Top Grade

Once you know if you're going to use softwood or hardwood for your cabinet building project, now you should get acquainted with the grades of wood and how to pick them. The many different species of wood are all cut into lumber and are graded on a scale. This scale varies from the best to the worst. The top grade (therefore the most expensive!) can be almost flawless, while the bottom grades may be virtually unusable. Each board has defects and this is how the lumber is rated.

When making cabinets, you need to decide on which grade is the lowest acceptable for your application. If a natural finish is desirable than purchase the top-grade lumber, but if you plan on painting your cabinets, you can purchase a lower grade lumber. Remember the old saying "paint makes it what it ain't?!" Well, it's true; paints can hide a lot of defects!

If you're going to use softwoods, which are the easiest woods to work with in making cabinets, then you'll need to choose the appearance-graded boards. The two main grades of the appearance boards are Select (or Clear) and Common. Each of these grades also has sub-grades beneath them. The lumberyard also sells "dimension lumber", which is graded for strength, but you probably will want to use the appearance-graded lumber. The dimension lumber is usually used in house framing because of its strength, but it is also used in woodworking where extra strength or thickness such as bookshelves is needed. Use a "Select Structural", as this is the top of the line in this category.

If you want wood with no knots and is flawless, look for the C and better Select grade lumber. Other good choices would be Common "knotty" pine No. 2 and No.3. Watch out for Common boards marked Construction or Standard-and-Better. They would be fine for utility shelves, but you might not want them for your kitchen cabinets! For the final test, let your eye be the judge. What you see and like is what you should use.

To make matters even more complicated, some kinds of lumber species have their own grading! Typically, the Redwood and Idaho White Pine fall in this area. Redwood is categorized in this descending order of the quality of the lumber: Clear All Heart, Clear, B Grade, Select Heart, Select, Construction Heart, Construction Common, Merchantable Heart and Merchantable. Idaho White Pine is categorized in this order: Supreme, Choice, Quality, Sterling, Standard and Utility. Wow! What a selection!

If you have your heart set on using hardwoods, you should know that they're graded a little differently than softwoods. The number of defects in a given length and width of the board are considered. The best grades are the First, Seconds and then there is a mix of these two which are called "FAS". These boards are clear wood at least eight feet long and six inches wide.

Your eye should be the final decision on buying your lumber. You know what type of wood would look good in your kitchen or den. Remember that the wood you buy is the starting point or your project! The workmanship remains in you hands!

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Cabinets

What exactly is the difference between split leather and top grade leather?

split leather is a process where they take older thicker hides and split them into layers like slicing ham. Then they tan the hide and press a leather grain pattern into the surface as it doesnt have one. Split hide is weaker, less hard wearing and durable than a normal naturally tanned hide.




Top Grade Campo Del Cielo Meteorite
Top Grade Campo Del Cielo Meteorite

$105.00
29d 21h 31m remaining

1262ct Top Select Grade Natural Czechoslovakia Moldavite Rough
1262ct Top Select Grade Natural Czechoslovakia Moldavite Rough

$31.49
10d 4h 11m remaining

262 gm  CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE ARIZONA 7 lbs MUSEUM GRADE
262 gm CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE TOP GRADE ARIZONA 7 lbs MUSEUM GRADE

$299.96
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2788 gm  CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE ARIZONA 61+ lbs
2788 gm CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE TOP GRADE ARIZONA 61+ lbs

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37 gm SIKHOTE ALIN IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE RUSSIA WITH STAND
37 gm SIKHOTE ALIN IRON METEORITE TOP GRADE RUSSIA WITH STAND

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27d 15h 39m remaining

1340ct Top Select Grade Natural Czechoslovakia Moldavite Rough
1340ct Top Select Grade Natural Czechoslovakia Moldavite Rough

$33.49
10d 4h 11m remaining

740gm  CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE ARIZONA Huge Burn Hole
740gm CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE TOP GRADE ARIZONA Huge Burn Hole

$1,499.00
24d 20h 51m remaining

1204 gm  CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE ARIZONA 26+ lbs
1204 gm CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE TOP GRADE ARIZONA 26+ lbs

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9d 19h 16m remaining

1716 gm  CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE ARIZONA 38+ lbs
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$1,200.00
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2168ct Top Select Grade Natural Czechoslovakia Moldavite Rough
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$54.99
7d 45m remaining

118 gm  CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE ARIZONA LABEL AND STAND
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$126.75
28d 14h 10m remaining

130 gm  CANYON DIABLO IRON METEORITE  TOP GRADE  ARIZONA
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22d 17h 33m remaining



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