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UNDERSTANDING LUMBER GRADES
Grades for Hardwood Lumber
Grades for Softwood Lumber
Plywood Grades

Tip #127
Understanding Lumber Grades

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What Is The Meaning Of All Those Grading Letters And Numbers On Wood?

Here you go:

GRADES FOR HARDWOOD LUMBER

FIRSTS: The best wood available for fine furniture and cabinet work. 8' to 16' long First grade boards must be 6 " or more in width and be 91-2/3 percent or more clear and free of defects on BOTH SIDES.

SECONDS: Very good choice for the large majority of furniture and cabinet work. 8' to 16' long Second grade boards must be 6" or more in width and be 83-1/3 percent or more clear and free of defects on BOTH SIDES.

SELECTS: Select lumber is a good choice for the majority of cabinet-making applications. Boards must be 6' to 16' long, 4" or more in width It must be 91-2/3 percent or more clear and free of defects on ONE SIDE ONLY and therefore, some waste can be expected.

NO. 1 COMMON: A good choice for less-critical cabinet-making and similar interior applications, No. 1 common lumber must be 4' to 16' long, 3" or more in width and only 66-2/3 percent or more clear and free of defects on ONE SIDE ONLY. Some waste is to be expected.

NO. 2 COMMON: Acceptable for flooring, paneling and similar less-critical projects such as those that will be filled and painted. No. 2 common lumber must be 4' to 16' long, 3" or more in width and need be only 50 percent or more clear and free of defects on ONE SIDE ONLY. Significant waste is to be expected.

NO. 3-A COMMON: Acceptable for less-critical projects. No. 3-A common lumber must be 4' to 16' long, 3" or more in width and need be only 33-1/3 percent or more clear and free of defects on ONE SIDE ONLY. More waste than usable stock is to be expected.

NO. 3-B COMMON: Acceptable for few projects. No. 3-B common lumber must be 4' to 16' long, 3" or more in width and need be only 25 percent or more clear and free of defects on ONE SIDE ONLY. More waste than usable stock is to be expected.

continue to GRADES FOR SOFTWOOD LUMBER

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