The grading of a hardwood plywood panel will feature a letter designation for the face grade and a number designation for the back grade. For example, a typical sheet of rotary cut white oak hardwood plywood would be A1. This panel would have an A face grade, and a #1 back grade.
The grades contained herein establish the minimum characteristics for the face and back grades of hardwood and decorative plywood produced in US and Canada. These are defined as follows:
Face Grades: Face means the better side of a plywood panel in which the outer plies are of a different grade, or either side of the panel in which the outer ply grades are identical. The face grades available include: A, B, C, D, and E.
Back Grades: Back means the side of a panel with the lower grade when the outer veneer plies are of different grades. The back grades available include 1, 2, 3, and 4.
GRADE MARKING: Hardwood plywood being graded to this system shall be identified by a grade mark on each panel, stamped on the edge, which will indicate the cut, species and grade of the hardwood plywood sheet (face and back grade). The manufacturer's name or recognized identification will appear either on the panel or on the accompanying invoice and/or shipping label.
Borer Hole: A hole caused by wood boring insects or worms.
Burl: (a) A hard woody excrescence on a tree, more or less rounded in form, usually resulting from the entwined growth of a cluster of adventitious buds. Such burls are the source of the highly figured burl veneers used for purely ornamental purposes; (b) In veneer, a localized severe distortion of the grain generally rounded in outline, usually resulting from overgrowth of dead branch stubs, varying from one to several millimeters in diameter; frequently including one or several clusters of small contiguous conical protuberances, each usually having a core or pith but no appreciable amount of end grain (in tangential view) surrounding it.
Check: A lengthwise separation of the wood running parallel to the grain.
Cross Bar: Type of figure or irregularity of grain resembling a dip in the grain running at right angles, or nearly so, to the length of the veneer.
Doze & Decay: The decomposition of the wood substance caused by the action of the wood-destroying fungi, resulting in softening, loss of strength and weight, and often a change of texture and color.
Flake: Portion of a ray as it appears on the quartered surface. Flake can be a dominant appearance feature in oak and is sometimes referred to as fleck.
Grain: The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibre in wood or veneer. To have a specific meaning the term must be qualified.
Grain Sweep: Expression of the angle of the grain to the long edges of the veneer component over the area extending one-eighth of the length of the piece from the ends.
:The inner core of a woody stem wholly composed of nonliving cells and usually differentiated from the outer enveloping layer (sapwood) by its darker colour.
detectable with the naked eye at a distance of 1.8 - 2.4 metres (6 - 8
location at which two adherents are held together with a layer of
Knot :The portion of the branch or limb that has been surrounded by subsequent growth of wood on the trunk or other portion of the tree.
void produced by the dropping of a knot from the wood in which it was
Lap: A condition in which adjacent veneers are so misplaced that one piece overlaps the other instead of making a smooth joint.
orientation of sheets of veneer to obtain a particular pattern:
Book match :Turning alternate adjacent sheets of veneer of a flitch over so that their grain and figure form a mirror image of the adjacent piece;
joining of veneer to create a sharp contrast in both grain and colour;
matching of face veneer components for a pleasing appearance;
alternate adjacent sheets of veneer of a flitch end for end;
method of arranging veneer faces such that each face is in order relative
to its original position in the tree and, therefore, contains features of
grain and figures similar to adjacent faces. Three or more such related
faces are required to constitute a sequence;
Slip match: Laying adjacent sheets of veneer of a flitch without turning;
random joining of veneer without regard to grain or colour.
Ply : Any single layer in the construction of a plywood panel.
assembly made of three or more layers of wood veneer or an assembly of
wood veneer in combination with lumber core, particleboard core,
hardboard, or MDF core jointed together with adhesive.
Ray Fleck See Flake
Rotary Cut : A method of manufacturing veneer in which a log or bolt is rotated against a knife and the veneer is cut in a continuous ribbon.
Rough Cut : Irregular shaped areas of generally uneven corrugation on the surface of veneer, differing from the surrounding smooth veneer and occurring as the veneer is cut by the lathe or slicer.
Sapwood: The living wood of pale color near the outside of the log.
separation along the grain, the greater part of which occurs between the
rings of annual growth.
Flat or plain sliced: Veneer sliced parallel to the pith of the log and approximately tangent to the growth rings;
Quarter sliced: Veneer sliced in a radial direction, approximately perpendicular to the growth rings;
(comb grain) : Veneer sliced at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the growth rings to bring out certain figures, especially conspicuous in oak.
Split : A separation along the grain, forming a crack or fissure that extends through the piece from one surface to another.
Streak: Natural discolorations of the wood substance.
:An olive or greenish-black or brown discoloration of undetermined cause in hardwoods, particularly hard maples, commonly associated with bird pecks and other injuries occurring in streaks usually containing accumulations of mineral matter.
thin sheet of wood, rotary cut, sliced or sawn from a log, bolt, or
Color Variation example: