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Softwood —


Appearance Lumber Grades

With appearance lumber, there is additional emphasis on the physical look of the lumber given that it may be exposed once installed, e.g. used to make softwood furniture. The highest grade of appearance lumber is designated as finish, followed by selects and common. There is some variation in these terms and grades depending on the agency responsible.

Source: American Softwood Lumber Standard PS 20

Nonstress Lumber Grades

For nonstress lumber pieces (a common example being the “2-by”) which is less than 2” thick and greater than nominal 2” in width, the grades are shown in Table 2 below:

Subdivided into stress-graded, nonstress-graded, and appearance lumber. Appearance lumber is judged mainly by the overall visual quality, whereas stress-graded or nonstress-graded lumber is more concerned with the structural integrity of the wood. Retail lumberyards typically sell nonstress-graded and appearance lumber, which is collectively referred to as “yard lumber”. Grading is done after the drying and surfacing operations are completed and is accomplished based on both the size and number of defects appearing on the better side of the piece.

Source: American Softwood Lumber Standard PS 20

Hardwood —


Source: National Hardwood Lumber Association

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