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Thread: Hardwood Grading Systems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
    Posts
    2,449

    Hardwood Grading Systems

    I am somewhat familiar with the grading system of the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA).

    FAS (First & Seconds)
    1F (one face)
    Selects
    #1 Common
    #2 Common
    etc.

    There is another system that does not appear to be standardized amoung suppliers, but is based on furniture use. Each supplier has their version, so the following is from only one.

    Superior
    Cabinet
    Custom Shop
    Common Shop
    A-Strip
    B-Strip
    etc.

    Another supplier has the following

    Superior
    Cabinet
    Custom Shop
    Common Shop
    Rustic
    Standard Frame

    Does anyone have any background on this other grading system out there? I know that Superior is usually defined as FAS. It appears that this grading system was devised for furniture/cabinet makers and often comes from suppliers of specific species like Alder or Beech. It appears that the grading system may change based on the species.

  2. #2
    As wood get more "Crappy" it is necessary for venders to make up new ratings to make them look impressive. From your list I see a host of new discriptions that are outside the norm. sometimes if you give it a name it seems to be legit... But it still doesn't fill the bill for standard. Got a name but still sub quality, if it doesn't make the grade for standard, makes no difference what they call it, it still is less than standard.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    59
    I have only run across the others in relation to alder - which seems to have at least 10 grades available from the mills here in the northwest.

    The key to any grading system is to understand clearly what you need to net for parts and buy the grade that most economically gets you there. I love having so many subgrades for alder, and I buy about 5 different grades depending on the specifics of each job. But looking at the final product, you would only be able to tell that one has knots and one doesn't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
    Posts
    2,449
    Thanks for the input John. I was beginning to question my sanity. I also saw the grade applied to some European Beech. They described the grade I was looking at as Superior.

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