Because white cedar is harvested on such a limited scale compared to
other, more common species, it has no universal grading standard.
We could use the grading standards of other softwood species, but these
grades fall short of accomplishing various architectural and visual effects.
It is important to work to achieve a grade based on the idea the customer
is choosing this wood to create a certain look, feeling and desired effect.
For this reason, we work with customers to select a lumber grade to their
satisfaction. Below is a list of three general grading specifications
we recommend along with the effects achieved with each grade.
Few people in the lumber industry are aware white cedar is available
as dimensioned lumber, and even fewer are aware a clear grade is available.
Because the wood is harvested on a limited scale, it is often difficult
to locate enough material to specify a clear grade for anything other than
the smallest applications. Moreover, white cedar as a lumber tends
to be relatively knotty, further reducing the availability of clear lumber.
We specialize in select grades because the effect clear white cedar siding
creates architecturally is unmistakable. The wood weathers naturally
a light silver gray, drawing attention to itself and the forms it surrounds.
Though many stains attempt to emulate the look of weathered white cedar,
no other wood weathers naturally or unnaturally to this soft pewter color.
A clear wood siding free of imperfections and knots generates a powerful
form as the wood, simply, takes on the shape of the building. It is this
natural simplicity of form that architects and home owners appreciate (PHOTO).
Pin knot clear exposes some of the natural character of white cedar
without sacrificing the elegace of a fine grade. When first looking
at a weathered siding of pin knot clear white cedar, one might not notice
the knots. Only after continued examination of the siding do the
knots begin to appear. However, because of their limited coverage,
the knots do not dominate the visual appearance. This effect is enhanced
as the knots weather to the same soft pewter color as the rest of the board.
Unlike the name suggests, this grade has less to do with the size of the
knots than with their character and prevalence. While the knots can
be up to the size of a quarter, they are all generally circular (slash
knots running across the board will be culled out as these tend to form
a visual obstruction even when weathered) and the overall prevalence of
knots is far less than in the knotty grade. For interior application,
this grade creates a very elegant but warm look as the knots again tend
not to dominate.