Types of Lumber: The Basics
Are you looking to start up a woodworking hobby? Perhaps you’re doing some investigating before you start planning to build your own home. Here’s an overview of the different types of lumber out there from E.L. Morse Lumber to get you started on the right track.
Softwood and Hardwood Types of Lumber: The Basics
Different types of trees produce different softness or hardness in the lumber made from them. Coniferous trees, ones with needles like pines, firs, and spruces, usually have softer wood. They’re soft enough to splinter and break from a person’s bare hands, and have to be specially treated over time. It’s interesting that these rough-on-the-outside trees produce softwood lumber, while trees like maple and mahogany produce more stiff, resilient hardwood lumber. Hardwood trees take longer to grow, which is one of the reasons why the wood is so much more expensive.
Classifications of Lumber Types of Lumber: The Basics
All it takes is a glance out your backdoor to see that trees don’t all look the same, even when they’re the same type of tree. So it is with lumber. Not all pine trees will produce the same kind of lumber, which is why they are classified for different uses depending on their characteristics.
Yard lumber is one use of softwood, and it’s used in regular construction projects. Depending on the quality, yard lumber comes in different grades: common and select. There’s a no. 3 common, a no. 2 common, and a no. 1 common, 1 being the highest quality grade of common lumber. This highest grade will have a few small, tight knots in it. No. 2 has larger knots and works well in paneling or making shelves. No. 3 has the biggest knots, and does better in fencing or making crates. Select yard lumber has very few to no knots in it at all. The fewer defects in the wood, the higher the select yard lumber grade.
Then you have structural lumber. This type of lumber is what a standard 2×4 or 4×4 is made of. It’s typically tested to see how well it will stand up to stress, and different stress grades are used for different purposes. Structural lumber is a diverse material that can be used in a wide variety of accent areas throughout a building. Light framing and structural light framing are done with this type of lumber. Structural joists and planks, as well as beams and stringers, are made up of this lumber type as well. Then you have studs, posts and timbers, and appearance framing at the very end of it all to give it a polished look.
Shop Factory Lumber
Then there’s shop factory lumber, the type of wood that isn’t meant for building large structures. This is the kind of lumber you’re looking for to build doors, pencils, ladders, or any other hodgepodge items that require wood to be manufactured.
The kind of lumber you use is directly in correlation with the kind of work you’re doing. If you’re looking for a bid on your next project, it’s a good idea to get a quote from a lumber company such as E.L. Morse Lumber to get an idea of your costs