2×6 Weight by Wood Type & Length • 2×6 Weight Chart
By Jack Gray, Roof Online Editor • Last updated October 8, 2022
Table of Contents
- 2×6 Weight Factors
- Actual Dimensions of a 2×6
- How to Calculate 2×6 Weight
- About This 2×6 Weight Chart
- Table: 2×6 Weight by Wood Type and Length
- Related Pages
- References for 2×6 Weight
2×6 Weight Factors
2×6 weight depends chiefly on the length of the board, the moisture content of the wood, and which tree species the lumber was made from. Pressure-treating the wood with preservative will also result in a small amount of additional weight after the board has had time to dry out after the treatment process.
Green lumber has a higher moisture content than air-dried lumber, and air-dried lumber has a higher moisture content than oven-dried lumber.
A 10-foot-long air-dried 2×6 made out of Douglas Fir will weigh about 19 and a half pounds. A 10-foot-long air-dried 2×6 made out of Sitka Spruce only weighs around 16 pounds.
Pressure-treated 2×6’s are notoriously heavy at the store or lumber yard. This is because when you buy them, they have just been treated, or have only been drying for a couple of weeks. The water weight added to the wood during the pressure-treating process can often cause freshly-treated boards to weigh around 75% more than the same, but untreated, boards. This weight is temporary. The board will return (almost) to its original weight as it air-dries during the weeks or months after treatment.
In the end, the 2×6 weight for treated wood will be approximately 0.4% to 1.5% more than the 2×6 weight for untreated wood from the same tree species after drying.
Actual Dimensions of a 2×6
A 2×6 is not actually two inches by six inches, despite what it’s called. 2″ x 6″ are the nominal dimensions of the board.
The actual dimensions of a 2×6 are 1.5″ x 5.5″. Here’s why that is:
When a board is first milled, it actually does have the approximate width and depth (the nominal dimensions) that the final piece of lumber will be known by.
After the first rough cut, a two-by-six is, in fact, about two inches by six inches.
The next step in the milling process is to either air-dry or kiln-dry the green lumber, in order to reduce the moisture content of the wood. This causes the boards to shrink, reducing the actual dimensions. One reason this is done is to ensure that when the lumber is finished and sold its dimensions will be reasonably stable, and the board won’t continue to shrink significantly.
After drying, the boards are finished by being planed and smoothed, and having their corners slightly rounded.
This reduces the actual dimensions even further; it also lets the lumber producer be certain that the final product has the dimensions required by industry standards. In the case of a 2×6, the industry standard is 1.5″ x 5.5″.
How to Calculate 2×6 Weight
Step 1: Determine the wood type. To determine 2×6 weight, you need to know what kind of wood the 2×6 is made from.
Step 2: Look up the density of the wood. Once you know what type of wood you’re dealing with, look up the density of the wood in pounds per cubic foot. Weights of Various Woods Grown in the United States has an extensive table of wood species you can refer to, or there are plenty of other resources on the internet with the same information.
Step 3: Calculate the volume in cubic inches of a one-foot-long 2×6. This value will be used to figure out what percentage of a cubic foot a 1-foot-long 2×6 is. Since a 2×6 is 1.5 inches by 5.5 inches, a one-foot-long 2×6 will have a volume in cubic inches of 1.5 inches x 5.5 inches x 12 inches, or 99 cubic inches.
Step 4: Find what percentage of a cubic foot the volume of a one-foot-long 2×6 is. A cubic foot is equal to 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches, or 1,728 cubic inches. A 2×6 is 99 cubic inches per foot. 99 is 1/17.4545 of 1,728, or 5.7292% of a cubic foot (99/1728 x 100 = 5.7292).
Step 5. Find 5.7292% of the density in pounds per cubic foot of the wood species your 2×6 is made from. Let’s say you’re trying to figure out the weight of a 2×6 made out of western hemlock. You look up the density of western hemlock and see that it’s 29 pounds per cubic foot. Multiply 29 pounds by 0.057292 to get 1.661458 pounds. This is the weight per foot of a 2×6 made from western hemlock.
Step 6: Multiply by the length of the 2×6. If your 2×6 is 10 feet long, multiply 10 by 1.661458 to get 16.61458 pounds. We’d round this to 16.61 pounds to be practical.
And there you go, a 10-foot western hemlock 2×6 weighs 16.61 pounds.
About This 2×6 Weight Chart
The following table provides the approximate weight (dead load, self-weight) of 2×6’s produced from the various wood species and in the various lengths normally used in building construction in the US.
The values given in the table are meant to provide a general idea of typical 2×6 weights, and should not be used if precise values are needed for critical engineering calculations. The weights are for air-dried lumber; kiln-dried lumber will weigh a little less, and green lumber can weigh a lot more.
When precision is necessary, always refer to the specification sheet for the actual, specific product you intend to use, or contact the technical department of the lumber producer or lumberyard.
You can see 2×6’s at the Home Depot. The approximate weights of the actual pieces of lumber for sale are often given in the product descriptions, so this can be a pretty good resource for calculating the weight of a 2×6.
Table: 2×6 Weight by Wood Type and Length
|2×6 Weight by Wood Type and Length|
|(Average Dry Weight, 12% Moisture Content)|
|Type of Wood||Length of 2×6 in Feet (2×6 × number of feet)|
|These are the most common wood types used in construction in North America.||Weight
|Pressure Treated Wood||Pressure-Treated (Freshly Treated)||4.16 lb||24.96 lb||33.28 lb||41.60 lb||49.92 lb||58.24 lb||66.56 lb|
|Pressure-Treated (After Air Drying)||2.36 lb||14.16 lb||18.88 lb||23.60 lb||28.32 lb||33.04 lb||37.76 lb|
|Cedar||Western Red Cedar||1.32 lb||7.92 lb||10.56 lb||13.20 lb||15.84 lb||18.48 lb||21.12 lb|
|Douglas Fir||Douglas Fir (Coast Type)||1.95 lb||11.70 lb||15.60 lb||19.50 lb||23.40 lb||27.30 lb||31.20 lb|
|Douglas Fir (Mountain Type)||1.71 lb||10.26 lb||13.68 lb||17.10 lb||20.52 lb||23.94 lb||27.36 lb|
|Fir||Noble Fir||1.49 lb||8.94 lb||11.92 lb||14.90 lb||17.88 lb||20.86 lb||23.84 lb|
|Subalpine Fir||1.32 lb||7.92 lb||10.56 lb||13.20 lb||15.84 lb||18.48 lb||21.12 lb|
|White Fir||1.49 lb||8.94 lb||11.92 lb||14.90 lb||17.88 lb||20.86 lb||23.84 lb|
|Hemlock||Mountain Hemlock||1.89 lb||11.34 lb||15.12 lb||18.90 lb||22.68 lb||26.46 lb||30.24 lb|
|Western Hemlock||1.66 lb||9.96 lb||13.28 lb||16.60 lb||19.92 lb||23.24 lb||26.56 lb|
|Larch||Western Larch||2.06 lb||12.36 lb||16.48 lb||20.60 lb||24.72 lb||28.84 lb||32.96 lb|
|Pine||Lodgepole Pine||1.67 lb||10.02 lb||13.36 lb||16.70 lb||20.04 lb||23.38 lb||26.72 lb|
|Ponderosa Pine||1.60 lb||9.60 lb||12.80 lb||16 lb||19.20 lb||22.40 lb||25.60 lb|
|Southern Yellow Pine (Loblolly)||2.18 lb||13.08 lb||17.44 lb||21.80 lb||26.16 lb||30.52 lb||34.88 lb|
|Southern Yellow Pine (Longleaf)||2.34 lb||14.04 lb||18.72 lb||23.40 lb||28.08 lb||32.76 lb||37.44 lb|
|Southern Yellow Pine (Shortleaf)||2.18 lb||13.08 lb||17.44 lb||21.80 lb||26.16 lb||30.52 lb||34.88 lb|
|Southern Yellow Pine (Slash)||2.47 lb||14.82 lb||19.76 lb||24.70 lb||29.64 lb||34.58 lb||39.52 lb|
|Spruce||Engelmann Spruce||1.32 lb||7.92 lb||10.56 lb||13.20 lb||15.84 lb||18.48 lb||21.12 lb|
|Sitka Spruce||1.60 lb||9.60 lb||12.80 lb||16 lb||19.20 lb||22.40 lb||25.60 lb|
|White Spruce||1.60 lb||9.60 lb||12.80 lb||16 lb||19.20 lb||22.40 lb||25.60 lb|
About the Author
Jack Gray is a principal roof consultant and vice president at the Moriarty Corporation, an award-winning building enclosure consultant firm founded in 1967. He is also the editor of the Roof Online website.
Mr. Gray has over 25 years of experience in the roofing industry, with training and practical experience in roof safety, roof inspection, roof condition assessment, estimating, roof design & specification, roof installation, quality assurance, roof maintenance & repair, and roof asset management.
He was awarded the Registered Roof Observer (RRO) professional credential in 2009.
He also served as an infantry paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and attended Cornell University. Read full bio.
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- Weight of Pressure-Treated Lumber
- Weight of Roofing Materials
- Weights of Various Woods Grown in the United States
References for 2×6 Weight
- Weights of Various Woods Grown in the United States – Forest Products Laboratory, United States Forest Service, USDA
- Wood Handbook, Wood as an Engineering Material – Forest Products Laboratory, United States Forest Service, USDA