Lumber

Lumber is wood that has been processed into uniform and useful sizes (dimensional lumber), including beams and planks or boards. Lumber is mainly used for construction framing, as well as finishing (floors, wall panels, window frames). Lumber has many uses beyond home building. Lumber is sometimes referred to as timber as an archaic term and still in England, while in most parts of the world (especially the United States and Canada) the term timber refers specifically to unprocessed wood fiber, such as cut logs or standing trees that have yet to be cut.

Wood cut from Victorian Eucalyptus regnans
The harbor of Bellingham, Washington, filled with logs, 1972

Lumber may be supplied either rough-sawn, or surfaced on one or more of its faces. Beside pulpwood, rough lumber is the raw material for furniture-making, and manufacture of other items requiring cutting and shaping. It is available in many species, including hardwoods and softwoods, such as white pine and red pine, because of their low cost.[1]

Finished lumber is supplied in standard sizes, mostly for the construction industry – primarily softwood, from coniferous species, including pine, fir and spruce (collectively spruce-pine-fir), cedar, and hemlock, but also some hardwood, for high-grade flooring. It is more commonly made from softwood than hardwoods, and 80% of lumber comes from softwood.[2]


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