Hardwood Lumber and forests are being managed better now than ever before. With the proper care or the world's forest, this renewable resource will continue to beautify homes for generations to come.
Hardwood Tree's have a life span. Generally a hardwood forest replants itself naturally by dropping seeds. These seeds need sunlight in order to germinate and start growing. By thinning out the forests and practicing responsible forestry techniques, new trees start to grow. If a tree is not harvested in its prime, hollow rot will set in and the tree begins the slow aging process of dying from the inside out.
Log deck to grade and store logs prior to cutting.
Logs are debarked just prior to being sawn into lumber.
Logs are cut for optimal yields and grades.
Grading of Hardwood Lumber is done based upon clear yield of the lumber. The higher the yield and fewer the defects, the better the grade. The lower the yield and the greater number of defects, the lower the grade. Grading is as follows from best to worst.
FAS (First and Seconds)
Select and Better
Included in the grading is the size of the board. For example the minimum size of board to qualify for FAS is 6” x 8' (green) anything smaller would be a different grade.
Drying wood is a must for stability and to ensure a quality product. Lumber is placed in a kiln and exposed to extreme heat to draw the moisture out of the cells of the wood. Drying times in the kiln varies depending upon the specie and the thickness of material. The desired moisture content when done is 6 – 8%. During the drying process the wood physically becomes smaller. “Green Tally” is the term used when measuring wood prior to being kiln dried. “Net Tally” is the term used when measuring wood after the wood is dry.
Lumber thickness is referred to in 1/4" increments. Common thicknesses are 4/4 5/4 6/4 and 8/4. Thicker lumber is available but not commonly used.
Board Feet Calculations
If the above piece measured 6” wide by 10' long, board feet would be calculated by:
(4/4 thick) 6 x 10 ÷12 = 5 board feet
(5/4 thick) 6 x 10 ÷12 = 5 x 1.25 = 6.25 board feet
(6/4 thick) 6 x 10 ÷12 = 5 x 1.5 = 7.5 board feet
(8/4 thick) 6 x 10 ÷12 = 5 x 2 = 10 board feet
How hard is Hardwood?
The Janka Scale was developed to determine the hardness of wood and to compare one specie to another specie.
Links to Janka Scale's
USDA Janka Hardness
Graf Brothers Lumber
Links to Grading
American Hardwood Export Council
NHLA Grading Rules
NHLA Grading Chart
Wood is Green
NHLA – Why North American Hardwoods