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RE: Wood Grading Stamp

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I worked in a lumber yard while in school.  All of our lumber came stamped, including the large timbers, even when they were special ordered.  As for the Pressure Treated lumber, we would just send our over stock into the pressure treating plate, i.e. the lumber we had the most stock of went to the plant, be it DF/L, Hem fir or what ever.  So be careful of what you lumber you let slide.





-----Original Message-----
From: David Maynard [mailto:davemaynard(--nospam--at)]
Thursday, September 08, 2005 10:06 AM
Subject: RE: Wood Grading Stamp


First, I agree with Jordan on this one.  I think the contractor is trying to take you for a ride and tell you what you designed.  Time to stand up for your specs and say, "Hey, this is what I called out.  Do it just like that.  Don't tell me!!!"  Or something along those lines in a more diplomatic but professional matter none the less.  This sounds like a contractor looking to save a buck by using some scrap he had in his yard.  But who really has 8" square timbers lying around???  I get off topic, sorry.  Nevertheless, he has to provide some sort of proof for this.


Second, I didn't think timbers actually came without a stamp.  This leads me to my next thought, did the contractor have the stamp sanded off???  If so, why???  And don't give me this "rustic element" garbage, Mr. Contractor.  My guess is that his timbers he ordered possibly didn't meet your spec, so he eliminated the evidence, and is using this excuse to skirt the issue.  After buying a ton of wood for some backyard construction of my own, I found every stick to be stamped "SPF #2 or better" with an Fb value on it.  Then again, those were all 2x6's.  Not sure what you see when you get into bigger stuff like 8x8's.  Does Pressure Treated lumber come stamped as well???  I would imagine it does, but I don't do enough with timber to know for sure.


Others may be able to shed a little more light on my issues.  Nevertheless, don't let the contractor get away with a garbage argument like this.  Bleh!!!!  Kinda sounds like, "We've done things like this all the time and have never had a problem before."


Dave Maynard, PE

Gillette, Wyoming

-----Original Message-----
From: Jordan Truesdell, PE [mailto:seaint1(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 9:26 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Wood Grading Stamp

That argument is, excuse my language, bullsh!t. I wouldn't sign off on it unless the timbers were massively overdesigned and I knew that I could make the job work with absolutely lousy wood. 

The best thing to do is to make him get the timbers graded and accept a letter of grading from a properly trained expert.  Let him know that if the grade is weaker, he'll have to pay for a re-analysis and may still need to get stronger timbers based on your new analysis and the timeber grade he has.

joraljim(--nospam--at) wrote:

I designed a small wood dock structure supported on 8"x8" timber elements. In the contract documents, I specified that the each piece of lumber shall have a grade stamp of grading agency.

The contractor provides timber elements without any stamp, arguing that the timber are "rustic" elements.

Is that argument acceptable?

Jorge Jimenez, EIT

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