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Hardwood Lumber Grading Workshop

The NC State University Hardwood Lumber Grading Workshop was held at Hodges Wood Product Laboratory from June 19th – 21st.

The hands-on program had 22 participants and included instruction by NC State’s Wood Product Extension Professor Phil Mitchell and NHLA’s Tom Byers. The three-day workshop was designed to give “rules” conscious employees a more carefully manufactured product, a more profitable yield from a log, and a better sense of the value of the lumber being handled. The workshop included a thorough study and explanation of the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) Rules Book, emphasizing the basics of hardwood lumber inspection. To conclude the workshop, a written test was administered which was a qualifier for a certificate of completion.

The first day began with a brief over view from Dr. Mitchell regarding lumber grading. Tom Byers then began introducing the NHLA Rule Book by discussing definitions and the differing grades. Participants were consistently involved reading sections of the handbook aloud or answering review questions. The next day began with a review and further depth regarding grading. After going through all the grades, participants were brought into the lab where kiln-dried yellow poplar boards were placed for grading practice. Attendees were split into groups and tasked with grading the lumber before the group was brought together to grade each board.

The final day included more review before practicing on different boards. Before leaving, attendees were given the certification test and reviewed the test. Throughout the course attendees were given worksheets to apply new skills. Attendees left with an introduction or refresher of the NHLA Rules as well as updated information and documentation.