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Grading of Empire Hardwoods

Nature volume 134, page 247 (18 August 1934) | Download Citation



A SMALL brochure has been prepared by the Imperial Institute Advisory Committee on Timbers entitled “Grading Rules and Standard Sizes for Empire Hardwoods” (Imperial Institute, South Kensington, Oct. 1933). The Sub-Committee, appointed by the Advisory Committee, decided that these inquiries should be confined to overseas Empire square-edged hardwoods. The grading rules and memorandum on sizes recommended by it will be subject to amendment from time to time, as further experience is gained. The grading rules for Empire hardwoods (square-edged) intended for shipment to the United Kingdom are considered under: A. Hardwoods from Countries other than Canada and New Zealand, I Standard Grades. II Wormy Grades. Ill Grades for shorts, squares, strips, quarter-sawn stock. B. Canadian Hardwoods. C. New Zealand Hardwoods; and appendixes. This piece of work was overdue and should prove of great value to all concerned in this matter of hardwood imports. The danger of laying down hard and fast grading rules for any particular item of imports may result, however, in great waste at the source of origina waste which has to be seen on the spot to be fully realised. For example, under “Squares” it is stated, “First Quality or Prime Squares must be free from all defects, except that, when squares are sold specifically for turning, slight defects on one or more corners which will turn off will be admitted”. In the case of mahogany, to obtain the flawless squares, sections of logs of 2–4 ft. will be cut off and left to waste in the forest owing to some small flaw which the manager on the spot will not risk sending home since he will be censured by the management. The latter will not have this type of material sent home since they know it will be objected to by the buyers. Is it necessary to waste annually thousands of cubic feet of so magnificent a timber as mahogany because the specification of import laid down by the purchaser approaches an ideal?

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