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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Default Grading Of Hardwood Timber

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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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 09:56 PM
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Peter, I would ask your timber merchant. He should know.

James
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 10:21 PM
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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

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
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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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Stick486;343259]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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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 09:12 AM
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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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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by neville9999 View Post
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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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Gaia View Post
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.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 11:40 AM
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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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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaia View Post
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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This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 07-14-2013 at 01:02 PM. Reason: clean up the organization
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