Hardwood Supply and Quality
The U.S. has large and growing stocks of high-quality hardwood timber, and a limitless supply of ungraded rhetoric. August 8, 2006

Ordering by the Board Foot
Clearing up the confusion about lumber quantities and unit conversions. April 14, 2005

Wood Drying Conditions and Musical Instrument Sound Quality
Instrument makers, musicians, and sawing and drying pros discuss whether kiln-dried or air-dried wood affect the way a musical instrument sounds. February 14, 2010

Wood, the environment, and Man
A wide-ranging overview of the state of the primary processing industry, and where it may be going from here. August 10, 2000

Sawing utility poles
Is it safe and practical? Advice from those who've done it. August 25, 2003

Black Locust Timbers For Fence and Gate Posts
A long discussion of Black Locust as a utility wood. October 1, 2009

What is heart pine?
History and how heart pine is defined today. October 30, 2003

Converting Board Foot Pricing to Lineal Foot Pricing
Let's run through the arithmetic one more time. April 20, 2006


Kiln drying for higher profit
Expanding a molding business to include kiln drying poplar. November 18, 2002

Log scale and overrun
Different types of scales, formulas and methods of figuring overrun. January 28, 2002

Hiring a timber consultant
When selling your woodlot, who should you enlist for help with all the choices you'll need to make? August 12, 2001

Confusing Lumber Term: "Sap and Better?"
Experts and wood buyers and sellers discuss the meaning of some obscure lumber grading terms such as "Sap/BTR" for white-wood Maple. April 20, 2011

Calculating moisture content
Using a hygrometer and calculator to determine the MC of kiln samples. September 2, 2002

Twisted timbers
Determining the cause of twisting in Douglas fir construction timbers. August 10, 2000

Measuring Logs and Lumber
Lumber measurement - Professor Gene Wengert clears up questions regarding proper measurement techniques. May 28, 2001

-What is a Board Foot?
Explanation and glossary of lumber terms by Professor Eugene Wengert. May 2, 2001

"Cherry-Picking" Lumber
Is it right to select the pieces you like from a stack of boards and leave the rest for the next person? July 24, 2006

Maximizing Lumber from a Log
Can quartersawing produce as much usable lumber as one company claims? January 29, 2004

Plywood Quality Issues
An in-depth discussion of quality concerns regarding hardwood plywood, with details on the way various plywood flavors are put together. December 30, 2005

Thickness of Rough Lumber
Identifying and sawing for specific dimensions. May 19, 2004

Certified construction lumber
Laws governing the lumber used in building. December 17, 2002

Relating Lumber Grade Selection to End Use
Which grade you should buy depends on what you're making. If you're willing to trim, cut, and select, a lower grade may serve your needs well. February 19, 2013

Poplar Siding
Advice on using locally sawn Poplar as siding for a house addition. February 14, 2010

Regaining MC in overdry wood
Is machinability lost when lumber has been overdried, then had moisture put back in? May 17, 2003

Flatsawn to Quartersawn
Cutting both types of lumber. December 17, 2003

Sawing "Select" Graded Lumber from Tie Logs
A discussion of grading standards for "select" hardwood lumber, and whether it's a good buy as byproduct from sawing railroad ties. February 4, 2011

Another Wood Identification Puzzle
Sycamore? Beech? Mulberry? The forum takes a look at some old wood found in a barn and destined to be made into guitar bodies. January 28, 2013

Yield Loss in Ripped-One-Edge Lumber
A woodworker who has ordered a delivery of random length and width wood ripped on one edge and surfaced on two sides wants to know how much wood he can really expect to get. April 27, 2007

Constructing with poplar
Is poplar appropriate for building? February 6, 2002

Hard vs. soft maple
Can these maples be mixed, and what are the differences? January 21, 2002

"China Cedar" -- What Is It?
"China Cedar" is a separate species grown in the Far East. However, Cedar logs from America do get sent to China and come back to North America as lumber, complicating the picture. December 30, 2007

Lumber "Shrinkage Fee"
Upcharges to compensate for lumber shrinkage are improper, say the experts (and the rules). August 29, 2005

How to quartersaw
Sawyers share details and pictures of their preferred methods. May 17, 2003

Board-Foot Lumber Measurement Confusion
A woodworker tries to figure out how to make sure he's ordering and getting the amount of wood he actually needs. January 20, 2010

Estimating board footage
Most accurate and most accepted methods of figuring BF for lumber. December 17, 2002

Buying Lumber at Auction
Tips on assessing the quality of air-dried hardwood up for sale at a small auction. October 3, 2009

Plywood Cupping and Moisture Content
Check panel moisture content when you receive it, advises the Wood Doctor. April 16, 2009

Dollar Value of a Walnut Burl
Walnut burls are extremely rare, but that does not mean they're worth money: the proof is in the sawing.October 26, 2011

Alder as a cherry substitute
Appropriate substitutes for cherry, and how to stain them. November 21, 2000

Plywood Quality Issues Revisited
Cabinetmakers discuss trends in plywood quality. September 7, 2006

Jarah
and we do mean HARD. 1998.

Converting Board Feet to Metric Units
You do the math... March 26, 2010

Treated pine vs. cedar
The Wood Doctor offers his prognosis for outdoor projects using cedar and treated pine. 1998.

Sapwood and heartwood
Questions on sapwood and heartwood of pecan and hickory, and how-to instructions for quartersawing. April 4, 2001

Lumber grading: The basics
How lumber is graded and net tallies are determined. November 7, 2000

Hemlock for homebuilding
The virtues and pitfalls of hemlock as a house-framing material. June 20, 2000

Is storing cants feasible?
Can large cants be stored until an order for custom-cut lumber is received? February 19, 2002

"Shop-Dried" Versus "Air-Dried" Lumber
A discussion of the quality and value of hardwoods that have been stacked and dried in a dry indoor area, but not in a kiln. March 26, 2013

Plywood and Lumber for Boat-Building
Thoughts on suitable wooden boat construction materials, and where to get them. May 23, 2007

Ways to Estimate or Calculate Board Feet
Rule of thumb gets you pretty close, and even methods involving careful measurement are susceptible to basic arithmetic errors. January 11, 2007

Communicating via email
Buying and Selling Wood on the Internet: Part 1. January 3, 2002

Quartersawn Cherry Appearance
Opinions vary on whether quarter-sawing brings out the best in Cherry. June 17, 2009

Clear face in a log
Clear face, cat face and trim, defined. March 4, 2002

Dollar Value of Spalted Wood
Pricing varies widely for spalted lumber, based on subjective factors. January 18, 2011

Moisture Content of Western Red Cedar
A stable wood that is typically serves exterior uses, Western Red Cedar is usually delivered at about 12% moisture content. But you can find it drier than that. July 28, 2006

Square foot vs board foot
Defining the difference. October 2, 2001

Is Tropical Wood Quality Slipping?
Writing a detailed spec for the desired quality can help you get the lumber quality you need. October 14, 2009

Mahogany Supply and Varieties
More info on what "Mahogany" really means, and information on the availability of various types. April 6, 2007

Purchasing kiln-dried lumber
Getting the quality and MC level you need . January 16, 2002

Converting Cubic Meters to Board Feet
The math isn't hard, but there are a few fine points. June 12, 2014

Lumber Strength, Dimensions, Orientation, and Grain Direction
An explanation of factors that influence the strength of a wood floor joist or rafter. October 1, 2009

Working with Ebony
Ebony is a difficult material to source, and quality varies. January 20, 2011

Sourcing Knotty Cherry Lumber
A discussion of knots, character, grading standards, and how to find Cherry that looks interesting. August 31, 2010

Net measure vs. gross measure
If you're not careful, gross measure may mean shrinking profits. February 12, 2001

Air-dried lumber
Is it air-dried cherry acceptable for furnituremaking? March 20, 2001

Burmese Versus Plantation Teak
A quick discussion of Asian and South American varieties of wood marketed as "Teak" July 13, 2010

Pressure treated lumber -- O.K. for grape arbor?
A look at pressure-treated woods, then and now, and safety factors to consider in using them. 1998.

Worm Holes in Mahogany
Worm holes aren't always considered as a defect in Mahogany, but they do leave you wondering whether the critters will come back. July 30, 2007

Evaluating a Shed Full of Boards
Advice on a sensible cash offer for a load of Oak that has been in dry storage for 16 years. April 24, 2014

Substitutes for Mahogany Veneer
Maple and birch have different grain structure from mahogany, but some sustainably harvested tropical species may come closer. May 28, 2006

Building with Urban Trees
Harvesting and utilizing wood which would otherwise end up in the landfill. February 28, 2004

Moisture content for exterior doors
Determining the appropriate MC for lumber that will be exposed to vastly different humidity levels. November 14, 2001

Green white oak for fencing?
Using unseasoned white oak as fencing for a horse pasture. August 10, 2000

Heart pine, defined
Forum contributors define heart pine discuss differences between heartwood, sapwood and pith. August 12, 2001

Slippery kiln-dried wood
What could make dried wood so slippery that it is difficult to machine? August 12, 2001

Will Ocean Shipping Damage Teak?
A sawmiller worries that a load of teak he has ordered from a South American supplier may suffer mold damage en route. The feedback indicates he should relax. December 1, 2005

Marine Plywood Versus Interior Plywood
Brief explanation of the differences between interior, exterior, and marine plywood. November 10, 2006

Best preparation for bent ash
Dr. Gene advises a fishing-net maker on the best ways to prepare ash for bending into frames for his products. 1998.

Valuing and pricing old lumber
Lumber pricing is like everything else: Whatever the market will bear.

Kiln dried: Better than air dried?
Why kiln-dried lumber is the best option for wood that will eventually 'live' indoors. 1998.

Quartersawn and flatsawn: What's the difference?
Distinguishing between quartersawn and flatsawn lumber. January 16, 2001

What is the Hardest Wood on Earth?
Trivia for wood lovers. There is some hard wood out there, people. April 11, 2008

Checking of Dry Lumber
Checking occurs when the wood is very wet. Checking that appears in lumber purchased as kiln-dried is a defect. December 8, 2012

What is "fuming"?
Explanations of the process of fuming wood for color. April 11, 2001

Woods for outdoor furniture
A manufacturer of outdoor furniture consults the Wood Doctor for help with choosing a species to replace beech. 1998.

Cambium miner's effect on lumber grade
Gene Wengert on cambium miners, what they do, and whether the result affects lumber grade. 1998.

Working with Iroko Wood
It's sometimes called "African Teak," but Iroko is not Teak, and does not act like Teak. May 7, 2007

When holly goes pathological
Only fungus and injury cause color change in normally white holly. 1998.

Relative densities of various birches
The Wood Doctor offers resources for information on the relative densities of birch lumbers, and offers an opinion on plastic laminate. 1998.

A rubberwood primer
Rubberwood's machinability and comparability to teak. January 31, 2001

MC in imported mahogany furniture
Moisture contents higher than eight percent are suspect, and suppliers must be notified. 1998.

Tree identification guide
Recommended resources for identifying the trees in your region. February 28, 2001

Selling Basswood to Carvers
Woodcarvers pay good money for Basswood in the right size and condition. February 3, 2011

Basic lumber grades
An overview of NHLA grades. October 15, 2001

A source for submerged wood
A supplier for lumber cut from submerged logs is provided.

Worms in ash
Are worm holes in just-bought ash a cause for concern? 1998.

Determining Wood EMC -- (Equilibrium Moisture Content)
How to calculate and establish EMC. From the Forest Products Laboratory. February 16, 2004

What makes a trailer load?
Determining how many board feet of lumber comprise a "trailer load." November 15, 2000

Sustainable forestry
How sustainable forestry relates to the woodworker and consumer demands. June 3, 2003

Value added defined
Many definitions and interpretations are offered up. July 29, 2003

Lumber Tally: Rough Versus Milled
When you buy dressed lumber, the quantity is tallied based on the rough board footage, before milling. The "rip-off" percentage can sometimes confuse the buyer. September 27, 2012

The "Sustainable" Chain of Custody
How can a small shop get certification that its wood is sustainably produced, all the way back to the source? June 30, 2009

Framing Lumber for Planting Boxes
A discussion of treated wood, naturally rot-resistant lumber, outdoor exposures, and pests. April 14, 2010

Quality of Cherry Lumber
Cabinetmakers discuss cherry quality, grading standards, and the market. August 17, 2006

Mahogany Versus Sapele for an Outdoor Structure
A long discussion about different flavors of Mahogany, their sources and qualities, and how they compare with Sapele for durability and quality. March 26, 2010

Chinese Plywood
Cabinetmakers complain about the quality of hardwood plywood imported from China. April 13, 2012

Problems with Chinese Plywood
Cabinetmakers report widespread quality and performance problems with hardwood plywood imported from China. May 22, 2007

What is value added?
Forum participants give technical and personal definitions. April 2, 2002

FOB defined
Origins and meanings of the term "freight on board." (Sawing and Drying Forum) March 23, 2003

Locust for Window Sashes?
Locust is durable and rot-resistant, but it's not stable or easy to machine so probably not the best choice for window parts. January 23, 2014

Wood Choice for Reproduction Windows
Spanish Cedar, White Oak, and Cypress are options that come to mind for a durable exterior application. and January 23, 2014

Fortune Teller: Making More Money in the Wood Industry
Wood Doctor Gene Wengert makes some educated guesses about the near future in the wood products industry, and offers some advice about how wood-based businesses can profit from change. April 15, 2013

Markups on Building Materials
Lumberyards charge low markups on basics like wood and drywall, but high markups on accessories, tools, paint, et cetera. June 11, 2012

Picket Fence Lumber Selection
A discussion comparing the pros and cons of treated wood, second growth Cedar, and other wood species for use in a fence. December 1, 2010

Cutting "shake" out of logs
What is shake, why does it occur, and how can it be removed? April 29, 2003

Red Alder Pros and Cons -- Pricing, Availability, Usefulness
Pros discuss the cost, availability, and characteristics of Red Alder solid stock and sheet goods. February 25, 2005

Tallying Moldings
Suppliers round off piece lengths in different ways. Are you getting the quantities you ordered? May 29, 2005

Plain Sliced Alder Plywood Characteristics
Cabinetmakers advise on what to expect from sliced-veneer Alder plywood. June 3, 2007

Lumber Choices for a Chocolate Brown Finish
Finishers discuss what wood species to start with when a deep brown color is the ultimate goal. July 11, 2009

Is Western Hemlock Suitable for Doors and Window Sash?
A discussion of the properties and best use of Hemlock. September 7, 2013

Plywood Inconsistencies
Advice on shopping for cabinet-grade plywood with a consistent thickness. October 13, 2010

What the Heck is "Honduran Black Walnut"?
Woodweb pros discuss the opportunities, risks, and unknowns inherent in buying lumber from foreign sources at arm's length. September 7, 2013

Obtaining a Supplier Response -- by Writing an Effective Product Specification
Buying and Selling Wood on the Internet: Part 2 March 14, 2002

Alternatives to Cumaru for Cabinet Work
A client want cabinets made with Cumaru, a Brazilian hardwood. But the cabinetmaker is looking for a more practical species to substitute. Here are a few ideas. December 31, 2012

Defining Quarter-Sawn and Rift-Sawn
There are both formal and informal definitions for "quarter-sawn" lumber. Here, cabinetmakers and the Wood Doctor discuss the fine points. July 5, 2006

"Light" and "dark" veneer bands
Avoiding the "striped" look in veneered ply. November 18, 2002

Stripes in Fir Plywood
A cabinetmaker's finisher notices a strange defect in some Fir plywood, probably caused by grain compression that happened at the plywood mill. October 13, 2012

Dropping your lumber prices -- and why not
Why do customers expect a local sawmill's prices to be lower than the lumberyard's? February 13, 2001

Northern Versus Southern Red Oak
The characteristics of Oak vary from North to South. Here's more. April 15, 2013

Rays and Flecks in Oak
Advice on how to select Oak with or without ray and fleck figure. September 30, 2009

Converting log volume scales
When sellers and buyers want numbers in different scales, how do you come up with the calculations? July 22, 2003

Recreating the Look of Rough-Sawn Lumber
Finding or creating rough-sawn lumber for rustic cabinetry. August 31, 2009

A retail lumber business?
Tips for success in a start-up sawmill-to-retail business. January 16, 2001

Treated Cypress Options
A discussion of surface coatings, preservative treatments, and natural decay resistance of Cypress used for outdoor shutters. July 12, 2008

Comparing Tropical Woods for Use in Outdoor Furniture
Utile, Sapele, and Ipe compared and contrasted. Which works better for exterior furniture? June 13, 2011

Blue Stain and Wood Grade
Stain is a defect in wood, and lowers its grade.April 18, 2010

Wood-Core MDF Panels
A quick look at the pros and cons of panels with plywood cores and MDF skins. April 22, 2014

Hard maple versus soft Maple
Aesthetic and functional differences between hard and soft maple

Availability of Eastern Red Cedar
Cedar is fast-growing and plentiful. June 14, 2014

Converting MBF Price to Cubic Meter Price
Converting prices and converting volume aren't quite the same process. Here's a discussion. January 31, 2012

How Stable is Lyptus Wood?
Lyptus has a reputation for lots of shrinkage and twisting. March 20, 2012

Gene's value-added hints
A bit of wisdom on adding value to your wood products, from Professor Gene Wengert. April 2, 2002

Hardwood Plywood Grades
Here's a concise explanation of hardwood plywood grades and what they mean. March 26, 2009

Five value-added approaches
Professor Gene Wengert presents ideas on adding value to your wood products. April 2, 2002

Woods that Match Well with Natural Pine
Thoughts on wood species that pair well visually with Pine. October 1, 2010

Substitutes for Cherry MDF
There are more economical choices when grain is not an issue. May 10, 2005