Terms and Definitions

Beam -

Board Foot (BF) - A volume measurement of wood. 1”x12”x12” = 1 board foot (or equivalent ex. 2”x2”x36” = 1 BF). Formula to calculate board footage - length(Feet) x width(inches) x thickness(inches) ÷ 12 -or- length(inches) x width(inches) x thickness(inches) ÷ 144.

Boxed Heart - the pith (center of the tree) remains within the piece with some allowance on all sides.

Check (Checking) - An end crack in a log that can run various distances into a log. When milled into lumber this will look like a crack the the wood.

Dimensional Lumber - Lumber milled to a standard size (width and thickness in inches). Construction industry standard for wood that has been sawn, then milled to more exacting tolerances. This is the lumber that is available at 99% of lumber and big box stores.

Free of Heart Center (FOHC) - A term usually reserved for timbers and beams where the sawyer cuts a log into a beam, and there is no Heart Center present in the final product.

Free of Knots (FOK) - No knots are visible.

Full Dimension Lumber - Lumber where 2”x4” actually means 2”x4”, not 1 5/8”x3 1/2”

Heart Center - the center core (Pith) of a log.

Lumber - Is any type of wood that has been processed into beams and planks and is used mostly for structural purposes.

Remanufacturing - is the processing or cutting of previously milled lumber, usually something done by someone other than the primary sawmill.

Plain sawn - flat sawn through the entire log without adjusting the position of the log. The grain runs the width of the board.

Re-sawing - Cutting of hardwood or softwood into two or more thinner pieces.

Rough sawn - Lumber as it comes from the saw or it may be surfaced on one or more of its faces. This is the usual raw material for making furniture where it requires additional cutting sawing or shaping.

Quarter sawn - lumber is sawn so the annual rings are reasonably perpendicular to the sides of the lumber.

Sawyer - The individual that operates a sawmill.

Timber - 1) Standing or felled trees. 2) see Beam.

Grades and standards:

1)      Individual pieces come in a wide range of quality and appearance. Characteristics that effect grade are: knots, slope of grain, moisture content, safety, size, wain and shakes. These will impact strength, utility and value. Note lumber quality has declined as material is harvested from fast growing plantation trees rather than the original slow-growing virgin forests.