Q. With the price of FAS 1-Face just a bit above No.1 Common, our supplier is encouraging us to try FAS 1-Face instead of No.1 Common. We did a test run and found that our yields did not change much at all. So, we are not going to change grade. Does this make sense to you?

A. Hardwood lumber is normally graded from the worst side (also called the worst face). The worst side is the side with less clear regions, called cuttings.

When cutting lumber into cabinet parts, most operations will use the worst side to observe, especially with clear-2-face lumber. As the worst face on both FAS 1-Face and No.1 Common grades identically, when cutting from the worst side, you will not notice a yield difference. (Special note: Select grade lumber also grades No.1 Common on the poorer face.)

You would however notice a difference if you used FAS grade lumber, as with FAS the worst side must be clear enough to grade FAS.

The difference between a piece of No.1 Common and a piece of FAS 1-Face is that after the worst face of either grades No.1 Common, if the better face grades FAS, then the piece is potentially a FAS 1-Face piece.

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