Hardwoods & Clears

Hardwoods are mainly deciduous, or broad leaf, trees shedding their leaves in winter. There are two groups - temperate and tropical (some hardwoods are evergreen)

  • Some 20,000 different commercial species
  • Although generally more durable and stronger than softwood, they must be used in the correct way and environment
  • Hardwoods tend to be deeper in colour and are often used decoratively
  • The majority of hardwoods are usually denser than softwood, due to their comparative cellular structure. However, some hardwoods, particularly tropical species, grow fast enough to be of similar, or lower, density than slow growing softwoods.
  • Hardwoods are usually supplied in random lengths and widths, but in standard thicknesses.
  • Many hardwoods are used as veneers on softwood panel products.

 

Which species of wood do I choose?

This depends on a number of factors, but when selecting the timber species consider these points:

  1. The end use - for example, is the wood to be used as a structural material and then covered over with something else, i.e studding covered by plasterboard, or will it be exposed?
  2. What strength is required? Does the timber need to have a high bending strength, such as a joist, or a high tensile strength where the timber is stretched in the application?
  3. Is the wood to be used purely for a decorative effect? Is this to be a dark or light colour?
  4. Is the wood to be machined? Some species are more easily machined than others.
  5. Is the wood from a managed forest source, and certified, (i.e FSC or PEFC)
  6. Cost. It may look nice, but is it worth the additional cost, if another less expensive and more commercially available timber can do the same job?
  7. Durability and treatability: is it necessary to use preservatives?
     

How timber is graded

Strength grading is a way of assessing the strength of a piece of timber, which depends on its species as well as its grade. A low grade timber from a strong species may be equal in stength to a high
grade timber from a weaker species. Strength grading is needed to ensure timber is strong enough for a particular job, e.g. a floor joist or a roof truss. It also saves money by helping to avoid over-specification.
‚ÄčTo make specifiying easier, species and grades are grouped into stength classes of similar strength. Strength classes range from C14 to C50 for softwood and D30 to D70 for hardwoods. The higher the number the stronger the timber. The most common grade for softwood carcassing is C16.

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Latest Covid Update

Latest Covid News - Friday 29th May

We reopened our branches on a delivery only basis on the 4th of May and now feel we can safely open for collections from Monday 1st June. We will revert back to our normal trading hours Monday to Saturday, from this date onwards.

During the last 4 weeks, we have implemented our new ‘Safe Systems of Work Plan’ and ‘Branch Operating Procedures’. These have been put into practice to test the effectiveness before we welcome our customers back on site. We do ask however that you show some patience and understanding in that we will not be able to provide the full access that we have always operated previously.

We will be operating an appointed time for collections policy, although we will, at all times, seek to provide some flexibility. To enable maximum efficiency, we ask that you phone in advance, or use the website to place click and collect orders which will enable our yard and warehouse staff to pre-pick your order and have it ready in the designated area for collection.

Our main priority remains ensuring we protect the health, safety and welfare of our staff, customers, suppliers, and the wider communities in which we operate. We are adapting to the changes necessitated by the COVID-19 virus, but we also realise that this applies to everyone. Should there be anything you believe would improve how we implement our new operating procedures, or that we must equally respect when delivering to your premises, please do contact the Branch Manager of the Branch you deal with