Hardwood Lumber Grades
Sapwood: Lumber that comes from the outside or the live part of the tree.
Heartwood: Lumber that comes from the inside or dead part of the tree.
White: Lumber sorted for the white sapwood - usually Hard or Soft Maple.
Unselected: Lumber that has a mix of heartwood and sapwood.
Brown: Lumber that has been sorted for heartwood - usually Hard or Soft Maple.
Imported: Lumber that doesn't grow in the United States.
Domestic: Lumber that grows in the United States.
Flat Sawn: The grain of the wood runs horizontal.
Quarter Sawn: The grain of the wood runs vertical.
Select & Better - This is the top furniture grade. The lumber will range from clear to pieces which will yield just over 80% clear on the good face. Widths must be 4" and wider and lengths 6' and longer.
No. 1 Com - This is the middle grade in hardwoods. It contains more character than the select & better grade. Each board must be two-thirds or more usable. For small projects or when a variety of sizes are to be cut, No. 1 Common is more economical. Widths must be 3" and wider and lengths 4' and longer.
No. 2 Com - This is the lowest grade of hardwoods that is normally kiln dried and sold for furniture and cabinet making. Each board must be one-half or more usable. Widths must be 3" and wider and lengths 4' and longer.
Walnut & Butternut are typically graded lower than other hardwoods due to the scarcity of good timber. The widths and lengths will not be as good and the yield will be less - so plan accordingly.