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History of the Lumber Industry of America
Chapter XVI. Ontario—Toronto Inspection


The following rules and regulations for the inspection of pine and hardwood lumber were adopted by the lumber section of the Board of Trade of the City of Toronto, Ontario, in 1890. Though now obsolete, they are of historical interest.

PINE LUMBER

INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSPECTION.

Inspectors of lumber must measure and inspect each piece as they find it, of full length and width. Imperfections are not to be measured out.

All lumber must be put into the grade its defects call for, regardless of measurement.

All lumber over 1 inch in thickness must be measured full, with the % or %, added on each piece (no fraction in width allowed).

In inspection the inspector is instructed to use his best judgment, based upon the rules laid down for his guidance.

The standard knot is to be considered as not exceeding 1 % inches in diameter.

Splits are a greater or lesser defect in lumber, and must be considered accordingly.

All lumber must be cut plump in thickness and be well manufactured, and all lumber imperfectly manufactured shall be classed as culls.

GRADES.

The following shall be the grades of lumber sanctioned by the Council of the Board of Trade for the Lumber Section of the Board of Trade of the City of Toronto :

Clear Lumber.—Clear lumber shall be perfect in all respects and free from wane, rot, shake or check, not less than 12 feet long, 8 inches wide and 1 inch thick. A piece 12 inches wide will admit of imperfections to the extent of one standard knot or its equivalent in sap. In lumber over 12 inches wide the inspector must use his best judgment in accordance with the instructions above given.

Picks.—Pickings must not be less than 12 feet long, 8 inches wide and 1 inch in thickness, well manufactured and free from wane, rot, shake or check. A piece 8 inches wide will admit of one standard knot, or imperfections in sap to the same extent. A piece 12 inches wide will admit of two standard knots, or imperfections in sap to the same extent. For lumber wider than 12 inches, of this grade, inspectors will carry out the instructions as given regarding wide, clear lumber.

No. 1 Cutting Up.—No. 1 cutting up shall not be less than 12 feet long, 7 inches wide and 1 inch in thickness. Clear pieces 10 feet long and the required width are included in this grade; this must be free from wane, rot, shake or check.

Pieces from 7 to 9 inches wide will admit of imperfections to the extent of two standard knots or their equivalent in sap. Pieces from 10 to 12 inches wide will admit of three standard knots or imperfections equivalent to them in sap, and wider for lumber of this grade inspectors will follow instructions as given in two previous grades. Inspectors are informed that this grade of lumber is expected to cut out two-thirds clear in profitable lengths to the consumer.

No. 2 Cutting Up.—No. 2 cutting up shall not be less than 10 feet long, 6 inches wide and 1 inch in thickness, and shall cut at least one-half clear in accordance with the instructions as given above regarding No. 1 cutting up lumber.

Fine Dressing.—This grade of lumber shall be generally of a sound character, and shall be free from wane, rot, shake or check, not less than 10 feet long, 7 inches wide and 1 inch in thickness. A piece 7 inches wide will admit of one or more knots which can be covered with a ten-cent piece if they are sound. A piece wider than 7 inches will admit of one or more knots of the same size according to the judgment of the inspector in regard to the width.

Common Dressing.—Common dressing shall not be less than 10 feet long, 7 inches wide and 1 inch in thickness, and shall be free from wane, rot or check, and shall be generally of a sound character, and will admit of standard knots that will not unfit it for dressing purposes.

Common.—Common shall be free from rot and unsound knots, and well manufactured, not less than 10 feet long, 7 inches wide and 1 inch in thickness.

Strips.—Clear strips shall be from 4 to 6 inches wide, not less than 12 feet long, and 1 inch in thickness, and shall have one perfectly clear face, free from all imperfections; bright sap will be permitted on the reverse side.

Sap Strips.—Sap strips for fine dressing shall be from 4 to 6 inches wide, not less than 12 feet long and 1 inch in thickness, and will admit of one knot which can be covered by a 10-cent piece in a piece 4 inches wide, and two knots of like size in a piece 6 inches wide. All strips free from other imperfections and having bright sap on two sides would be admitted into this grade. „

Common Dressing Strips.—Common dressing strips shall be from 4 to 6 inches wide, not less than 10 feet long, and 1 inch in thickness, and shall be well manufactured and generally of a sound character; will admit of knots which are sound and not coarse, and which will not unfit it for ordinary dressing purposes.

Common Strips.—Common strips shall be from 4 to 6 inches in width, not less than 10 feet long and 1 inch in thickness, free from rot and wane and to be of a coarse, sound character.

No. 1 Culls.—This grade shall consist of lumber above the grade of No. 2 culls and shall admit of coarse knots and stain and be free from rot. It shall also admit of pieces imperfectly manufactured below 1 inch in thickness and perfectly sound, and not rendered worthless through improper manufacture.

No. 2 Culls.—No. 2 culls shall be lumber that will work one-half sound.

No. 1 Lath.—No. 1 lath shall be 4 feet long, and shall be when cut lyi, l}i and 1 % inches in width, cut out of good, sound, live timber, free from wane, rot or knots, well manufactured and trimmed square at the ends.

No. 2 Lath.—No. 2 lath shall be of the same width and length as No. 1 lath, and shall admit of a small portion of wane, and also will admit of lath sap stained, and will admit of small, sound knots; must otherwise be well manufactured.

No. XXX Shingles.—No. XXX shingles, packed in 4 bunches to the 1,000, of 250 each, free from all rot, shake, sap, knots, pin holes, bastards, or defects of any nature. A shingle 4 inches being the standard, 16-inch shingles should be 5 shingles to 2 inches thickness at butt, with fa inch points, and 18-inch shingles, 5 to 2# inches thickness at butt, and fa at points, to be well manufactured and well pointed.

No. XX 6-Inch Clear Butts.— No. XX 6-inch clear butts must be perfect for at least 6 inches from butts, and the defects from this hereon to be of water-tight character, and same regulation regarding thickness as XXX shingles.

No. 1.—No. 1 to be of a grade not specially up to, so as to be considered in, either of above grades, and to be sold by special agreement.

All Other Shingles.—All other shingles are culls, and their value is to be a matter of arrangement, if they have any market value.

HARDWOOD LUMBER

INSTRUCTIONS FOR INSPECTION.

It is impossible to make rules that will govern every piece of lumber, there being no two pieces of lumber exactly alike. It is therefore expected that the inspector shall be a person of experience, and use his best judgment, based upon the general rules given, making no allowance for the purpose of raising or lowering the grades of a piece.

The inspector must not favor either the buyer or seller, but take lumber as he finds it, and pass each piece into the grade to which it belongs. Inspectors should examine all lumber on the poorest side, except flooring. All lumber must be measured in even lengths, excepting stock that is cut to order for special purposes, when it shall be measured for the full contents. Bark or waney pieces shall be measured inside the bark or wane. All tapering pieces will be measured one-third the length of the piece from the small end.

All badly cut lumber shall be classed as cull, or placed one grade below what it would be if properly manufactured. All lumber shall be sawed thick enough to meet the required thickness when seasoned. Lumber sawed for newels, columns, balusters, axles, or other specific purposes, must be inspected with a view of the intended use of the piece, and the adaptability for that purpose, as in most cases it cannot be utilized for other purposes. Heart pieces are excluded from all grades above cull. Worm holes are considered one of the most serious defects. Gum spots in cherry is a defect, and, if excessive, will lower the piece one or two grades. Warped, twisted, stained and stick-rotten lumber shall either be classed as cull, or mill cull and refuse.

The standard lengths of whitewood to be 12, 14 and 16 feet, admitting 10 percent of 10 feet lengths; walnut and cherry, 10, 12, 14 and 16 feet lengths, admitting 10 percent of 8 feet; 8 feet to be admitted as No. 1 must be 12 inches wide and upwards; to grade as No. 2, 8 inches wide and upwards.

A standard knot must not exceed 1% inches in diameter, and must be sound. Log run shall be the unpicked run of the log, mill cull out. Lumber sold on grade, and without special contract will be measured according to these rules. The inspector will be required to keep a correct copy of all measurements, and give duplicate of same to both buyer and seller if required.

In all grades mentioned as combined in No. 1 and No. 2, all pieces less than 8 inches shall be considered as seconds.

BLACK WALNUT

Combined grade of firsts and seconds, rejects and shipping culls.

No. I.—No. 1, from 8 to 10 inches, shall be clear of all defects; 10 to 16 inches wide may have 1% inches bright sap, or one standard knot; 16 inches wide and upwards may have 2 inches bright sap, or two standard knots showing on one side only.

Seconds.—Seconds, 6 inches wide and upwards, must be clear of all defects at 7 inches; at 10 inches will admit of 1% inches sap or two standard knots; 10 to 16 inches wide will admit of 2 inches sap, or two standard knots; 16 inches wide and upwards may have 3 inches sap, or three standard knots; 12 inches wide and upwards will admit of a split, if straight, l/e the length of the piece, provided the piece be equal to No. 1 in other respects. Not over 10 percent of seconds will be taken with splits of the above character.

Rejects.—Rejects, 5 inches wide and upwards; at 7 inches may have 1 inch sap, or one standard knot; 7 to 12 inches wide may have 2 inches sap, or two sound knots; 12 to 18 inches wide may have 4 inches sap, or four sound knots; above 18 inches may have 5 inches bright, sound sap.

Shipping Cull.—Shipping cull will include all lumber not equal to the above that will average and work two-thirds its width and length.

CHERRY AND BUTTERNUT

Will be graded and inspected according to the rules given for black walnut, with the exception of gum specks in cherry. (See instructions.)

WHITE WOOD, COTTONWOOD OR BALM OF GILEAD

Will include the combined grade of first and seconds—No. 1 common, No. 2 common, or shipping cull. The combined grade of firsts and seconds shall not be less than 65 percent of No. 1.

No. 1.—No. 1 shall be 10 inches wide and upwards, and clear of all defects at 12 inches; 12 to 15 inches may have 1% inches bright sap, or one standard knot showing on one side only; 15 to 18 inches may have 2 inches sap; 18 inches and upwards may have 3 inches sap, or two standard knots showing on one side only.

Seconds.—Seconds, 8 inches wide and upwards, clear of all defects at 9 inches; at 10 inches wide, may have one standard knot or a split not over 12 inches long; 15 to 18 inches wide may have two standard knots, or 3 inches bright sap; 18 to 22 inches may have three standard knots or 4 inches bright, sound sap.

No. 1 Comtnon.—No. 1 common shall be 6 inches wide and upwards, bright, sound and clear sap, not a defect in this giade; 8 to 12 inches wide, may have three standard knots; 12 to 16 inches wide, four standard knots; 16 to 24 inches, five standard knots, or may have straight heart cracks not showing over one-quarter the length of the piece, if it has no other defect excepting bright sap.

No. 2 Cotnttton or Shipping Cull.—No. 2 common or shipping cull will include lumber with more defects than the No. 1 common. Pieces will be received where two-thirds of the piece will be available for use for rough manufacturing purposes; stained sap or other defects will be received in this grade; dozed and rotten sap, and other lumber, than as above named, will be classed as mill cull or refuse, and have no standard value.

BASSWOOD

Shall be inspected the same way as whitewood, cottonwood or balm of Gilead.-with the exception that seconds will take lumber 6 inches wide and up.

ASH AND OAK

Shall be graded as firsts and seconds, and shall be 6 inches and over in width.

Boards or Plank.—Boards or plank 8 inches wide will admit of one standard knot or one defect; 10 inches and over wide will admit of two or more defects, according to the width of the piece ; bright sap is not considered a defect.

Culls.— Culls include all width, lengths and sizes, except such stock as will not work one-half without waste. Other than the above are classed as mill culls and have no value in this market.

CHESTNUT

Shall be 6 inches and over in width, and clear up to 8 inches. Pieces 9 inches wide may have three standard knots; over 12 inches wide, four standard knots. This grade must be absolutely free from worm or pin holes. Culls shall constitute all lumber below the above grade that will cut one-half without waste.

SYCAMORE

Shall be inspected the same way as oak and ash.

HICKORY

Shall be inspected the same as oak and ash.

ROCK AND SOFT ELM Shall be 6 inches and up wide, and up to 10 inches shall be perfect. Beyond that width shall take the inspection given to oak and ash.

HARD AND SOFT MAPLE

Shall be inspected for firsts and seconds in the same manner as oak and ash.

Clear Maple Flooring.—Clear maple flooring shall have at least one clear face, and two edges also clear.

Common Maple Flooring.—Common maple flooring shall be of the same general character as clear ; may have one or two small sound knots of not more than }£ of an inch in diameter, or a small wane on one edge, which will not injure it . for working its full size without waste.

BIRCH

Shall have the same inspection as hard and soft maple, with the exception that sap is considered a defect more than in maple.


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