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Chapter 2 Lumber.

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1 Chapter 2 Lumber

2 Manufacture of Lumber Logs arrive at a sawmill and the bark is removed. A bandsaw cuts the log into planks. A series of saws are used to slice, edge and trim. The wood is cut to various dimensions. Wood is stacked with stickers to dry.

3 Manufacture of Lumber (cont.)
Lumber is standardized and shipped. Measuring terms Edge – long, narrow surface of board Side – long, wide surface of board Ends – the cross sectional extremes of board Thickness – narrow distance across the end Width – distance across the side Length – distance from end to end


5 Plain-Sawed Lumber Common way of cutting lumber.
Log is cut tangent to annular rings. This produces a distinctive grain. Least expensive, producing greater widths. Shrinks and swells unevenly, tends to warp. Sometimes called slash-sawed.

6 Plain Sawn

7 Quarter-Sawed Lumber Produces pieces with annular rings at right angles. Shrinks evenly, warps less easily. High durability. Frequently used for flooring. Also called vertical-grain or edge-grain.

8 Quarter Sawn

9 Combination Sawing Process of varying the cutting styles to produce a mixture of plain and quarter sawn lumber. More efficient use of materials.


11 Moisture Content and Shrinkage
Green Lumber Water fills the wood cell tubes. Newly cut wood that hasn’t dried and will shrink. As it shrinks, it usually changes shape. Subject to decay due to its moisture content.


13 Moisture Content and Shrinkage
Seasoned Lumber Lumber that has been dried. Should be protected from moisture.

14 Moisture Content (MC) Expressed as a percentage.
Determined by the weight of water removed by oven drying and dividing that number by the dry weight. Example – if a wood sample is 16 ounces wet and 13 ounces dry, then

15 Drying Lumber Lumber is air dried by stacking in piles with stickers between layers. Later it is moved into huge ovens called kilns that provide controlled temperatures, humidity and air circulation. Kiln drying speeds up the drying time but is more costly.



18 Drying Lumber (cont.) Recommended MC
Framing lumber less than 19% Exterior finish lumber – 12% Interior trim and cabinet work – 8-10% Moisture meters are used to measure moisture content.

19 Lumber Storage Store lumber so it is protected from moisture and other hazards. Keep lumber off the ground. Cover with a tarp, leaving room for air circulation.

20 Lumber Defects A defect is any fault that detracts from its appearance and strength. Warps are caused by drying lumber too fast, poor storage, or surfacing lumber before it is dry. Splits and checks are caused by uneven drying. Shakes run parallel to annular rings.


22 Lumber Defects (cont.) Lumber with high percentage of juvenile wood tends to warp and twist more. Knots are cross-sections of branches in the trunk of the tree. Pitch pockets are small cavities holding pitch.

23 Lumber Defects (cont.) Wane is bark on the edge of lumber.
Pecky wood has small grooves through the grain.

24 Board defect types

25 Lumber Grades and Sizes
Largest manufacturer of softwood is Western Wood Products Association (WWPA). Hardwood grades established by the National Hardwood Lumber Association.

26 Softwood Lumber Grades
Three general categories Boards – 1 inch or less in thickness i.e. 1x6 Dimension Lumber – 2 inches in thickness i.e. 2x6 Timbers – larger than 2 inches in thickness i.e. 4x6 1x6 2x6 4x6

27 Hardwood Lumber Grades
Firsts and seconds (FAS) is the best grade. Each piece must be at least 6” wide by 8’ long. Next best grade is called Select. No. 1 common grade allows narrower widths and shorter lengths.

28 Lumber Sizes Rough lumber that comes directly from the sawmill is close to nominal size. Planing reduces the thickness and width to standard and uniform sizes. Nominal size – what the piece is called Actual size – the actual measurements

29 Lumber Sizes (cont.) Lumber sizes are indicated by a series of numbers. Thickness” × Width” × Length’ For example, 1” × 10” – 12’ One inch thick × 10 inches wide and 12 feet long

30 Actual vs. Nominal Actual dimensions of lumber are smaller than the name implies. For example: Nominal 2 x 6 6″ 2″ ` 2x6

31 Actual vs. Nominal Actual 1½” x 5½” ` 1½″ 2x6 5½”


33 Board Foot Measure Lumber may be purchased by the piece.
i.e. 36 – 2x8 –16′ Large quantities of lumber are often purchased by the board foot (bdft). i.e bdft of 2x4’s This is typically done at the wholesale level. Also allows purchasing of varying board sizes.

34 Board Foot Measure (cont.)
Board foot measure refers to a volume of wood. It is defined as the volume of wood measuring 1” × 12” × 1’ One board foot may have many shapes. 1″ 12″ 1 foot


36 BDFT Calculations (cont.)
Formula for figuring board feet is: Bdft = # pieces × Thickness″ × Width″ × Length′ ÷ 12 Note: Thickness (inches), Width (inches), & Length (feet) Example – How many board feet are in 180 pieces of 2x816′ long? 180 × 2 × 8 × 16 ÷ 12 = 3840 bdft

37 Conclusion Lumber is plain sawn or quarter sawn.
Moisture content of wood is important. Wood can be air dried or kiln dried. Defects affect appearance and strength. There are many different grades of wood.

38 Conclusion (cont.) Nominal size is not the same as actual.
Board foot is a measure of wood volume.

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