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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I was asking on the forum about suitable timber for using make external window frame and sash.

One of the replies was, " European oak is not a bad choise but it still is class II/III ( this is 2 to 3 )
Teak is realy the best choise,it is class I but you don't want to pay it.
It is a beautifull wood to,i think it is the most stable wood of all.
Other hardwoods you can use.
- Afrormosia , class I/II stable. ( verry nice wood )
- Afzelia Bipindensis class I very stable.
- Iroko ( Kambala ) class I/II very stable.

I asked the poster to explain the grading criteria but he didn't get back to me.
Is this a European grading standard for timber? If so how can I find out more about it?

I was going to use European Oak but I see Iroko, under this classification method has a better grading. The timber merchant I'm dealing with also carries Iroko and is cheaper than the Oak so I'm now thinking of using Iroko.

I would use Afrormosia but I think it is on the endangered list and unavailable.
Thanks.
 

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Peter, I would ask your timber merchant. He should know.
 

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the American grading system...


Visual Grading is the most common type of grading performed on lumber in the U.S. * A grade stamp on each piece of lumber as it leaves the mill. Visual grading is done based on both appearance and strength factors. The grader marks each piece of lumber according to such factors as:
Number, size, and position of knots and holes
Bark on edges
Decay
Checks and splits
Machining defects
Twisting, bowing, and warp
Species
Rules for grading are established by the U.S. Department of Commerce and maintained by the American Lumber Standards Committee. These standards are enforced by regional organizations (e.q. Western Wood Products Association, Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association, Southern Pine Inspection Bureau, West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau, and others). Three years of training are required to become a grader, and in Washington each grader is required to pass the Western Lumber grading rules exam. A grader is very important to the mill because he is responsible for separating lumber products into appropriate strength categories. At the mill shown in the picture, seventy- two pieces of lumber per minute are graded by three graders.

*Lumber is grouped into different categories such as: dimension lumber, boards, and timbers based on the following cross-sectional dimensions.
Boards: 1 to 1.5 inches thick, 2 inches and wider
Dimension Lumber: 2 to 4 inches thick, 2 inches and wider
Timbers: 5 inches and thicker, 5 inches and wider
Dimension lumber is further subdivided into five categories based on size classifications. These classes are structural joists and planks, studs, decking, light framing, and structural light framing. After the dimension lumber has been separated, the grader assigns a grade.
Structural light framing lumber has nominal dimensions of 2" to 4" thickness and 2" to 4" width, and typically* divided into four separate grades: select structural, No. 1, No. 2, and No.3. Select Structural is the best grade in terms of strength characteristics and also the most expensive, No. 1* is the second best, and so on.
Light framing lumber has nominal dimensions of 2" to 4" thickness and 2" to 4" width and is divided into three separate grades: construction, standard, and utility. Construction is the best in this case.
Stud lumber has nominal dimensions of 2" to 4" thick* and 2" to 6" wide.* There is only one grade of stud lumber.
Decking is divided into two grades: select decking and commercial decking. Select decking is best in this case.
Structural joists and planks has nominal dimensions of 2" to 4" thickness and 5" or greater width, and are typically divided into four separate grades: select structural, No. 1, No. 2, and No.3.
Timbers are also subdivided into two* groups by size classification: Beams and Stringers and Posts and Timbers. Again, after the lumber has been separated, the grader assigns a grade.
Visual grades of posts and timbers (nominal dimensions of* 5" and thicker and width not more than 2" greater than thickness) are dense select structural, Dense No. 1, No. 1, and No. 2. Dense select structural is the best grade in terms of strength characteristics and also the most expensive, No. 1 is the second best and so on.
Visual grades of beams and stringers (nominal dimensions of* 5" and thicker and width more than 2" greater than thickness) are dense select structural, Dense No. 1, No. 1, and No. 2. Dense Select Structural is the best grade in terms of strength characteristics and also the most expensive, No. 1 is the second best and so on.
Board lumber is graded by evaluating the better face of the board. Natural and manufacturing defects are considered, but strength is not a critical factor (unlike the grading of dimension lumber).
The highest classification of board lumber is called select grade. Select grade is further divided into three categories: B & Better, C Select, and D Select. B is the best but all of the select grades are used in demanding finishing applications.
The next classification is called common grade. Common grade boards generally contain more knots than the select grade. Common grade is divided numerically from 1 to 5 with 1 being the best in appearance. No. 3 and No. 4 common grades are most frequently used for such applications as sheathing or sub-flooring.


there is this and it will take some time to get all the way through it...
Lumber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

found this...
http://www.timbersource.co.uk/hardwood/european-ranges/

and this...
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/MTG-WEB.pdf/$file/MTG-WEB.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Peter, I would ask your timber merchant. He should know.
I went down on Friday to get some American Lime to practice my woodcarving on. I asked in email about grading when was getting the price, he didn't mention when I was down.

Got four 2.4M boards, 270mm wide and 50mm thick. Works out at about 1/3 of what I was paying, is rough cut but can put it through my lunch box thicknesser planer.
All that Lime that's a lot of practicing :)

Practice makes perfect but I didn't want practice makes perfect and bankrupt at the same time :)

So am very happy with the price.

If you like, I'll post a couple of pictures of my beginners projects I'm doing at two clubs of the BWA British Woodcarvers Association I'm also a member of an independent carving club. Where they also make furniture in there workshop and use a lot of hand tools. All of them are very nice people.

One of the chaps is a retired joiner and cabinet maker. He did a lot of window and door joinery so...... that's quite handy.

I will ask timber yard about grading again.
Cheers James.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the American grading system...


Visual Grading is the most common type of grading performed on lumber in the U.S. * A grade stamp on each piece of lumber as it leaves the mill. Visual grading is done based on both appearance and strength factors.

Thanks Stick, you sure know what your talking about :)
Cheers mate.
 

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Peter I think that you are over-thinking it all, we use hardwoods in Australia for external timber windows as they are the cheapest and are plentiful and we also use cedars as they stand up to the test of time, once it is made then we use flashing to protect the wood as well as we paint them with oill type paints that will withstand the weather, even so they have to be replaced as the worst weather breaks the wood down and I would say that the main reason why they have to be replaced is poor maintenance, so the most important thing about external wood is that it is regularly kept in good painted condition, what ever the local window manufacturers use will be fine. NGM
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Peter I think that you are over-thinking it all, we use hardwoods in Australia for external timber windows as they are the cheapest and are plentiful and we also use cedars as they stand up to the test of time, once it is made then we use flashing to protect the wood as well as we paint them with oill type paints that will withstand the weather, even so they have to be replaced as the worst weather breaks the wood down and I would say that the main reason why they have to be replaced is poor maintenance, so the most important thing about external wood is that it is regularly kept in good painted condition, what ever the local window manufacturers use will be fine. NGM
Thanks for your input.
 

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I went down on Friday to get some American Lime to practice my woodcarving on.
I had never heard of that species, had to look it up. We call it basswood or linden over here. It is most woodcarver's first choice. Red cedar (from the North American NW) is also a good choice and western white pine should be also but might be harder to find.
 

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Peter; I got the impression from your first post that the ratings quoted weren't grading as we understand it for quality, but rather a specific rating system as it pertains to durability.
A similar rating might be assigned for suitability for framing, for example, where D. Fir would be at the top of the list...but under that category, there will be specific load ratings based on grade quality, closer to your hardwood grading system.

"Products graded for structural applications

Characteristics and attributes

When architects and engineers look for the best in structural lumber, their first choice repeatedly is Douglas Fir. It is dimensionally stable and universally recognized for its superior strength-to-weight ratio. Its high specific gravity provides excellent nail and plate-holding ability. The species also enjoys a documented superior performance against strong forces resulting from natural phenomena such as winds, storms and earthquakes. It is truly the ideal structural and general purpose wood for framing lumber in residential, light commercial, multistory and industrial construction.

The Douglas Fir/Western Larch species combination has the highest modulus of elasticity (E or MOE) of the North American softwood species. This is the ratio of the amount a piece of lumber will deflect in proportion to an applied load; it is a reflection of the species' high degree of stiffness, an important consideration in the design of floors and other systems.

In strength properties, Douglas Fir/Western Larch has the highest ratings of any Western softwood for extreme fiber stress in bending (Fb); for tension parallel-to-grain (Ft); for horizontal sheer (Fv); for compression perpendicular-to-grain (Fc); and for compression parallel-to-grain (Fc//).

These physical working properties, as well as to the moderate durability of its heartwood and its excellent dimensional stability, provide the reasons many builders use Douglas Fir as the standard against which all other framing lumber is judged. It is also tight knotted and close-grained, adding the bonus of beauty to its structural capabilities."

Douglas Fir

Cheers,
-Dan
 

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Recently I was asking on the forum about suitable timber for using make external window frame and sash.

One of the replies was, " European oak is not a bad choise but it still is class II/III ( this is 2 to 3 )
Teak is realy the best choise,it is class I but you don't want to pay it.
It is a beautifull wood to,i think it is the most stable wood of all.
Other hardwoods you can use.
- Afrormosia , class I/II stable. ( verry nice wood )
- Afzelia Bipindensis class I very stable.
- Iroko ( Kambala ) class I/II very stable.

I asked the poster to explain the grading criteria but he didn't get back to me.
Is this a European grading standard for timber? If so how can I find out more about it?
Thanks.
The class system of rating woods threw me and after reading several of the other posts I'm still not sure...
The Janka hardness scale comes to mind but I suspect that it doesn't apply here... (see chart)... Australian Bullock (sp) isn't on this chart but the stuff is like working with cast iron and tops the hardness chart...

As for durability you and other guys got me to wondering and I found this information..
Note: Old growth or reclaimed can easily be found if you look for it..

A number of native North American woods have reputations for heartwood durability. The USDA Forest Products Laboratory "Wood Handbook'' lists heartwood of the following species as "Resistant or very resistant'' to decay:

Bald cypress (old growth only), Black locust(1), Post oak, Catalpa, Mesquite, White oak, Cedars, Red mulberry(2), Osage orange(3), Black cherry, Bur oak, Redwood, Chestnut, Chestnut oak, Sassafras, Arizona cypress, Gambel oak, Black walnut, Junipers, Oregon white oak, Pacific yew....

1 Exceptionally high decay resistance...
2 Exceptionally high decay resistance...
3 Exceptionally high decay resistance...

Recent experience with redwood, Western red cedar, and bald cypress have indicated heartwood now available from these trees may not be so durable as that formerly used. Perhaps it's because of coming from younger trees. However, old growth, ``close-grained'' redwood heartwood, used above ground, does have a reputation for resistance to termites.

Here's more...

When most people hear the word “durability” in relation to wood, they immediately think of its ability to withstand dents and scrapes. However, in this context it specifically refers to a wood’s ability to resist elemental and natural forces of decay. (The former notion of durability equating to physical toughness would be better explored through Janka hardness and Modulus of Rupture values.)

Degradation can occur from fungus (caused by cycles of rain/moisture), or from termites or other boring/destructive insects. An overall chart defining the terms used to describe a wood’s durability in direct ground contact:

Classification Service Life(in years)
Very Durable 25+
Durable 15-25
Moderately Durable 10-15
Non-Durable 5-10
Perishable less than 5



This durability assessment is only based on the tree’s heartwood, and not its sapwood—as only the heartwood, due to its extractives, has any appreciable degree of durability; in nearly all instances, sapwood should be considered perishable.

Some genera of Bamboo are only expected to last 6 months to 3 years in direct ground contact. On the other end of the spectrum is wood such as Teak, which is well-known for its durability, and is frequently used in boat building and other outdoor applications.

In addition to the length of time the wood can physically maintain its structural integrity, there’s also the matter of a wood’s weathering characteristics. Weathering can’t be as clearly expressed in a single number or measurement, but overall, woods with good weathering characteristics exhibit limited photo-degradation (caused by UV rays in sunlight), as well as above-average resistance to contraction and expansion, warping, and surface checking due to seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

Because of this vague definition, only woods that have notably good (or notably poor) weathering characteristics will be noted. (Again, Teak is noted for both its excellent durability and its superb weathering characteristics.)

Way more reading

Home : Woodspec -

www.timber.net.au - The Australian Database of Timber - Natural Durability Ratings

As 5604-2005 Timber - Natural Durability Ratings

AS 5604-2003 timber - natural durability ratings - Freestd - Australia Standards(AS)

this one will knock your socks off

Predicting timber
 

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Peter...
You may want to get some lunch to go with this...


Reference Number:
PN07.1052
Other Attachments:
application/pdf iconManualNo1-ClimateData.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo2-Reliability Equations.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo3-IG Decay.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo4-AG decay.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo5-AtmosphericCorrosion.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo6-EmbeddedCorrosion.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo7-MarineBorerAttack.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo8-Termites.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo9-BuildingEnvelope.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo10-CodeCommentary.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo11-EqsDesignGuide.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo12-EqsTimberLife.pdf
 

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Haven't hit bottom yet...

http://www.woodsolutions.com.au/Resources/Publications/

Publications

The following publications include a range of useful design guides and span tables from WoodSolutions and other industry bodies.

Installation Guides

To maximize the service life of timber products a series of installation guides have been produced to provide designers with an understanding of planning requirements when using timber in construction and offer installers information that ensures correct installation to maximize the service life of the products.

Technical Design Guides

A number of design guides have been developed to provide designers with the information necessary to maximize the aesthetic and technical performance of timber and assist with the development of constructions and products that conform to the required standards through out Australia.

Other Publications


Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Handbook

Cross laminated timber (CLT) offers many advantages to designers and builders. It is increasingly used in multi-storey structures worldwide. Download the free WoodSolutions Handbook.

R-Values for Timber Framed Building Elements

A handy eighty page reference for achitects, building designers or anyone requiring R-values of common timber framed structures. Download a free copy of R-values for Timber-framed Building Elements
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I had never heard of that species, had to look it up. We call it basswood or linden over here. It is most woodcarver's first choice. Red cedar (from the North American NW) is also a good choice and western white pine should be also but might be harder to find.
Hi again Charles,
I know in the States is called basswood or Linden. I've never heard or read the term American Lime but that's what the timber yard called it. Chestnut, Poplar and a few other species are good for beginner carvers too.

I'm a member of the BWA British Woodcarvers Association and attend 2 of their clubs. I also go to another independent wood carving club. Where they also make furniture mostly using hand tools.

One of the other carvers is also a retired joiner, ( did a lot of door and window joinery.... which is..... very handy ) he is also a cabinet maker.

Uploading some shots of my beginner carving projects with the clubs.
If you click view original size the picture is clearer.
The Red Kite is my 2nd beginners project think I'm getting a bit better.
Cheers.
 

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you are above my pay grade...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Peter; I got the impression from your first post that the ratings quoted weren't grading as we understand it for quality, but rather a specific rating system as it pertains to durability.
A similar rating might be assigned for suitability for framing, for example, where D. Fir would be at the top of the list...but under that category, there will be specific load ratings based on grade quality, closer to your hardwood grading system.

OK thanks.
 

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You are off to a good start Peter. I have a few chisels and gouges and a decent book. I just need to find the time and willpower to get started.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The class system of rating woods threw me and after reading several of the other posts I'm still not sure...
The Janka hardness scale comes to mind but I suspect that it doesn't apply here...

Cheers again Stick :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Peter...
You may want to get some lunch to go with this...


Reference Number:
PN07.1052
Other Attachments:
application/pdf iconManualNo1-ClimateData.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo2-Reliability Equations.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo3-IG Decay.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo4-AG decay.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo5-AtmosphericCorrosion.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo6-EmbeddedCorrosion.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo7-MarineBorerAttack.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo8-Termites.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo9-BuildingEnvelope.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo10-CodeCommentary.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo11-EqsDesignGuide.pdf
application/pdf iconManualNo12-EqsTimberLife.pdf
Yep, something to get my teeth in :D
 

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hope some of that helped...
 

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Peter-

Then as a carver you might have a leg up on that...

Remembering back to your earlier thread- For me, my first condition would be if it is a paint-out --or-- stained (showing off the wood grain and the look of the wood). If a stain... knowing what species types I want for the characteristics and look I am going for. Once I narrow that down, I might go down and look through the bins of wood and select stock that I see what I want to show off in the grain, matching or contrasting to get what I want. Even if I am set on a species and a "grade," I'll still look through the stock to get what I want.

But sometimes I can look completely through a stack or bin of wood and not find something that I want to buy, then see a scrap of wood and the lights come on. Sometimes that is ignoring what grading says -- to get what I want the finished product to look like. Look at the wood and see if it fits into your plan. That is the "art" in woodworking right?

Just like in carving, sometimes you have to paint a picture in your head with what is presented to you... Then take that picture and make it into a reality. It is a mix of both technical skills and art.

Sometimes that is also taking knots or other natural defects and incorporating them into the look... If that is what you are after. Just as you know with carving, that some pieces are not going to be suitable to carve what you want, like if you need detail and the grain would separate and pieces fall off, destroying the work you had done. Or with a paint-out, some woods are not going to look smooth with paint. For restoration carpentry and millwork, it also depends on the architectural trimwork that is going with it.

Of course you "could" just fabricate/make it. Many people could do that without conscience, not caring what it looks like, if it will last, as long as it is still functional... but what sets your work out from that? Do you want your work to pop and stand out in favor to your customers? ...To yourself?

So unless I get approved blueprints that someone spec'ed certain gradings for something structural... Otherwise, I don't pay much mind to gradings, as long as they fit "my" needs and what I can live with. I guess that might be considered a personal grading system.
 
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