Loads of Lies at Lowe's... (or Slimming Down with The Carpenters)

"Summertime... and the living is easy."

Right... except that the Hottest Week So Far This Year happened to align perfectly with Refinish the Deck Week here at the Haus. Stripping, sanding, painting... lots of fun in the sun for everyone, I s'pose.

...Anyway, so I had to go to Lowe's to pick up some caps for the posts on the deck. First trip, I quickly find some 4"x4" post caps + get the hell out of the Wal-Mart of hardware stores, joking to the cashier that I'd be back in a few minutes. And, of course, I would be.

The 4"x4" post caps were too large for the 4"x4" posts... so I measured the posts + discovered that they are actually 3.5"x3.5". Flash-forward to me, back at Lowe's, asking a sales associate in the lumber dept about 3.5"x3.5" post caps. After I explain the situation, including the part where I measured the posts, he tells me there's no such thing as a 3.5"x3.5" post... Of course, my blood begins to boil at this point, my vision starts to go a hazy red; the last thing I need is some young whippersnapper insinuating that I don't know how to use a ruler. Whatever; I am about to Hulk-out on this unsuspecting wage-slave.

Maybe it was my body language. Maybe it was his own experience with schmoes like me doing home projects... either way, another sales staffer strolled up at that moment +, once he heard the whole tale, he droppt this wack-ass bomb on me:

  • 4"x4" posts are actually only 3.5"x3.5"

Same type of thing on all measured boards, posts, etc..., due to cost-cutting policies that yield more lumber per tree by lying about measurements. Which is why that bookshelf project you tried ended up all oversized + freaky-looking + wouldn't fit together properly.

And why carpenters can overcharge and overcharge. They use some fuctup "new math"... and we're not talking about anything I got to study in school.

We covered Euclidean + non-Euclidean geometry, but 4=3.5?
That's some Orwellian geometry, there!


  1. I would try to use this information to see if I could build a house that's larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Using this measuring system, it might be possible. And that'd be cool, because you never know when you might want to hide a Sherman tank or something from your neighbors.

  2. House of Leaves! Tesseract! The Tardis! There's precedent for the Lovecraftian architectures, too!