Northwest Timber is an excellence wood source for specialty, figured lumber.
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Northwest Timber - Quality Figured Lumber for Sale

Wood Terms & Info

4/4 (four/quarters) Explained
4/4 is the milled thickness in quarters of an inch. When buying surfaced material allowance should be made for drying shrinkage and surfacing. 4/4 surfaced will meet American hardwood grades.

Quick Chart
4/4 rough = surfaced 7/8”-15/16”
5/4     “     =       “       1”-1 1/8”
6/4     “     =       “       1 1/8” - 1 3/8”
8/4     “     =       “       1 7/8” - 1 15/16”

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Difference Between Our Grades
We have 3 grades, AAAA (4A), AAAAAA (5A), and Musical. We made up our own grading system, as there are no industry standards for grading figure, materials grade is mainly on intensity figure and then with the clarity and grain of the board. We grade our material once it is dried and surfaced.

AAAA is our “furniture grade” material. AAAA Maple and Myrtlewood will have light figure all over or light to bold figure sporadically all over the board or block. There will be areas where there is no figure. Well placed tight knots may also appear. AAAA Walnut and E. Cherry may have some sap wood, tight knots. Figure can wane in areas and material will be free of end checking. 

AAAAA is a clear grade, free from surface and end checking, splits and cracks. This grade may have natural defect such as, burl eye or cluster, bird peck, pin knot. There is a swinging range in this grade.  On the low end you will get intense deep figure with sporadic but aesthetically pleasing placement on the board. While on the high end it will be just one defect from Musical grade.

Musical grade was structured with acoustic instrument builders in mind. The material will be free of defect, figure will be even, strong and consist and throughout the board. Material that is graded as musical is done so when it will be able to be re-sawn and yield consistent pattern throughout the board or billet. Spalted maple is rarely graded as Musical because of its nature. It can be used on instruments but rarely will the figure and black line be consistent.

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Rolled Edge

Rolled Edge
The rolled edge technique is used to achieve the desired thick look while utilizing higher grade, dry, thinner stock. When your client or family member requests a table, bar, conference table or hearth with a thick top you find out that desirable, quality, dry pieces are hard to locate. When using the rolled edge technique it opens your choices, lowers your board footage need, weight and often the increases stability.

To achieve an aesthetically pleasing look using this technique it is important to roll off of the same board. verses applying matching wood from another board. Glue up your top oversized in length and width. Cut 2” min. off the sides and ends. When you roll the cut pieces under it will show you a bookmatched effect on the side and end grain. This technique is commonly used with granite and marble.

Myrtlewood desktop
Myrtlewood desktop

Walnut Countertop
Walnut countertop

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Maple Counter


Above images are showing 4/4 lumber used in rolled edge technique to simulate 2” tops.

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Claro Walnut: Originally it referred to the Juglans Hansi root stock portion of a walnut log that was just below the graft line on California’s English walnut orchard trees. Today however, many dealers in western walnut refer to all stock as Claro to differentiate itself from its more common eastern cousin. Outside of California’s walnut groves many ungrafted trees grow entire logs of Juglans Hansi. Northwest Timber provides western (Claro) walnut in random lumber graded from furniture grades to instrument quality. Lumber, Billets and Blocks are the forms you will find our material milled to.

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Quilted Maple: Quilted maple is an end grain figure that shows a circular pattern on flat sawn material. There are many terms that describe the shape and pattern of quilted maple. Aka popcorn, tubular, sausage, bubble wrap, angle step.

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Curly Maple, Walnut, and Myrtlewood: Curly figure is horizontal lines that run perpendicular with the grain. There are many terms that describe the shape and pattern of curly aka. tiger, flame, fiddleback.

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Burl: Growth on the tree that is irregular and without grain. The pattern is either eyes or rays depending on the angle of the burl when milled.

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Port Orford White Cedar: This species of cedar only grows on the southern Oregon coast. Northwest Timber only buys old growth vertical grain material. Because of its hardness, purity and tonal qualities it is sought after by luthiers for sound boards. It is also common for Japanese temples and tubs. Because of its strength it makes a beautiful wood for furniture and it has rot resistant qualities common with cedars and makes beautiful, silver high-end outdoor furniture.

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Myrtlewood: This hardwood species is only found on the Southern Oregon and Northern California Coast. It has a color range from blonde (like maple) to brown (like walnut). It is also common to find many colors in a log making a streaky (marble) look. Myrtlewood has curly, burl and marbled figuring. The curl with Myrtlewood has many faces. It can be big ribbons to tight fiddleback. It goes by many names; pepper wood, bay laurel; some may put California or Oregon with the name.

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Curly Cherry: This is the only species we import. It is Eastern figured cherry. The figure is called curly but has more of ribbon look or quilted circular pattern.

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Block: Figure will vary throughout block. Figure will be stronger on one side than the other.

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Billet: Is graded with the idea that it will be resawn. Billets will yield fair consistency throughout the billet.
Billets and Blocks are not milled on a mill but rather chain sawed on location for figure and luthiers dimensions.

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Lumber: Boards cut from a log on a mill in random widths and lengths.

Northwest Timber carries musical instrument Billets and Lumber in Big Leaf Curly and Quilted Maple, Curly, and Marbled Claro Western Walnut, Curly and Marbled Myrtlewood.

Northwest Timber never grades Spalted Maple as Musical because of its nature.

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Kiln Dried: Wood that has been dried in a kiln down to 7.5% moisture content.

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Air Dried: Wood that has been dried to 10% moisture content without use of kiln.

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If you have any questions or concerns regarding our lumber, blocks or billets please call 1-800-238-8036 or email sara@nwtimber.com.

Northwest Timber Excellence Ingrained


sales@nwtimber.com
| Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm PST

All arrangements for returns must be made within 48 hours of receipt.
No material will be accepted for return if it has been modified. A 15% restock fee will be applied once material is returned.
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Purchase figured wood from Northwest Timber for guitar building.