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Re: Doug. Fir Lumber Grades

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Larry,

My understanding of the "No. 1" and "No. 1 and Better" grades is simply that it's easier/more efficient to sort lumber by grade when there are fewer grades; e.g., sorting lumber into piles of No. 1 *and* Select Structural takes more skill (and then more yard space for separate stacks of lumber grades) than just putting all the lumber into one pile if it's at least No. 1 grade.

The reward for engineers is getting slightly higher allowable stresses, since there are supposedly some pieces that will be better than No. 1. However, for specifying new lumber I wouldn't trust No. 1 and Better to actually be provided. I once called a lumber yard to ask what grade lumber they had available--the answer was "We carry 'number one construction grade'." Okay.... is it 'number 1', or is it 'construction'?? I've also specified select structural and had people complain that it cost more than No. 1 and the 'guy at the lumber yard' said the two grades are exactly the same.

Have fun!

Thor Matteson, SE
www.shearwalls.com

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