Manufactured Under Canada’s Strict Lumber Quality Control System
All lumber produced by the coast sawmills is carefully graded and sorted prior to shipment. The grading is carried out by highly skilled graders who have been trained and tested by one of Canada’s authorized lumber grading agencies. Under Canada’s national lumber quality control system, lumber can be manufactured and graded to any recognized standard or to specifications designed to meet the specific requirements of the client and/or intended end use. Inspectors from the independent grading agencies visit the mills at lease once per month to ensure that the lumber is being manufactured, graded and sorted in compliance with the provisions of the relevant grading rule.
Grade Stamped Lumber
Construction lumber that is to be used for structural applications in conjunction with published engineering design properties must graded to a recognized grading rule for visually or mechanically stress rated lumber. In this instance, each piece of lumber is individually graded and gradestamped to certify the species, grade, moisture condition, grading rule, manufacturer and grading agency. The use of these structural grading rules and gradestamps is closely regulated and monitored by the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board as part of Canada’s national lumber quality control system.
The primary purpose of the grading rule is to facilitate trade. The grading rules or written grade specifications provide buyers and sellers with a mechanism that can be used to define the quality of the goods to be traded. It also provides the buyer with a dependable measure for determining the product’s value and evaluating the quality of the delivered product.
The coast mills can grade and sort lumber products to almost any grading rule. The grading rules that are most commonly used today for international trade in coast lumber products are as follows:
LGA Standard Grading Rules for Canadian Lumber
This is Canada’s national grading rule and is issued by the National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA). It is applicable to all Canadian softwood species, sizes and lumber products including Clears, Shop, Construction and Specialty grades. It includes provisions for visually and mechanically stress rating of structural lumber. All stress grade lumber must be grade stamped.
CFLA JPS 1 Standard for E-120 Hem-Fir(N)
This is a special product standard issued by the Coast Forest and Lumber Association (Coast Forest) and approved by the Canadian Lumber Standards Accreditation Board. It is applicable only to the Canadian Hem-Fir species group and covers metric-sized lumber products intended for use in post and beam housing. All material manufactured to this standard is visually stress rated. All lumber manufactured to this standard must be grade stamped.
PLIB Export R List
This is a grading rule issued by the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau (PLIB) in the USA and has been adopted by the B.C. coast industry for some export products. It covers a full range of products but is usually used only for Clear and merchantable (construction type) lumber products. It is not a structural stress grading rule. Products manufactured to this standard are intended for remanufacturing or use in general construction where known strength properties are not required. Grade stamping is not required.
Foreign Grading Rules
It is quite common for the coast mills to manufacture and grade lumber in accordance with grading rules or standards of the importing country. The grading agencies in British Columbia are accredited by Australia, Japan and Europe to administer their national grading rules.
Customers’ In-House Product Standards
Some of the coast industry’s international clients have their own in-house standards based on their specific needs. It is common practice for those types of standards to be used as the basis for lumber shipment to individual clients. Fascimilies of grade stamps that appear on structural stress graded lumber manufactured by Coast Forest members s are shown here.