Quality Control Standards
We take great pride in producing a quality product from the finest lumber and forest products around. Below is a copy of the guidelines our production staff uses when assembling your products.
FAS (Clear) Grade: The tread nosing and face of treads must be free and clear of sapwood and knots. The glued up pieces shall be matched for color and grain. No pieces under 2" shall be included in the tread body. The tread will contain no more than five individual pieces of wood and no less than three and whenever possible the crown in the end grain should be altered to avoid cupping.
Select Grade: The tread nosing and face of the tread may contain slightly chipped grain, some mineral streaks, and sap wood. Very small tight knots less than 1/4" in diameter are allowed, but no more than two per tread. All wood strips must be a minimum of 1" wide and no more than five strips per tread. The nose of the tread must be a minimum of 2". The face of the tread should have the color matched as best as possible so as not to leave any drastic color variations or extreme grain variation. Grain should be altered to avoid cupping.
Knotty wood: Species and grades of wood that allow for knots (i.e. Heart pine, Australian Cypress, etc.). Knots must be tight and structurally secure to the tread body. When cutting wood strips for the tread do not cut through the center or any part of the knot. They must be whole. Knots generally must be no larger than a quarter, but this may vary depending on the grade called for.
Tread Blanks: All Tread blanks are to be a clear FAS grade of wood (unless specifically stated otherwise). Up to 2 tight knots less than 1/4" in diameter are permissible by WCMA standard but STRONGLY discouraged. All wood strips should be 2" and larger and no more than 5 individual pieces of wood in a 12" span. Grain should be altered whenever possible. Color and grain should be matched. No cupping over 1/16".
Color: All treads are to be color matched so as not to reveal a distinct variation of color and grain from one stave to the next opposing stave. Species of wood that allow for distinct variations in color (i.e. Hickory / rustic maple or rustic walnut / Tigerwood ) should not have a sharp contrast between sap wood (light in color) and Heart wood (dark in color). These species should fade from one color to the other rather than contrast. Rule of thumb: if the panel looks like it has a defined stripe running through it, it is no good. In the instance that a tread or blank is glued with unacceptable color the correction must be made before the tread or blank is dimensioned (planed / nosed / ripped) or else it is ruined.
Tread Dimensions: All treads unless specified otherwise are to be 11.25" deep x 1" thick. Treads and blanks should be at least .25" longer than the requested length, but if there is room to allow for more with out increasing waste than do so.