Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Board Foot (bf) ? All lumber is sold by the board foot and figured by rough thickness. A board foot is the equivalent of 144 cubic inches. The formula is THICKNESS X WIDTH X LENGTH in inches / 144. Thus a board 1" thick by 6" wide by 24" long would be 1 board foot.
- What does 4/4 mean ? Rough lumber thickness is specified in quarters of an inch. Ex: 4/4 is 4 quarter material and equal to 1" thick in the rough. 5/4 =1-1/4", 6/4=1-1/2", and 8/4=2" thick. The Hardwood Grading Bureau allows that during planing 1/4" may be removed from the thickness, thus allowing it to be clean on both faces. So 4/4 lumber will finish at 3/4" and 8/4 will finish at 1-3/4".
- What width lumber do you have ? Most hardwood lumber is sold in random width, which means that all boards are a minimum of 4" wide and wider. Nearly all lumber we buy is in random width. There is no definition of wider, however, most are 6-8". We have received some boards up to 27" wide. Extra wide boards are limited and therefore a premium with extra charges applied.
- What does FAS mean? Most lumber you see listed will be called FAS meaning Firsts and Seconds. Lumber today is not graded FAS but actually FAS-1F meaning Firsts and Seconds one Face. In years gone by lumber was graded FAS meaning the worst face of a board was FAS and the back was FAS or Better. Today FAS-1F means the best face is FAS and the back could be worse. You will also see some lumber graded as Select & Btr, this is basically the same as FAS but it allows for boards to be a min of 4" wide while FAS is min 6" wide. Fas and Sel & Btr allows knots and defects. The grade is acutally specified as clear cutting units, or percent of clear material in a board. An FAS-1F board should give you a Basic Yield of 83.33%. Sap wood is not considered a defect.
- Moisture content? You have probably read articles that say you should check the moisture content before you buy your lumber. If it is not 7% like it should be don't buy it. ----- wad this article up and throw it away. Kiln dried lumber is dried to a moisture content of 6-7% and then a shot of steam is injected into the kiln to slightly raise the moisture content and stress relieve the lumber. This does help to relieve the majority of the stress. When the lumber leaves the mill and goes to Phoenix Arizona it will probably be at 7% mc. When it goes to Florida it will raise to 9-11% mc. The mc in our lumber is typically 8.5-10% depending on the weather. The mc will change from your workshop into your a/c home pretty rapidly. It is not a real issue unless you are working with some air dried lumber that has not dried enough. You are welcome to check our moisture content and ask questions.
"I realize that I am hard to please, but after researching and visiting several other hardwood suppliers in the state, no one had Cherry lumber better quality than yours and their prices were higher."