Understanding Softwood Lumber Grades

Softwood lumber is used for various reasons throughout the world, most people use it for furniture, roofing and even shelving. This wood is usually pine, cedar and redwood, to name a few and comes in various sizes and grades.

It’s important to understanding the various softwood lumber grades, enabling you to choose the best wood for your specific project, whether it’s building a house or making some new cabinets for the kitchen.

All wood should come with a grade stamp, which will help you differentiate between the various options and make an informed decision on what you want to buy. This also helps you when importing wood for a specific project, you are able to check the stamps according to what you have purchased to ensure you have the right product.

One of the stamps you will notice is a moisture stamp and this will tell you how much moisture the wood is retaining. A stamp that states MC15 means the wood has a moisture level below fifteen percent, while the same stating MC19 means the moisture is below nineteen percent.

In most cases you will find the softwood lumber grades range from A to D, with A being the best quality wood available for just about any project.

A is normally wood with small knots, which are tight and this type of wood is often using for shelving, siding and building.

B consists of more knots per side, they are bigger than the A grade, providing customers with a slightly cheaper option when using the wood for furniture and siding.

C isn’t the best quality and should not be used for building. This softwood lumber has even more knots than B, often not tight and is best used for crates and packaging materials.

D is the lowest option and is brimming with knots, blemishes and splits. This wood is best used for packaging materials. While still durable enough to use as a crate, it is not the best option for building or furniture making.

The next softwood lumber grade you will notice stamped on your wood is the grain. VG will stand for vertical grain and will give you an indication on the overall design of the wood. Now you will also notice a stamp which will be S4, for example, this means the wood has been surfaced on four sides.

The wood species should also be included in the stamp, now this can start getting confusing, because you will see the softwood lumber grade stamp on the wood and there will be letters and numbers, but once you understand what they are all for, it will help you differentiate the different wood species, grades, surfacing and moisture content quickly and easily.

Ensure you only purchase from a reputable supplier who ensures they provide high quality wood products. This is important because you don’t want to end up with a poor quality wood when using it for the main structure of a home.

Wood is used widely for so many uses throughout the world, it is sustainable and economically friendly, which means it’s a very popular choice.

When making your decision, ensure you know the different types of wood available, their uses and you understand the grading system. This way you can easily pinpoint the ones you want to use without too much hassle.

If you are importing wood from a reputable company overseas, ensure they know the exporting rules and regulations to provide you with the right softwood lumber grade and paperwork. This can reduce any delays at customers, helping you get your project started as quickly as possible.