Kiln Drying: The process of taking the moisture out of green or “fresh cut” lumber. Most hardwoods are dried to a 6% – 8% moisture content thus causing the lumber to shrink. Some softwoods such as pine are dried to between 9% – 12%. There are woods that are dried to even higher moisture content especially exotics with high oil level.
Grades: Hardwood lumber grades are set by the National Hardwood Lumber Association. We at Highland Hardwoods strive to hold all our lumber to these high standards.
FAS: (first and second grade) This stands for the highest grade of lumber. FAS grade includes some defects but is considered the premier lumber for furniture and cabinet making.
#1 & #2 common: These two grades will have a fair amount of allowable defects and color variations. This lumber will need more manufacturing to achieve clear cuttings.
Special: This term is used for any closeout, odd lot or sale item. Grades may vary from #2 com to FAS.
Cull: lumber that does not meet grade, but still usable for certain applications. Priced to move.
C+: This is the highest grade of pine, which will have the clearest look but can still have small defects.
D+: The second grade of pine allowing more defects than C+ but they are spaced out still giving a lot of clear material.
Furniture Pine: Also known as knotty or Premium grade is generally used for utility purposes.
Vertical Grain Fir: a straight grain appearance is achieved when the log is cut perpendicular to the growth rings. It is more consistent in color and a more stable product.
Pattern: A term used in Mahogany for the type that is used to make templates or patterns.
Qtr: Quarter-sawn refers to a method of cutting lumber to achieve straight grain. This type of lumber is more dimensionally stable.
Curly: Also known as “Flame or Tiger”, will have a wavy grain appearance.
Birdseye: A figure on wood, usually maple and a few other species. The figure is composed of many small BB size rounded areas resembling a birds eye.
Brown: Primarily in Hard Maple this gives a variation of color allowing more heartwood or the “dark color” of the tree.
Sap: Birch lumber that is selected for the cream colored sapwood which is clear 1 face with no heartwood.
Measurement of lumber: All lumber thicknesses are measured by the ¼ of inch. The first number is how many ¼ there are.
Most lumber is sold on a board footage scale. A board foot measures 1” thick by 12” long by 12” wide.
To calculate a board foot multiply the length of board in feet by the width of board in inches then divide by 12 to get the surface measure (anything below ½ point stays the same and anything ½ and over, round up to the nearest whole number, then multiply by the thickness of board.
12’ long X 6” wide X 1” thick
12 x 6 / 12 x 1 = 6 bf (board feet)
12’ long X 6” wide x 1.5” thick (6/4)
12 x 6 / 12 x 1.5 = 9 bf
12’ long X 6” wide X 4” thick (16/4)
12 x 6 / 12 x 4 = 24 bf
Milling: Rough-cut and surfaced lumber are manufactured to full standard thickness. All milled lumber is sold on a rough board foot basis. Example : 4/4 surfaced lumber milled to ¾” is measured based on a full inch thickness.
Rgh: Rough cut lumber will require surfacing to achieve a smooth finish.
S2S: surfacing of lumber on two faces.
S3S: surfacing of lumber on two faces and ripping one edge.
S4S: Surfacing of lumber on all four sides to nominal width. All nominal stock is sold by the lineal foot or “running foot”.
4” nom = 3 ½”
6” nom = 5 ½”
8” nom = 7 ¼”
10” nom = 9 ¼”
12” nom = 11 ¼”
9”+: refers to lumber that is 9” or wider before milling.