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Industry Information
Lumber Grades
Tue Jul 21 1998

Bullet Lumber is classified by its species, strength and exterior appearance. Unfortunately, many species have different grading systems, and the nomenclature may vary by region. Generally, you will pay a lot more for clear lumber that has no knots.

Species like redwood and cedar usually sell at a premium because of their color and their natural resistance to insect damage and decay. Redwood and cedar are usually classified by the part of the tree where the lumber originates. Heartwood, the reddest and most decay-resistant, comes from the center of the tree. Sapwood, from the outer portion of the tree, is lighter in color and has little natural rot resistance.

Pressure-treated pine, spruce and fir are commonly graded as #1 or #2. Again, the main difference is appearance. Don't pay for a higher grade than you need.

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