Learning to Grade Softwood Dimension Lumber

What is Dimension Lumber?

We have all seen buildings being framed with lumber. Do you know what type and grades of lumber are used in this framing process? Sometimes referred to as “dimensional lumber” or “framing lumber”, this wood is the mainstay of the housing industry in the US and Canada. Dimension lumber, as this lumber is formally labeled, is defined as lumber of nominal thicknesses of 2 inches TO LESS THAN FIVE inches and nominal widths of 2 inches and wider. It is smoothly surfaced softwood lumber that is sold and marketed by the “nominal sizes”, rather than the real final standard surfaced sizes, which are actually somewhat smaller than nominal sizes. In other words, lumber’s nominal dimensions are larger than the actual standard dimensions of finished lumber.

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Total Measurement: Understanding Knots in Dimension Lumber

Have you ever wondered why you observe some large and at times unsightly decayed knots on the surface of your framing lumber? How can this lumber be graded correctly, especially in No.2 or higher grades? If you do not understand how and why knots in Dimension Lumber are limited, then these knots that appear unacceptable can be a real source of confusion. How are the graders, and now grading machines, grading these knots? Are they grading the lumber correctly? Can you learn to grade these knots? Continue reading “Total Measurement: Understanding Knots in Dimension Lumber”