California and natural homegrown woods

California is unique in that it has the most varity of softwoods available ranging from redwood to pine and cedar.  If you’re looking for a great deal on dicount cedar siding, redwood siding, or even pine paneling then Lumber Out West is the place for you.  Although specializing in only selling the higher grades of quality lumber products our low overhead enables us to often beat the discount lumber yards prices.

Western Red Cedar Grades and Uses

Western red cedar is sold by the “grade” or quality of the milled lumber.  When a tree is logged it is transferred to the lumber mill and sorted into separate piles depending on its’ quality.  This separation allows the mill to take all the logs of a specific grade and mill them together saving time.  The grades are separated by the quality of the wood which basically means knotty cedar or clear cedar.  The knotty grades are used for fencing, decking, and structural support where the knots do not detract from the aesthetic look of the project.  The clear grades are used when a more clean, finished look is desired whether for indoor paneling or outdoor siding and decking.

Moisture Content of Timbers

The large size of timbers makes kiln drying impractical due to the drying stresses which would result from differential moisture contents between the interior and exterior of the timber. For this reason, timbers are usually dressed green (moisture content above 19 percent), and the moisture content of timber upon delivery will depend on the amount of air drying which has taken place.

Like dimension lumber, timber begins to shrink when its moisture content falls below about 28 percent. The degree of shrinkage depends on the climatic conditions of the environment. For example, timbers exposed to the outdoors usually shrink from 1.8 to 2.6 percent in width and thickness, depending on the species. Timbers used indoors, where the air is often drier, experience greater shrinkage, in the range of 2.4 to 3.0 percent in width and thickness. Length change in either case is negligible.

When constructing with Posts and Timbers or Beams and Stringers, allowance should be made for anticipated shrinkage based on the moisture content at the time of assembly. Where the building envelope relies on caulked seals between timbers and other building components, the selection of caulks should take into account the amount of movement which must be accommodated as shrinkage occurs.

Minor checks on the surface of a timber are common in most service conditions and therefore an allowance has been made for them in the assignment of working stresses. Checks in columns are not of structural importance unless the check develops into a through split that will divide the column