Understanding Nominal vs. Actual Dimensions

Illustration showing a measuring device commonly known as a ruler or straight edge

 

One common confusion in the world of wood, from panels to short boards, is nominal vs. actual dimensions.

 

Nominal dimensions are referenced in the product’s common name and refer to the size of the project panel wood before it was cut, sanded, planed, surfaced, etc. by the manufacturer.

 

The Actual Dimensions stated on the packaging are the size the plywood project panel is when it arrives in the store or at your door, and it’s the size you can expect to work with.

 

For example, 1/2" x 2’ x 4’ wood project panels aren’t quite that big. To know how big they actually are, look at the Actual Dimensions stated on the product label or see the specifications section on your favorite retailer's webpage. Those project wood panels are actually 0.22” x 23.75” x 47.75”.

 

There's a Handprint wood craft panel in the right size for every indoor DIY wood project and home decor creation. Smaller panels are great for projects like cabinets, shelves, and small repairs. They generate far less waste and are much easier to transport and handle than 4' x 8' sheets. And that’s win-win for everyone! 

Tip:

 

When choosing a saw, the most versatile and affordable is a circular saw with a combination blade. Beginners will appreciate using just one blade for both ripping and cross cutting. 

 

Tags FAQs

Join our community of makers!

Thanks for signing up!
There was an error with your request, please try again later.

Join our community of makers!

Thanks for signing up!
There was an error with your request, please try again later.