfoserv ( 1793266 ) on Friday June 23, 2017 @12:33AM (#54673199) Homepage
      Not the same at all:
      A 2x4 used to be a "raw" 2 inches by 4 inches to the center of the saw blade. However you could expect them to be 1/16-1/4 inch short on each dimension due to "curf", which is the width of material removed by the saw blade.
      Those were building standards for 100 years. Today, lumber yards sell 2x4 being 3/4 of an inch short on all dimensions. This allows more boards cut from the raw logs but also cheats the customer out of the full width, breadth and length since they charge the same price. Boards don't match if your remodeling and don't have the strength. The bottom line is mills and yards changed dimensions to get more money for less lumber. When you're selling 10's of millions of board feet, a few inches per board adds up to real money
      To equate to your hard drive example, this year you buy a 64Gb drive for $20, Next year you buy a drive packaged in a 64Gb container but it only has 50Gb raw storage in the same packaging and price as the previous 64Gb device. so, no, not the same.
      • Re:In other news (Score:4, Insightful)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday June 23, 2017 @03:04AM (#54673621)

        Today, lumber yards sell 2x4 being 3/4 of an inch short on all dimensions

        If by "today" you mean in ever since all of our lifetimes then sure. As someone who has renovated 3 houses and built a fourth I disagree with the problem. The only time I've come across the board matching issue the entire wall had to be replaced anyway due to the old way of building them not being up to modern codes. If you're matching old and new in a way that doesn't involve complete replacement then material strength is not your issue, and you're unlikely to be doing any re-modelling as much as horrible patch work to begin with.

        In the mean time the average life expectancy of a house built in the past 50 years is ... 50 years anyway so it makes no sense to supply wood that is 2x4". Whatever cheat happened in our grandparent's era should remain as is and not screw us all for a second generation.

        • Funny about that average life expectancy claim. I have yet to see anyone going around knocking down houses just because they are getting old. Oh every now and then a fire burns one down, or someone decides to massively remodel to the point that it is basically torn down, but for the most part Houses go well past that imaginary lifespan.
          • by swb ( 14022 )

            When I've had my house appraised for initial purchase and some refinancing there has been verbiage in the appraisal for the "useful life of the house" in there, which I assume is some kind of underwriting legalism to prevent a falling down house from being financed with a 30 year mortgage.

            However, the above poster's claim of a 50 year useful life on new construction actually makes me wonder if "modern" houses (those built since the 1980s or later) actually have a shorter expected lifespan due to the mass pr

      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday June 23, 2017 @08:12AM (#54674427) Homepage Journal

        Back in the 1800s, when you bought a "2x4" from the lumber mill it was green and "rough". That means it had too much moisture content to be used right away, it almost certainly twisted significantly along its length, and was pretty far from rectangular in its cross section. But that cross section was at least two inches by four inches.

        So lumber wasn't sold ready to use. What you did was you stacked it in your barn for a few months to dry out, then if you needed an accurate shape you'd run the board through a jointer-planer to produce smooth, precise, parallel surfaces. Both these operations reduce the dimensions of the finished lumber.

        By the early 20th century lumber mills started doing all this work for you so you could buy a 2x4 board and use it the same day. Far from cheating the customer as you claim, they're actually adding value by curing it and milling it down to a standard shape. Since 1924 the standard has been that 2 inches rough-hewn is always planed down to 1.5 inches; 4 to 3.5; 8 to 7.25, 10 to 9.25 and 12 to 11.25. But if you went to the lumber mill with a tape measure, you'd see that the 1.5 x 3.5 finished boards indeed start their life as 2 x 4 inch rough boards.

        If you think about it, a lumber mill that cheated its customers on dimension would go out of business fast. You'd lay out your project, figure out how many boards you'd need, and not only would you come up short, nothing would fit as expected. The whole point of milling the softwood lumber to a standardized dimension is that you could plan out your material requirements exactly and then buy exactly what you need, when you need it.

        Given that the dimensions of finished softwood lumber have been set by national standards for the last 90 years, I'm guessing the lawyer who brought the suit is either an idiot or is looking for a quick nuisance payoff.

  • by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:10PM (#54672341)
    I thought it was normal for a 2x4 to actually measure 1.5x3.5 because of the planing that happens or somesuch.
    • Re:I thought.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:17PM (#54672383)

      I thought it was normal for a 2x4 to actually measure 1.5x3.5 because of the planing that happens or somesuch.

      Indeed. If a 2x4 was actually 2"x4" that would be deceptive, because it would not be a standard 2x4 and would not fit in standard framing. If I buy a 2x4, I want it to be 1.5x3.5, nothing more, nothing less.

      • My house was built over 100 years ago. It is built with rip cut 2x4s. They are actually 2"x4". You would not want to have to carry them in your bare hands as the surface is full of splinters. Not like a smooth surface we can get today with carbide tipped blade. To get these rip cut boards smooth you would likely have to plane a considerable amount of wood off.There is little waste with modern saws and now that the 1.5"x3.5" nominal dimensions is standard, more boards can be cut from larger logs.

    • Re:I thought.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:20PM (#54672407) Homepage
      It is, and it's obvious the lawsuit will fail. Most judges probably know that a 2x4 is 1.5x3.5. Next someone will sue because the sweater they bought doesn't sweat.
    • by deck ( 201035 )

      I was lead to understand that the dimensions of lumber are the cut size when it is cut from the green logs. Between drying and planing the size is reduced so that a 2" x 4" is actually 1.5" x 3.5". The Wikipedia article on lumber [wikipedia.org] seems to be fine. I have noticed at some of the big box stores that they put the actual size on the placard identifying the lumber.

    • I thought it was normal for a 2x4 to actually measure 1.5x3.5 because of the planing that happens or somesuch.

      Exactly. If you want an actual 2x4 you need to buy rough cut lumber from the mill. Planing the wood then reduces the size to the dimensions you find in the hardware store.

      One of my long time friends runs a lumber mill. I used to work there summers with him and his Dad, who started it. It was hard hot work but I learned a lot, including how to run logs through the mill saw to cut it into boards and how to run the planer. He and his Dad could glance at a log and know exactly how many boards he could get

    • I thought it was normal for a 2x4 to actually measure 1.5x3.5 because of the planing that happens or somesuch.

      Yes. Rough-cut 2x4s are 2 inches by 4 inches. When they are planed to smooth them and round the corners, they lose about a quarter inch in each side, resulting in the final 1.5x3.5-inch size.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        When they are planed to smooth them

        Not that you can get a smooth 2x4 in any of the building supply stores. It is rather rough, warped and has plenty of machining marks, and if you plane and true it, it becomes an 1x3.

        But that doesn't matter much, because it's meant for framing, not carpentry. Where 1.5x3.5 rough is good enough, and what you want because it fits the scaffolding. If you want realistic dimensions, you order surfaced plank, not timber framing, and even then add a quarter inch for tooling damage and inaccuracies.

      • Rough-cut are not 2" by 4" anymore. Saws used to have a 1/4" kerf. A rough-cut 2x4 would then be more like 1 3/4 x 3 3/4. After drying and planing the final size would be 1.5 x 3.5.

        Modern mills use a band-saw blade - a massive blade that is over a foot wide, sharpened on each end, and only ~1/16" thick. This generates minimal losses and maximises the obtained lumber from a log.

        First the log is scanned and a computer determines how to best turn it into lumber. The water content is known so the cuts

    • Lumber comes in "Rough Cut" that is actual 2"x4" dimensions, and the normal stuff that had a 1/4" planed off all 4 sides to give 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 lumber.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:14PM (#54672361)

    The size "2x4" is an industry standard since forever. I hope the assholes filing suit will be forced to pay the court costs when the suit is dismissed with prejudice.

    • If a 2x4 is really 1.5x3.5, and it has ALWAYS been 1.5x3.5, then WHY THE FUCK is it called a 2x4?!?! Why not give it a name like "Size A"?
  • I'm next! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jlowery ( 47102 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:15PM (#54672367)

    I definitely overpaid for these two-penny nails!

  • Not this again... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:17PM (#54672385) Journal
    Every few years some ambulance chaser tries this bullshit in the US. All over the world timber is sold using the undressed dimensions, it's been that way since the dead sea caught the sniffles. IMO the court should declare the suit frivolous and force him to refund the money (with interest) to the people who have joined his class action con job.
    • There is a MASSIVE oversupply of lawyers. New graduates have almost no chance of getting a real lawyer job. Others that have been in the field are starving because there are too many working lawyers for the available work. Couple that with a lawyers in general (not all) of being people with severe moral relativism and you get a LOT of lawyers doing shit like suing Mom and Pop stores because they aren't handicap accessible inside a historic building that's exempt from ADA or manufacturing an accident, much l

    • by lordlod ( 458156 )

      All over the world timber is sold using the undressed dimensions,

      Not true. When I buy a board in Australia that advertises to be 10mm thick it is 10mm thick.

      That is planed, made into a slotted floor board or rough. The only dimension that is ever wrong is the length, often a 2m board will be 2.2m, it is never less that advertised.

  • by sstrick ( 137546 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:18PM (#54672389)

    The dimensions of the timber are based on the rough sawn dimensions. Most timber you buy from the store has been subsequently "dressed" or planed to a smooth and more importantly uniform finish.

    This is well known to anyone buying timber and has been like this for over a century.

  • if they went into the plumbing aisle, to discover that a piece of 1/2" pipe doesn't have ANY dimension that actually measures half an inch....

    • All plumbing is like that. I don't think I've ever in my life come across any type or size of pipe that has any dimension that comes close to the nominal size. 1/8" pipes are hilariously huge. Ditto electrical conduit. Ditto particle boards. Hell, almost nothing involved in building a house has any size that matches the name.

      I guess I haven't measured HVAC ducting, but it appears that the industry follows a very very broad tolerance, which may quite possibly include the nominal sizes. Oh, and paint ga

      • IANAP, but from my limited experience most plumbing fittings are done on the basis of *interior* size, not exterior. Wall thickness combined with interior diameter dictates the exterior diameter of a fitting.

    • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Friday June 23, 2017 @01:18AM (#54673345) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, plumbing is not for the feint of heart or slow witted. Pipe sizes are - in theory - the inside diameter (tubing sizes are the outside diameter), but when working with pipe and pipe fittings, it is the outside diameter that matters. And the sizes were set many, many years ago, when manufacturing costs were cheap, and stuff was made to last several lifetimes. In short, the wall of the pipe was a hell of a lot thicker then. Even today, you get multiple schedules of pipe, from 40 (which today is sorta standard for quality work) to 80 or even higher - the higher the number, the thicker the wall, the more pressure it can hold. But the outside diameter has to be the same on all sizes. (Copper pipe, of course, has a thinner wall than steel or plastic, and thus has "types" - M, L or K - instead of "schedules", but the principle is the same. Type M is such thin shit you can blow a hole in it by peeing real hard, type K will hold the weight of a mountain.)

      And people wonder why plumbers make more than doctors.

  • 1) The lawyer is a shmuck. They are sizes, not measurements. If I were the judge, I would give him 50 cents in damages and deny his appeals.

    2) Companies should simply leave off the word inch.

    This is a a 1x4, not a 1 inch x 4 inch. This is a 4x4, not a 4 inch by 4 inch.

    Never use the word inch anywhere on the packaging, leave the unit as implied, not specified. If you feel the need to specify the unit somewhere, call it a "lumber standard inch" or maybe an LSI in your paperwork.

    • It doesn't work as an implied unit. Otherwise you could glue a pair of 2x4s and make a 4x4 - which obviously doesn't work.

      Metric is the solution :D

  • by WhoBeDaPlaya ( 984958 ) on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:30PM (#54672471) Homepage
    lying about the size of their wood ;)
  • The lawsuit is likely focused on deceptive labeling of the third dimension of lumber, which DOES matter and isn't an "industry quirk". I myself have recently bought allegedly 8-feet-long lumber that proved to be about 1/4 of an inch shorter than that. This is being done in spite of at least some of Home Depot's management knowing about it, and that's fraudulent. They can try and blame it on the lumber producers and claim that they're being defrauded, too, but the likelihood of no one in Home Depot's gian

    • This seems to be an industry practice, not specific to any particular store or sawmill. I redid my front porch two years ago, and the flooring (decking) boards needed to be exactly 6 feet. None of the "6 foot" boards were actually 6 feet. Some were short by as much as an inch. I had to buy 8 foot decking and cut them down to exactly 6'. I talked to some people who do construction and they all looked at me like I was stupid for thinking that I'd be able to buy 6' pieces and use them to span a 6 foot spa

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwockNO@SPAMpoetic.com> on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:39PM (#54672523)

    I was at a store in the Lowes chain recently and noticed that at each lumber rack were the actual dimensions of the wood. Nowhere was the traditional '2X4' label used. Just to be sure I measured some samples and though my measurements were slightly different, the label was mostly correct.

    As someone mentioned, long ago a 2X4 was a 2X4. If you see one from an old structure, you will note that its surface is very rough and dangerous to delicate hands. Our modern lumber is smooth and attractive to see and feel. Exactly the result you would have if you smoothed the old lumber. The smoothness is a result of planing and carefully hand sanding each piece for customer satisfaction. Of course the dimensions are slightly reduced, but which would you rather have?

    I asked my brother in Brasil about lumber sizing "do they use metric?". He replied with some confusion; he said that it depends on where you buy your lumber. Different outlets will have different sizes and those could change depending on their current sources. He built his own house out in the distant suburbs of Sao Paulo using such materials. There seems to be no standard there.

    • I bought a pack of 2x6s cheap from a demo yard several years ago, and was using them to replace some rotted joists. Much to dismay when I went to throw the subfloor down, they were slightly bigger, enough that I had to plane them down! The amount of time it took me more than ate up the savings, and when I told the manager of the local lumberyard, he said those were likely cut for the Japanese market.

  • This guy is wasting his time possibly in the hopes that they will pay him to go away.

    As others have pointed out, they sell the industry standard. No one who buys a 2x4 expects it to be 2x4 because that would not be the accepted industry standard.

    Now, I don't know this, but I feel almost certain that such standards are in fact codified. There is almost certainly some ISO standard, or something else like that.

    The lawyer is a sleaze bag who probably isn't smart enough to be a patent troll.

    • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Thursday June 22, 2017 @10:53PM (#54672609)

      In fact, here's some linkies:

      From the NIST (PDF) [nist.gov]
      American Softwood Lumbar Standards - Voluntary Product Standard DOC PS 20â"99

      More from the NIST (HTML) [nist.gov]
      Title: Making Sure that Lumber Measures Up

      I don't really think one needs to go much farther...

    • Nominal sizes are indeed standardized in the US and Canada, so this case is without merit. Building with true dimensional lumber is a huge pain anyways. Rough cut lumber is just that, rough, and you'll be picking slivers out half the day. And then the guy that buys your house in 20 years has to replace a stud or a joists, and realizes he can't just go to the local lumber yard and pick up what he needs, but has to order custom cut or find someone with a mill

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        And then the guy that buys your house in 20 years has to replace a stud or a joists, and realizes he can't just go to the local lumber yard and pick up what he needs, but has to order custom cut or find someone with a mill

        Get the next size up, and go to town with a rip saw and a jointer plane.

  • Anybody who has built a cabinet from big-box plywood knows that you cannot go by what is on the label, even if it's specified in 32nds of an inch. They lie. You have to measure the plywood thickness yourself or else your shelves are going to rattle around in your dados.

  • This is ridiculous if, for example, the "2x4" being sold measures 1.5" x 3.5".

    Although if the product being sold as a "2x4" only measures 1.3"x3.3", the complaint is valid (I think Lowes was doing something like this a few years ago and settled the case and began to put "true" dimensions on the signage -- which is very confusing but, fortunately, I rarely have to resort to buying lumber at Lowes).

    I once lived in an old house and the 2x4s were much closer to measuring 2"x4" (I think they were about 1.75"x3.7

  • ...they're measuring their wood in dick inches [urbandictionary.com].

  • You heard it here first.

    I'm guessing this is being pushed by some guy who got beat up in shop class a lot because he couldn't even make the ash tray.

  • by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Friday June 23, 2017 @08:47AM (#54674613)

    If you really need full sized lumber, you're probably going to have to go directly to a sawmill. My family was in the wood products business when I was growing up. We had a sawmill, but it was mostly to supply our own needs for other products. We were willing to sell rough cut, full sized lumber to people however.
    It's going to have to be small business though. A big sawmill operation, like the types who would be supplying Home Depot aren't going to pull half a dozen pieces out of their operation for you, but there are still small operations around serving niche markets.
    As far back as I can remember, the advertised dimensions have meant the cut size. You lose 1/4" on each side by planing. I'm not sure when they started planing everything headed to the retail market. Probably in the late '60's or sometime in the '70s. I've seen houses built in the 1960s which had rough wall studs, but in 30+ years, except for our own small business, I don't think I've ever seen rough lumber for retail sale.

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