Hardwood Lumber Grades
There's a method to the madness
Synopsis: David Sloan used to bluff his way through lumberyards, until it cost him time and money. In this article, he shares what he’s learned in books and through three-day log-, lumber-, and tree-grading workshops. Grades provide the basis for determining lumber quality and price, and Sloan explains standard grades, abbreviations, nonstandard grades, and how grading works. Side information follows a lumber grader in action.
I’ve bluffed my way through many a lumberyard. I learned young. When I was a kid, I wanted a big hunk of maple to make a rifle stock. At the lumberyard, the man in charge pointed to a pile of thick maple planks. “Come and get me when you’ve found what you want,” he said. I did, and for years afterward, that’s the way I bought wood. Whenever I’d hear lumberyard lingo like “FAS or number one common, sir?”, I’d put on my poker…