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8 x 4 plywood

user-7062140's picture

This is more of an English usage question than contruction, but I expect only someone in the trades would know:

The fiction author Lee Childs (of Jack Reacher fame) often refers to a piece of plywood in his writing as "8 x 4" instead of what I have only ever heard: "4 x 8".  Can anyone tell me where the term 8 x 4 comes from, or is it that Childs is more or a writer than a builder?

This might be a UK/US (post #215953, reply #1 of 2)

This might be a UK/US thing.  In the US I've mainly heard/read "4 x 8", but I have read "8 x 4" occasionally, and it may have been from UK sources.  (Yes, I know they mainly use metric in the UK, but I gather that some imperial nomenclature has survived in the building industry.)

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Grain (post #215953, reply #2 of 2)

4x8 has  the grain in the 8' dimension. 8x4 has the grain in the 4' dimension.