Changes recommended to Southern Pine grading

A comprehensive testing of commercial produced Southern Pine has been completed, and as a result, the industry may see smaller reductions for the wider widths and higher grades of Southern Pine dimensional lumber as compared with the No.2 2x4s. Design values for visually graded Southern Pine lumber, including dense and non-dense grades, may also change.

These proposals came from a committee that analyzed the test data from the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB), the rules-writing agency that monitors and publishes new design values. The advisory committee includes technical representatives of lumber producers, as well as key user groups, such as home builders and component manufacturers.

Other recommendations from the committee included no change in the current Southern Pine specific gravity value of 0.55 and prime grades (No.1 Prime and No.2 Prime), keeping the same design values as their corresponding dimension lumber grades.

The American Lumber Standards Committee, whose board meets on Oct. 18, 2012, will hear additional testimony before making a final decision on proposed changes to new design values for visually graded Southern Pine dimension lumber.

For more information about the testing, design values or timetable, visit

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