Finding the Value in "Low Grade" Wood
A long and insightful discussion, with photos, about how to use (and sell) wood that is officially graded low. June 18, 2009

Quartering a huge oak
Methods for quartering a log too large to fit on the mill. May 9, 2001

Grading lumber for an addition
Must home-milled lumber for use in a home addition be graded? June 24, 2001

Certifying Sustainable Forest Management
Rewarding Good Deeds in the Woodlot September 1, 2001

Cracks in log home logs -- and other warnings
Cracks in logs used in log home construction are normal, but not necessarily desirable. August 10, 2000

DIY grading
The legal ins and outs of grading your own milled lumber. January 28, 2002

Home-made house materials
Advice on sawing out the lumber to build your own house. February 28, 2001

Understanding Hardwood Lumber Grading
This article from Independent Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine covers the basics. September 21, 2001


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

Effects of environmental awareness?
Lumber processors discuss the market effects of buyer awareness of environmental issues. August 23, 2000

Causes of Shake
Bacteria is what causes shake in trees. September 24, 2003

True Dimensions of 4/4 Green Lumber
The terms "4/4" and "RWRL" take some explaining. Here's the voice of expertise and experience. October 8, 2005

Roughsawn Hemlock for Framing Lumber
Thoughts and advice on sawing up hemlock to use for house framing. October 20, 2005

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

Hard Maple for Baseball Bats
Info about sawing, drying, and grading maple bat billets. October 2, 2005

Black locust vs. treated wood -- for barn poles
Comparing black locust to treated lumber for use in barn construction. June 21, 2000

Remove pith when sawing boards?
Removing inferior wood from sawlogs. June 24, 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

Quartersawn, Rift Sawn, and Flatsawn What's the Difference?
A photo example and discussion of grain direction in sawn lumber. February 4, 2011

Visual Grading, Lumber Strength, and Liability
If a visually graded piece of lumber breaks at lower stresses than the grade specifies, can somebody get in trouble? January 27, 2008

Drying wood for musical instruments
A primer on various lumber drying techniques as they relate to musical instrument construction. 1998.

Wet Cottonwood with Wind Shake
Some comments about the dubious strength and quality of lumber from Cottonwood logs having noticeable wind shake. July 28, 2006

Wood species for outdoor furniture
The Wood Doctor names names: Decay-resistance lumber suitable for outdoor use. October 10, 2000

Conditioning DH-kiln-dried white oak
July 18, 2000

NHLA lumber grading
Do rough mills need NHLA graders? May 30, 2001

Sawing wood for house-framing
The basics of sawing and drying lumber to by used in constructing a house. January 3, 2001

"Rustic" Lumber What Is It?
What visual qualities define lumber as "rustic" is a matter of subjective perception and opinion. February 4, 2011

Efficient cutting parallel to bark
When cutting for grade, what is the most material-efficient method? Illustrated. April 2, 2002

Cambium miners' effect on standing cherry
A woodlot pest causes gummosis in cherry. June 21, 2000

Aromatic cedar for closet lining
A discussion of drying and machining, aromatic red cedar for closet lining. Includes ideas on marketing the finished product. March 4, 2000

Making the Most of Walnut Logs
Thick and thin, high grade and low grade, sawyers and woodworkers discuss how to squeeze the best value from walnut trees. July 28, 2006

"Moon Ring" Defect in Oak
Very rarely, some sapwood in a tree will fail to convert to heartwood, leaving the appearance of a light, bleached streak in the wood. March 13, 2009

Standing dry cedar: Lumber-worthy?
Are standing, dead cedar trees a good source for decking boards? July 11, 2000

Chestnut
Horse chestnut, and why it's the only live type of this wood available. September 6, 2000

Sawing Your Own Framing Lumber
Proper grading is an issue, because knots may weaken the material for structural purposes. April 20, 2011

Yellow discoloration in oak
Causes of yellow staining in kiln-dried oak are discussed. October 2, 2001

"True honeycomb" defined
What is "true honeycomb" and what causes it? November 7, 2001

You say pecan, I say hickory
Pecan lumber is usually sold as hickory. June 20, 2000

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.

Cypress board and batten siding
It's better to kiln dry that cypress before siding your house with it than to let air-drying suffice. 1998.

Are coastal trees of lower quality?
Is there a in the quality of lumber between trees grown in coastal, versus inland, areas? August 10, 2000

Red cedar vs. white cedar siding
The differences between the two woods, specifically, their suitability for use as siding. October 17, 2000

Quartersawn mahogany, or is it?
An architectural woodworker seeks specifications and industry guidelines for what constitutes truly quartersawn mahogany. March 5, 2000.

Drying green tongue-and-groove pine
Success in drying green, already-machined lumber has much to do with the species. 1998.

Lumber Grader Qualifications and Reimbursement
Notes on who can grade hardwood lumber, and how much they might charge to do it. August 29, 2006

Moisture content of walnut -- and measuring it
A woodworker seeks information about acceptable moisture contents for walnut used in furniture, and wonders what makes moisture meters tick. 1998.

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

Defining Hardwood Veneer Log Quality Attributes
What makes a good veneer log? This expert resource takes the mystery out of industry veneer-log selection and grading criteria. December 19, 2006

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

Sinker logs: Cutting, use and grading
A quick review of the cutting, use, and grading of lumber from sinker logs. June 20, 2000

Most-marketable material thicknesses
Sawing lumber to thicknesses that are in demand among woodworkers. January 31, 2001

Moisture issues in antique lumber
Is salvaged wood from old barns dry enough to use as one would use kiln-dried lumber? August 23, 2000

Quartersawing on a bandmill
Methods for quartersawing timber on bandsaw mill. June 24, 2001

Sawing crotchwood
Obtaining the best figured wood. September 2, 2002

Smelly lauan
The Wood Doctor is quizzed about bad-smelling lauan in a commercial bar. Diagnosis: anaerobic bacteria. Prognosis: terminal. Prescription: replacement. 1998.

Salvaging lumber from submerged wood
The best chance for salvaging lumber from submerged wood lies in cutting it quickly, and drying it slowly. 1998.

Characteristics of butt log lumber
Denser, darker wood than the rest of that from the same laod may be from butt logs. 1998.

Casehardening explained
The Wood Doctor describes casehardening, its causes, and cure. July 18, 2000

Lumber grading guidelines
Where to find basic information on lumber grades and lumber grading. August 10, 2000

Quani?? Konnei??
Description: Konnei, a species from tropical Asia. March 2, 2000

Bur oak, a.k.a. white oak
Information about various types of white oak, of which 'bur oak' is one. August 23, 2000

Woodlot purchase and profitability
Advice on purchasing land for timber. April 20, 2001

Borer holes in oak timbers
Which creepy-crawlies caused those holes in structural members of an oak timber-frame building? January 16, 2001

Identifying mixed lumber
The best guide to wood identification. March 5, 2000

Alder color
The effects of age on the coloration of lumber cut from alder logs. August 10, 2000

What causes "shake" in pine?
The cause of this defect, which significantly impacts lumber grade. June 20, 2000

Good lumber from "Ys"?
Can quality wood come from branch locations? July 11, 2000

Processing Trees to Lumber -- for the Hobbyist and Small Business
Two experts share their secrets of success for small-scale milling operations. January 19, 2002

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

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

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

Aging yellow cedar
Attaining the look of naturally aged yellow cedar. September 2, 2002

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

Safe and Cost-Effective Tree Felling
The how and why of wedge cuts. February 26, 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

Limbing practices
To prune or not to prune your future sawlogs. (Forestry Forum) March 23, 2003

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

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

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

Twisty Trees are Trouble
Sawyer lore says the logs with the left-handed twist are best left to rot. April 20, 2011

Calculating board footage
Professor Gene Wengert explains it all. February 18, 2003

Powderpost beetles in hardwood beams
Is there any way to get rid of powderpost beetles riddling oak beams with holes? November 7, 2001

Producing Drying Defects on Purpose
A client requests surface checks in his kiln charge of white oak. Should the operator oblige? May 11, 2005

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

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

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

Pecan Wood for Use as Ties
A little info (and some unanswered questions) about the usefulness of Pecan wood for railroad ties.June 14, 2014

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

Lumber from a lake bottom??
Is it possible to dry logs which have spent 50 years underwater? January 31, 2001

Dry Kiln Operator's Manual
A publication of the Forest Products Laboratory. August 22, 2003

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

Lumber Degrade Above or Below FSP
Is wood subject to degrade and defects above or below FSP?

Controlling color in air-dried alder
Ideas for achieving color uniformity when air-drying alder. July 26, 2000

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

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

Quality Drying of Softwood Lumber
A publication from the Forest Service in PDF format. August 22, 2003

Quality Drying of Hardwood Lumber
A publication from the Forest Service in PDF format. August 22, 2003

Drying Hardwood Lumber
A publication from the Forest Products Laboratory. August 22, 2003