Making the Grade in Lumber Quality

Selecting the right piece of framing lumber for your project does not have to be as complex as the grading rules. This guide to the grades of lumber, is meant to help you get past the uncertainty by giving you the knowledge of what the grades allow and how to achieve an apple to apple comparison of what you see.

In the Pacific Northwest, our common framing lumber species are:

Every species has different characteristics for strength and appearance, but they are all graded on the same rules from the American Lumber Standards Committee.  The grades, for all that they do, are not much more than a way of telling the user what kind of quality they are buying.

The higher the grade, the better the lumber.

Before going into the Lumber Grading Standards chart to understand grades we need to understand each defect presented;

Checking – A crack in the board that happens along the growth rings and does not go through the entire board.

Grain – Determined by the number of growth rings in the board.  Typically measured in rings per inch and is viewed from the end grain of the board.

Knots – A naturally occurring defect in the board caused by branches as the tree grows.  Small tight knots are perfectly fine but large loose knots that may fall out are of greater concern.

Pitch or Sap – How trees heal wounds from pruning or fight off other diseases that could be otherwise harmful to a healthy tree.

Pitch Pockets – Places in the board where the tree has grown around the sap enclosing the wound.  These pockets coupled with the tight bark layer can be found in the wide face of a board and are not the same as edge wane.

Shake – The separation of woods growth rings that occurs either on the face of the wood or below the surface.

Skips – A manufacturing defect where planners and saws “bounce” along a board or pull the grain, causing an uneven surface to be presented.

Grain Slope – A measurement of the deviation from the natural growth of the board.  Simply put, it is the board cut parallel to the grain or across it.

Splits – Cracks in the wood that go all the way through the board.

Stains or Discolorations – Can be caused by insects, fungal decay, or heartwood/sapwood.  Some stains have no effect on the performance of the wood, while others limit the strength of the wood. This is because they come from the fast-growing center of the tree.

Wane -The uneven edge of the tree that used to contain the bark of the tree before it was milled.

Warp – In a board is the deviation from straight and true and is called by many different names.

  • A bow in the board is the end to end change on the wide face. This looks like the bottom of a boat.

  • A crook in the board is the warping that happens along the narrow edge. This looks like a hockey stick.

  • A cup in the board is when the wide face curves with the flat grain creating a hollow in the board. This looks like a canoe.

  • A twist in the board is a combination of multiple warping defects. This often looks like a boomerang or an airplane propeller.

Clear wood requirement is the amount of good wood left after all the defects have been removed from the clean faces of the wood.

The chart below shows the seven grades of framing lumber and the allowable deviation from a perfect piece of lumber.

Lumber Grade Stamps

The final piece of the lumber puzzle is the ability to look at a grade stamp to understand what it is telling you.   All stamps on lumber tell us the exact same information; (a) the grading agency, (b) the mill designation, (c) the approved grade, (d) the wood species group, (e) the moisture content.

Common Application

In most jurisdictions, the building code requires #2 Structural, commonly referred to as #2 & Better. This is why it is found at most lumber yards and home centers in your area.  Lumber yards will differ on the primary species family they carry.  One yard might sell Douglas Fir for the strength characteristics while another chooses Western Hemlock because it is cheaper while still meeting the same building codes.

In many commercial uses, select structural lumber is required because of the strength of the wood fiber.  Typically, these are applications with very high point loads due to the increased capacity of the structure itself for storage or for people. Most residential construction that is done with Select Structural lumber is done because the builder and the homeowner prefer the quality of the fiber.

The lesser grades of lumber are often used where structural codes do not matter in industrial or temporary applications.  These can be things like pallets and packaging for shipment or concrete footing work where one good face will usually be adequate.

Whatever lumber you choose, knowing the grade will help you determine if it is right for your project.  Grading used in conjunction with the design tables will help make sure that your project lasts for as long as you want it to.

For more information on the framing lumber grading rules, please visit the following sources;

 

Kelly Fox – CEO

Lumber Traders Inc.
Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co. Inc.
Hartnagel Building Supply

FastenMaster In-Store Video Demos

In case you missed Mikhail from FastenMaster at Hartnagels, here’s two quick video demos on traditional lag bolts vs. FastenMaster LedgerLok and another on their HB220 Pro Adhesive Fastener or as he describes it, “a glue gun on steroids”!

Traditional lag bolts vs. FastenMaster LedgerLok

HB220 Pro Adhesive Fastener

Account Holding Contractors! Get a FREE Web Page & Join us as a Referred Contractor.

We would like you to join our growing list of account holding contractors and professionals represented on our website!

The majority of a contractor’s future clients and our retail customers, will search the web first when looking for a qualified contractor.  If you are not listed on the internet they will have a hard time finding you and will usually go with a contractor that utilizes the web for proper advertisement.

Building a web presence is beyond the skill and resources of most of us. This is where we want to help.  The support of our account holders is paramount in our relationship and we think this assistance is a great way for us to prove it.  We know that our contractor clients are the best that the Olympic Peninsula has to offer and your success is our success.  We want you, as an account holder, to be a part of our contractor referral page for the community to resource for all their building, remodeling and home maintenance needs. Whether you do $2000 a year with us or $200,000, our end goal is to offer a complete resource of dependable, quality contractors.  But we can’t do it without your involvement.

Our retail staff are asked daily for recommendations on different installs, projects and builds so we decided to create a section on our web page called “Contractor Referrals” where we can direct our community and homeowner customers to your personalized web page. Check it out by clicking HERE.

This service is of ZERO cost to our account holders.

We welcome general contractors  but we are also searching to fill areas for specialized contractors in painting, plumbing. electrical, fencing, landscaping, concrete, and cleaning.

What Do You Get?

A personalized web page on our website in our Contractor Referrals section under the heading of your expertise that will include the following.

  • A customized page header with your logo and images.
  • Full contact information.
  • Images of the owner and crew.
  • Images of completed work.
  • A customer statement of satisfaction of past work completed.
  • A full submission form that potential customers can fill out desired work to be done and contact information that once filled out is emailed directly to you.
  • The ability to change the web page at any time utilizing our staff.

Some concerns with many of you is that web pages seem complicated.  No worries.  We can build your web page with just a small amount of time from you.  Our advertising coordinator would need approximately 30 minutes of your time to get the necessary info to fully build out your web page.

The only requirement we have for you to participate is that you MUST ALWAYS be licensed, bonded and insured.  This will be checked on a regular basis.  It is imperative that for us to provide a resource such as this, that our customers trust who we are recommending.

Getting Started…

We will do a short consultation over the phone or in person at Hartnagel Building Supply and need the following information.

  • License #
  • Phone #
  • Photo of the company’s owner and crew (if applicable).
  • Short bio on the owner (hobbies, life away from work).
  • Photo(s) of completed work (prefer at least two but the more the merrier).
  • Short bio on the company.
  • One satisfied client’s testimonial.

Continued Support

  • Our retail staff will recommend these pages to inquiring customers.
  • Throughout the year we will feature completed web pages on our Facebook page advertising them and their services to thousands of potential clients on the Olympic Peninsula.
  • We continually scour local Facebook pages for home owner inquiries of whom in the area people would recommend for specific jobs.  We will post links to these posts with the pages that fit their desired job question.
  • Your page can be modified and updated as you see fit.  If you have new pictures of completed jobs, contact us and we’ll update your page with them to keep it new and relevant.
  • We will show you how to link and advertise your new page on the web.  Whether it be your personal Social media page, a Facebook post, in an email or featured on a business card, we are here to help.

To get started please contact Josh Bergesen at 360-417-7844 or by email at joshb@lumbertradersinc.com

Henry Blueskin VP100 Licensed Contractor Event @ Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co. February 8th

Licensed Contractors and their crew are invited to a provided lunch and participate in the showcasing of Henry Blueskin VP100 as a superior alternative to traditional housewrap and air barriers.

A full demonstration and install will take place prior to the provided lunch on February 8th, 2017 from 11am-1pm @ Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co. located at 1601 South “C” St. in Port Angeles WA.

Promo Offering:

  • 2 FREE rolls on your 1st Blueskin project if you show up to the event. 800sq ft in material savings!
  • Henry branded gloves, hats, t-shirts, and much more!

Licensed Contractors are required to RSVP for the event with numbers in their party through Angeles Millwork Contractor Salesman Andrew Dahl @ either 360-417-6142 or through email at andrewd@angelesmillwork.com.

Want more info? Click Below!

Treated Right – The Platinum Tape, a blog by Kelly Fox

wHISKEY-SODA2Have you ever felt like you did not get what you paid for? At one point or another in life all of us will have that feeling. It is a lot like a bourbon and soda that is nearly all soda. In every business there is an opportunity to cut a corner or reduce an expense by taking out some of the “good stuff”.  At Angeles Millwork and Lumber Company and Hartnagel Building Supply, we are all about putting more of the “good stuff” back into what you are buying.

Against some national competitors, we see that products are being sold into our market space that are a far cry from what they used to be.

A great example is in pressure treated lumber. It is not always rated for ground contact, even though it looks and feels just like the same product you can buy at every other lumber yard in the area.

In some cases, the same pressure treated lumber they sell is a construction grade that is not even building code approved.

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To give you more of what you want for your money, we will only sell incised pressure treated lumber that is rated for ground contact and building code compliant. Our NatureDeck© treated decking product is a premium Douglas Fir and rated for above ground use because of the intended application.

Other product benefits we sell are not always as clear cut as the differences in our treated lumber but they are equally as important. For example, the cedar decking products at our stores, from the 5/4 x4 to the 2×6, are kiln dried so that you can finish your project quickly. Green decking products require them to be installed and seasoned well beyond being dry on the surface, before you can apply the deck stain of your choice. (When you deck stain does not last as long as the can said it would, your deck was probably not as dry as it should have been.)

Our kiln dried decking products can be installed, stained, and enjoyed about eight weeks faster than product bought as green or wet. Your time and effort are worth something to us and dry decking is one way that we can prove it.

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On top of the products you buy, service is the “good stuff” that many people need when they do not speak the home repair or building language. Rather than asking you to learn to speak building materials, our stores will spend more than 1000 hours in 2016 dedicated to training on our products and services so that we are better at speaking your language when you stop by. I am confident that you will enjoy the difference!

When you choose to buy from us, you will get what you pay for. Sometimes we will be less expensive and sometimes we will be more. The one thing you should never have to question is the value you receive or wonder if you got any scotch with your soda!

 

As you shop the stores, visit us online, or have questions about the products we sell compared to our competition, please ask the salesperson or email me at kellyf@lumbertradersinc.com and we will be happy to help.

Kelly-Fox-Image

Warm Regards,

Kelly Fox, CEO
Lumber Traders, INC.
Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co.
Hartnagel Building Supply

Lumber Commodity Price List 12-30-2015

Lumber, Commodity, Pricing

As many of you know, lumber is a commodity with prices fluctuating weekly due to market conditions. With our Lumber Commodity Price Sheet we look to keep you as informed as possible about those prices.  Click on the price list for a downloadable or printable .PDF version.

All prices subject to change without notice, please contact us to verify stock availability.

WEB-12-29

‘Twas the week before Christmas… in a Port Angeles lumber yard.

Christmas, Port Angeles, Sequim, lumber, hardware, Hartnagel Building Supply, Angeles Millwork & Lumber

Christmas, Port Angeles, Sequim, lumber, hardware, Hartnagel Building Supply, Angeles Millwork & Lumber

By Kelly Fox

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the stores
The business was stirring, even selling new doors;
The 2x4s were lifted into the rack with great care,
In hopes that a new unit would soon be there;
The salesmen were nestled all deep in their plans;
With visions of I joists and their 40’ spans;
And Anthony in his rain gear, and Mike in his cap,
Had just settled down for a quick ginger snap,
When out on the truck there arose such a clatter,
Chan sprang from the chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the window Dave flew like a flash,
Jentzen had narrowly missed such a mighty crash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen trees,
Gave the luster of trucks all loaded with glee,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an outside salesmen, and bright new Vermeer,
With Robert as the driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be a trick.
More rapid than customers his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Mike! now, Todd! now, Ron and Denise!
On, Coy! on Cheryl! on, Lynn and Mike Deese!
To the front of the store! to the top of the hall!
Now work away! work away! work away all!”
As Jon loads up before the rooftops can fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, they mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the boom truck full of roofing, and a swamper too-
And then, in a twinkling, Dave heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the elevator the next bundle came with a bound.
Alan was dressed all in camo, from his head to his foot,
And Josh’s clothes were all tarnished with tears and black soot;
A bundle of shakes Jacob had flung on his back,
And Todd looked like a roofer creating a new stack.
Lynnea’s eyes — how they twinkled! Chance’s dimples how merry!
Mike’s cheeks were like roses, Bob’s nose like a cherry!
Josh’s droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on Lonnie’s chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe Paul held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled Chad’s head like a wreath;
Stan had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when Becca laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
Jordan was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw Heidi, in spite of myself;
A wink of Chloe’s eye and a twist of Andrew’s head,
Soon let Stephanie know she had nothing to dread;
Terry spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the rentals; then turned with a jerk,
And laying Cody’s finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney Rod rose;
Kevin sprang to his sleigh, Devin to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard Kelly exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!”