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Author Topic: Lumber Grading  (Read 809 times)

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Offline NortheastWoodGuy

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Lumber Grading
« on: January 20, 2013, 04:23:42 PM »
Hello all, I am new to the forum, although I have been reading it for quite some time. My question is about whether here in the North East, big box stores (ie. Home Depot) require their boards to be the same grade as normal standards. I know the mill that supplies Home Depot with their white pine and I have delt with this company as well. However, when i see the boards in the racks at Home Depot they often do not look up to grade. I have always been very curious about this because I have heard that they kind of "make their own grading system" to compensate for the high volume they demand etc. They do not sell standard grade pine which leads me to believe that they combine standard and premium into one. If anyone has any information on this matter I would greatly appreciate it, Thanks!

Offline beenthere

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Re: Lumber Grading
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2013, 04:44:30 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

Likely they don't make up their own grades. There should be a grade stamp on the material that they sell. If no grade stamp, then ask about the agency that backs up their grade. Likely the stamp would be a NELMA stamp, if the white pine is local to the NE.

What normally is sold in the big box stores will be the lower grades as the upper grades are skimmed off for higher value products.

Now you say boards, but do you mean dimension lumber? And when you say they don't look "up to grade", are you experienced with grading and know?  Rumors can run rampid when one is disappointed at the quality of the material found in the box stores.

Let us know what sizes of 'boards' you are referring to, and some standard grades can be listed.

Here are the grading rules for NeLMA, if curious.
http://www.nelma.org/reference/standard-grading-rules-for-northeastern-lumber/
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Lumber Grading
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 04:51:01 PM »
welcome to the forum!
 what kind of projects you build with the w. pine?
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline NortheastWoodGuy

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Re: Lumber Grading
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 05:01:16 PM »
Thank you for the quick responses,
I have a fair deal in lumber grading (although I am no expert by any means). I work with my father who has been a woodworker for nearly 40 years. I have worked both in his shop and to help him market and sell wood as well. The boards I am referring to mostly are 1x stock. I know that premium grade is not supposed to have black knots or large knots depending on width of the board. I have seen both of these "defects" in the premium as well as 1x4 that appears to have been ripped down from wider boards based on the rips saw marks and knots that would only big acceptable in 1x8 or larger (I have also heard of this practice from reliable sources). We dont buy any boards from Home Depot because we buy straight from the Mill, but we like to use Home Depot as a guide for pricing.

Offline drobertson

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Re: Lumber Grading
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 05:15:05 PM »
I have noticed the same thing dave, I believe with any big dealer there are times when the lesser gets in some how,  It seems with soft woods that glued panels are a big thing. The difference between green and finished dry is a large topic.
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline beenthere

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Re: Lumber Grading
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 05:26:06 PM »
Quote
I know that premium grade is not supposed to have black knots or large knots depending on width of the board. I have seen both of these "defects" in the premium as well as 1x4 that appears to have been ripped down from wider boards based on the rips saw marks and knots that would only big acceptable in 1x8 or larger

Take a pic of the grade stamp, and the knots and inquire to the grading agency as they may like to know about the re-manufacturing of their grade stamped products. That said, likely can't paint the problem with a wide brush as the re-manufacturing is probably on a small scale cleaning up crooked or broken product. Post some pics here too. We'd be interested in what you find.

You knowing what the grades exclude gives you a leg up on the normal customer.
Re-naming products with a name that isn't a grade is a practice used by some, and catches some unsuspecting customers with poor quality sometimes.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Lumber Grading
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 06:42:28 AM »
I don't remember seeing any grade stamps on their 1" stock.  But, I rarely look at the pine boards.  I do remember looking at the hardwood boards and thought it was a bunch of 1 Com.  It also had a sticker on it that said Weyerhauser.  I imagine they get a good deal of lumber from many different sources.  Grading would have to be pretty standard for the retail end.  Most users don't know anything about grades, just price. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.


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