Before purchasing wooden furniture directly from the manufacturer, it is necessary to have the lumber grade explained. Wooden furniture makers around the world, including Indonesia furniture manufacturer, also need to fully understand the grades of lumber they use for production with the aim of being able to explain them to their customers and business partners. Lumber, or also known as timber, is sawed and prepared log of harvested trees for various usages, such as woodworking, building, flooring, and furniture making. Since the trees are grown naturally, the characteristics of the produced lumber are also vastly diverse. This is why lumber grading is extremely important for the needs of quality assurance. There are various ways or criteria to determine lumber grades. This article will give you insights on how lumber grade explained, especially the grades for teak wood which is the most common and the best material used by Indonesia furniture manufacturer.
Kinds of Wood and How Lumber Grade Explained
There are two kinds of woods, namely softwood and hardwood. Softwood is the wood of a coniferous or cone-bearing tree, while hardwood is that of broad-leaved trees. The one which is widely used for furniture making is hardwood, as it is more durable and stronger due to its density which is much higher than the softwood. Meanwhile, the strength of hardwood lumber also varies from one kind of tree to another; for example, teak wood is much stronger and more durable than sungkai wood. This explains why teak wood furniture is way more expensive than the more affordable sungkai wood furniture, despite the fact that both will make great indoor furniture if they experience the correct treatment and finishing.
Understanding lumber grade is vital for both woodworkers or furniture makers and their clients. Knowing the grade of the lumber is essential to know better of the quality of the finished furniture products made of that lumber. Lumber grading is not something subjective; you cannot decide by your own criteria and judge the grade based on your own preference. Determining the grade of lumber is usually based on several parameters. These parameters may include the species or kind of harvested tree, the surface and size measurements, the cuttings, the surface appearance, the part of wood cut, and many others.
Buying Wooden Furniture from Indonesia Furniture Manufacturer
There are several materials commonly used by Indonesia furniture manufacturers to produce their furniture products. They include solid wood such as teak wood, mahogany, and sungkai wood, as well as other materials like bamboo, natural rattan, pandan rattan, and paper-cord rattan. Every each of the aforementioned material has its own specialties and characteristics, which differs from one another. Even, lumbers prepared from the same kind of harvested tree (for example: teak wood), may have different quality.
As a buyer or customer, it is crucial to learn more about the materials used by your Indonesia furniture manufacturer so as to be sure of the quality of your purchased items. This includes the quality and treatments of each lumber used for furniture production. Usually, solid wood needs to be kiln-dried in order to achieve better durability. This process is done to cut the amount of water in the wood so as to produce dry wood which makes an excellent furniture material. This is especially crucial for the wood or products intended for export purposes.
The Excellence of Teak Wood and the Teak Wood Lumber Grade Explained
If you are aiming for furniture with incredible durability and longevity, teak wood furniture is the best for you. Teak wood is a kind of solid wood which has excellent traits. It is strong, durable, and termite- as well as weather-resistant. This is why teak wood furniture often costs a lot more than other furniture items in any other materials. But, don’t worry! You will end up saving a lot more money if you buy teak wood furniture, as you can use it up for years without having to go extra miles for its care and maintenance.
In Indonesian furniture, teak wood is a star as it has premium quality. The demand for this wood is high, while the stock is limited. It is because teak wood needs to grow for years before it is ready to be harvested. The durability of teak wood is exceptional, due to the large amount of natural oil contained in it. Natural finishing fits this kind of wood the best, not only because the oil content of teak wood does not go well with bright solid color finishing, but also because natural finishing will bring out its gorgeous natural grains to spotlight.
However, as mentioned previously above, it is very natural of teak wood to have differences from one another. This is why the prices of teak wood furniture are also wide-ranging. Don’t be easily deceived by the label which says that the furniture is made of teak wood as the price may reflect the quality of the item and the grade of the lumber used to produce it. So, you know already why it is important for you to learn more about the lumber grade of teak wood.
Regarding the lumber grade, teak wood also has its own grading system shared and agreed by Indonesia furniture manufacturers. Teak wood is commonly divided into three main grades with the descriptions as follows:
- Grade A Teak Wood (The Best Quality)
This is the best teakwood lumber with the highest quality. Grade A teak lumber comes from the center part of the log, which is called the heartwood, of mature trees. Teak wood is considered mature when it grows for a minimum of 20 years and the log has reached 30cm and above in diameter. Grade A teak lumber has golden brown or dark brown color, uniform and dense wood grains and fibers, and glossy surface due to the highest amount of natural protective oils in it, with minimum defects on the surface. It is also the hardest part of the log, which is a little oily to the touch. The great amount of oil content in Grade A teak lumber makes it the most durable kind of teak wood, with admirable resistance to termite and other insects, rot, and any unfavorable (or even extreme) weather, including rain, sun, snow, and frost. In one tree, Grade A teak lumber makes up only a fifth to a quarter of the whole log. This fact, along with the superior properties of Grade A teak lumber, makes this type of teakwood not only the most expensive one but also the best one for furniture manufacture.
The planting, growing, and harvesting this type of teak is carried out and supervised directly by Perum Perhutani, a state-owned enterprise in Indonesia which duty and authority are related to the management and protection of Indonesian forests. Therefore, there is no need to doubt the quality of this lumber, since Perhutani has high standards for the criteria of trees that are ready to harvest.
- Grade B Teak Wood (Good to Standard Quality)
Grade B teak lumber refers to the outer part of the heartwood, comprising of about 25-30% of the entire log. It has rather lighter brown color, compared to the Grade A one which is in darker brown color. The grains and fibers are uneven, and its density is less than that of Grade A teak lumber. As for the natural oil content, Grade B only has traces of it, making it less shiny to the appearance and also less oily to the touch. Besides, it is not as durable as Grade A teak lumber. Despite having standard quality, this type of teak wood is still good enough as furniture material, especially for indoor furniture manufacture.
- Grade C Teak Wood (Lowest Quality)
The Grade C of teak wood is of the most inferior quality, compared to the other two described previously above. This is why its price is also the cheapest among all kinds of teak wood lumber. Grade C teak lumber may come from immature trees or the outermost part of the mature ones, which is called the sapwood. This part takes approximately 40% of the entire teak log. It is the softest part of the log which has a very uneven and less dense wood fiber, and the color ranges from bright white to yellowish colors. Although it is harvested, sawed, and prepared from the same teak log, this part does not contain natural oils as the other parts of the wood. This makes Grade C teak lumber very vulnerable; it is not as termite- and weather-resistant and is easily damaged even if it is put indoor. The longevity of this Grade C teak lumber is also below the other two, even after being coated in protective finishing and oiled.
As seen in the description of each grade, the lumber grading of teak wood is based mainly on the part of wood selected. In addition, the other parameters such as its provenance or origin as well as its maturity also influence the grade of the lumber. For example, even the heartwood of a 10-years-old Kampong Teak wood (the one which grows on land owned by residents in villages) will stay in Grade C.
Today we learn that there are various kinds of lumber and its grades. The grade of lumber explains the quality of it. This is also reflected in the prices of the boards or products made of the lumber. Depending on your budget and preference, you can always choose the right furniture that meets your need the best. Consult to a trusted Indonesia furniture manufacturer about the grade of the lumber used for the production before purchasing your furniture to make sure your money is well-spent.