Fixing Warpped And Twisted Boards

During the building process, no matter how meticulously you select your lumber, it will never be perfectly straight.  It is something that first time builders don’t consider, that your materials will be imperfect, which can result in your house being off.
The longer the board, the less straight it will be.


Another common first time builder assumption that is incorrect is lumber dimensions.   To add to the confusion lumber is milled smaller than their names might indicate.  A 2×4 isn’t actually 2″ by 4″,  it is actually 1.5″ by 3.5″ and this is the case for all milled lumber.

What I hadn’t realized when I started is that lumber isn’t all milled the same.  For example I picked up some 2×4’s that were the higher grade studs to find that they were in fact 1/8″ smaller in each dimension.  Also 8 foot boards are often longer than eight feet.  When it comes to ply wood, usually the thickness is the same thickness indicated, but the 4′ by 8′ panel isn’t always 4 feet by 8 feet.  Plywood is also seldom flat, it often has a bow to it, I found digging into the stack of plywood and pulling out the middle sheets of the pile are often flatter.  Also the thicker the board, the flatter it stays.

So today I wanted to share these video on how to handle warped and twisted boards.


  1. Thanks for that. I would hate having to figure that out on my own, as in probably just wouldn’t get figured. Any tips for this kind of thing are truly appreciated. I’m in dreaming, planning stage and it’s kind of overwhelming. I would love to have someone else build it, but don’t have that kind of money. So if a tiny house happens, it’ll be totally or mostly inexperienced me!

  2. The reason for the difference in dimensions lies in the key word ‘milled’. Eg 2×4 is a rough dimension and it’s called the nominal size.

    If you were to buy rough lumber, then it would indeed be closer to the nominal size, but there are no guarantees, it’s usually plus or minus. Milled lumber is named for its nominal dimension but the actual dimensions are always less. This is because to get it from rough to milled, some material must be removed. This may not be entirely true anymore because of laser guided saws but the dimensions are different nonetheless, now for historical reasons as well as practical and economic.
    Plywood is never the thickness stated in the nominal size, despite your statement to the contrary.
    Milled lumber, which is sold by the length, *will* be exactly the length stated when you buy it (again, counter to what you claimed)

    When you build a wall, you place the studs ‘on center’, lining up your marks to the center of the lumber you are using, so this eliminate the need to know exactly the thickness of the wood you are using. You can use round logs and this would still work!

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