See N. C. Brown, Lumber (2d ed. 1958); R. E. Pike, Tall Trees, Tough Men (1967); L. Blanchard, The Lumberjack Frontier (1969).
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production. Timber often refers to the wood contents of standing, live trees that can be used for lumber or fiber production, although it can also be used to describe sawn lumber whose smallest dimension is not less than 5 inches (127 mm).
Lumber is supplied either rough or finished. Besides pulpwood, rough lumber is the raw material for furniture-making and other items requiring additional cutting and shaping. It is available in many species, usually hardwoods. Finished lumber is supplied in standard sizes, mostly for the construction industry, primarily softwood from coniferous species including pine, cedar, hemlock, fir and spruce, but also some hardwood for high-grade flooring.
Dimensional lumber is a term used for lumber that is finished/planed and cut to standardized width and depth specified in inches. Examples of common sizes are 2×4 (also two-by-four and other variants such as four-b'-two in England, Australia, New Zealand), 2×6, and 4×4. The length of a board is usually specified separately from the width and depth. It is thus possible to find 2×4s that are four, eight, or twelve feet in length. In the United States the standard lengths of lumber are 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24 feet.
|1 × 2||in × in (19 mm × 38 mm)||2 × 2||in × in (38 mm × 38 mm)||4 × 4||in × in (89 mm × 89 mm)|
|1 × 3||in × in (19 mm × 64 mm)||2 × 3||in × in (38 mm × 64 mm)||4 × 6||in × in (89 mm × 140 mm)|
|1 × 4||in × in (19 mm × 89 mm)||2 × 4||in × in (38 mm × 89 mm)||6 × 6||in × in (140 mm × 140 mm)|
|1 × 6||in × in (19 mm × 140 mm)||2 × 6||in × in (38 mm × 140 mm)||8 × 8||in × in (184 mm × 184 mm)|
|1 × 8||in × in (19 mm × 184 mm)||2 × 8||in × in (38 mm × 184 mm)|
|1 × 10||in × in (19 mm × 235 mm)||2 × 10||in × in (38 mm × 235 mm)|
|1 × 12||in × in (19 mm × 286 mm)||2 × 12||in × in (38 mm × 286 mm)|
Solid dimensional lumber typically is only available up to lengths of 24 ft, yet since builders have a need for lengths beyond that for roof construction (rafters), builders use "finger-jointed" lumber that can be up to 36 ft long in 2×6 size (see Engineered Lumber below). Finger-jointed lumber is also widely used for smaller lengths like studs, the vertical members of a framed wall. Pre-cut studs save a framer a lot of time as they are pre-cut by the manufacturer to be used in 8 ft, 9 ft & 10 ft ceiling applications, which means they have removed a few inches of the piece to allow for the sill plate and the double top plate with no additional sizing necessary by the framer.
In the Americas, two-bys (2×4s, 2×6s, 2×8s, 2×10s, and 2×12s), along with the 4×4, are common lumber sizes used in modern construction. They are the basic building block for such common structures as balloon-frame or platform-frame housing. Dimensional lumber made from softwood is typically used for construction, while hardwood boards are more commonly used for making cabinets or furniture.
The nominal size of a board varies from the actual size of the board. This is due to planing and shrinkage as the board is dried. This results in the final lumber being slightly smaller than the nominal size. Also, if the wood is surfaced when it is green, the initial dimensions are slightly larger (e.g. in bigger for up to 4 in nominal lumber, ⅛ in for 5 in and 6 in nominal lumber, ¼ in bigger for larger sizes). As the wood dries, it shrinks and reaches the specified actual dimensions.
|Nominal||Surfaced 1 Side (S1S)||Surfaced 2 sides (S2S)|
|1 in or in||in||in|
|in or in||in||in|
|in or in||in||in|
|2 in or in||in||in|
|3 in or in||in||in|
|4 in or in||in||in|
In North America sizes for dimensional lumber made from hardwoods varies from the sizes for softwoods. Boards are usually supplied in random widths and lengths of a specified thickness, and sold by the board-foot (144 cubic inches, th of a cubic foot). This does not apply in all countries, for example in Australia many boards are sold to timber yards in packs with a common profile (dimensions) but not necessarily of consisting of the same length boards. Hardwoods cut for furniture are cut in the fall and winter, after the sap has stopped running in the trees. If hardwoods are cut in the spring or summer the sap ruins the natural color of the timber and deteriorates the value of the timber for furniture.
Also in North America hardwood lumber is commonly sold in a “quarter” system when referring to thickness. 4/4 (four quarters) refers to a one-inch thick board, 8/4 (eight quarters) is a two-inch thick board, etc. This system is not usually used for softwood lumber, although softwood decking is sometimes sold as 5/4 (actually one inch thick).
Wood with less than 20% moisture remains free of fungi for centuries. Similarly, wood submerged in water will not be attacked by fungi because of absence of air.
Fungi timber defects:
One of the most conventional framing methods is the Neumann Notch, which involves a thirty-two degree angling of adjoining lumber and then a right-angled wedge with an eighteen degree cusp fitted between the lumber before being bolted. This convention was pioneered by Daniel R. Neumann, a carpenter from Germany, that was responsible for the structural development of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. This framing convention spread to construction sites in other colonies, most famously Plymouth and Concord. Neumann's notched framing then was adopted by carpenters and construction companies and this framing convention is still used today in traditional frame sets.
Another somewhat less conventional method for framing is known as the "New-style" binding. The basic setup of the New-style binding was developed by Austin D. New, a Mormon settler in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 1800s. The basic structure of the New-style binding involves a set-up of two similar sized logs set against each other perpendicularly and lashed together with hemp rope. This technique was used to construct many of the early houses of the Mormon settlers due to its ease of use and durability. Eventually the New-style binding became obsolete as the settlers began constructing homes out of the more traditional brick and mortar.
Coal-fired power plant in Pepeekeo, Hawaii, that formerly provided electricity to a sugar mill is now being converted into a 24-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant. MMA Renewable Ventures is financing the conversion and will operate the new plant, which will be called the Hū Honua Bioenergy Facility . Located about 8 miles north of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii, the facility will draw on residual wood from the local timber industry and other biomass wastes to produce enough power for about 18,000 homes, meeting up to 10% of the Big Island's electricity needs.
timber is a type of wood that comes in all different shapes and sizes.