Wood Graining/grading & Tree Growth
Grading and Production of Lumber
After the lumber is dried it is surfaced on both sides and then graded. Most lumber follow the grading rules of the National Hardwood Lumber Association. There are a few different grades of a wood species and these typically are Select & Better (S&B), #1 Common, and #2A. Select & better contains your clearest cuttings and #2A contains your largest knots and most character.
For more information on the different species and their grades please visit here and download the illustrated grading rules guide.
Unless specified lengths or manufacturing procedures are requested, all orders are manufactured as “mill run” random length.
When random length footage is produced the manufacturer has the choice of which lengths of products will be manufactured based on rough mill stock availability at time of order and the following guidelines – R/L = 10% 3′-6′, 10% 7′-8′, 70% 9′-12′, 10% 13′-16′ AND 7’/7’6″ casing packs may contain up to 15% halves for door head trim, 2 halves = 1 PC.
When random lengths are ordered we are not able to pull from stock and/or mill the exact amount of footage ordered.
Our production will typically er on the side of overage which could result in up to 10% additional being shipped and billed.
As a tree grows it forms annual rings that are visible in a cross section of a log. The light and dark rings, referred as springwood & summerwood as shown in the chart below, are formed due to how much moisture & nutrients the tree is receiving.
Another characteristic in lumber is the heartwood and sapwood. Heartwood makes up about 66% of the log from the center of the log outward and is generally much darker in color, while the other 33% of the log or the outer ring is the sap wood and is lighter in color. You will notice in your woodwork as a piece of trim changes colors or you notice that one color is a different color from the next. This color can be related as to what part of the log the lumber came from.
This color variation is what also makes wood unique. If a more consistent color in your finished millwork is desired you can specify having it a “uniform color OR color selected”. Specifying this will result in a more uniform color, however, please keep in mind that there are not two cuts of lumber in the universe that are identically the same in grain pattern and/or color.