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How to build a chicken coop

Wood sizes and measurements

All measurements throughout this project are given in both Standard/Imperial inches and Metric (mm).
The measurements are given first in inches followed by millimetres in brackets (mm).
The size (width and thickness) of the wood referred to throughout this project is the nominal size.
That is in reference to the size of the lumber before it has been dressed (surfaced planed and/or seasoned).
When the wood has been dressed, (surfaced planed and/or seasoned) it is then called the 'actual size' which is the true size.

The actual size of lumber is smaller than the nominal size.
For example, if you have a piece of wood (lets say a piece of 2 x 4) in its rough state (prior to being dressed) its size will be just that, 2" x 4" (two inches thick by four inches wide). However, once it has been dressed (surfaced, planed and/or seasoned), the finished wood will measure approximately 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" which is the 'actual' size (one and a half inches thick by three and a half inches wide).

Most Countries that use the Metric system generally call the bigger numeral first such as 100mm x 50mm. whereas those that use the Imperial system generally put the smaller numeral first such as 2" x 4".

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Rough or dressed wood, how does it matter?
In the overall scheme of things, it doesn't matter that much. Use either rough or dressed. Rough wood is usually cheaper but dressed wood is easier to work with and paint. Just remember to make allowances for the size difference when working off the plan if you use dressed (actual size) wood.
Below is a 'nominal' versus 'actual' table listing all the wood sizes used in this project.


Standard (inches)
NOMINAL SIZE ACTUAL SIZE
2" x 2" 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
2" x 3" 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"
2" x 4" 1 1/2" x 3 1/2"
4" x 4" 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"
1" x 4" 3/4" x 3 1/2"
1" x 6" 3/4" x 5 1/2"
1" x 12" 3/4" x 11 1/4"
Metric (millimetres)
NOMINAL SIZE ACTUAL SIZE
50mm x 50mm 45mm x 45mm
75mm x 50mm 70mm x 45mm
100mm x 50mm 90mm x 45mm
100mm x 100mm 90mm x 90mm
100mm x 25mm 90mm x 19mm
150mm x 25mm 140mm x 19mm
300mm x 25mm 290mm x 19mm
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