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    Matt Lund

    Fairly new to woodworking, but I think it’s tine to graduate from small-Ish projects to a more advanced project. Does anybody think it would be a big deal to use 3/4 stock rather than the 7/8? I don’t have a bandsaw (yet) and find 3/4 far more available. I’ve looked through the drawings and don’t see a reason why 3/4 would be a big change. Anybody disagree?


    7/8″ stock, while historically accurate for most “antique” furniture projects, was (IMHO) just the standard measurement of the day. today it is 3/4″.

    If you look at Paul’s joiners tool chest plans, the panels are 9/16″ thick. I have built one in the dimensions specified on his plans and it has not fallen apart yet….

    The only difference between 3/4″ and 7/8″ in many cases is down to weight of the finished item.
    Anything built with one can be built with the other. You just have to take into account overall dimensional changes that take place on plans by loosing or adding to part thicknesses.

    Larry Geib

    Ill also add that standard dressed thickness depends a lot on the era.
    More than a century ago it was common to buy rough boards and dress them yourself. You could often get 7/8´thickness from a rough 1’ board on relatively short stock. As time went on it became more common to have the mill finish the lumber. A bit thinner lumber dressed allowance was needed to dress longer boards.

    In 1906 the Southern cypress and Southern Yellow Pine products associations agreed on 13/16 as the standard thickness for 1” dressed lumber. By WWI the standard was common, and the US Government mandated that all dressed yellow pine lumber would only be accepted for the war effort if it met that standard.
    By 1919, the standard for S2S boards was 13/16’ in thickness and not more than 1/4’ scant in width.

    Some associations, like the Southern pine association, allowed 1/8’ per face to dress lumber, leading to 3/4’ as the size of a nominal 1’ board.

    For a time in the 1920’s, 25/32” was a compromise size.

    When i started in the trades in the 1960”s lumber was still available in Both 3/4’ and 13/16’ dimension. The latter was used in window frames and door frames, and in shelving where books were to be stored. It was also purchased even if 3/4’ was to be the final dimension, as you could do final thicknessing just before production. It ensured a more accurately dimensioned, cleaner, and blemish free product.

    A full history is here:


    As an aside, Patrick Leach asks in his #39 dado plane writeup up on his stanley plane blog:

    All of the planes have their size cast on them, except for one, the 13/16″ model. This is because this plane was made from a 7/8″ size, which was then ground narrower to 13/16″. The 7/8″ marking was ground off the plane before it was japanned, but the “No. 39″ remained on the casting. This is one of the rarest Stanley planes (think about it, how many applications do you know where a 13/16” dado is used?)

    (The 13/16’ #39 Dado plane was introduced in 1920)

    When i started, the answer would have been quite a few. We just didnt use a hand plane to do dados.

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