Knowledge and technology have surpassed the commonly used log specifications for the New Zealand sawmilling industry. External log characteristics, while providing important parameters for sawmill conversion rates, provide almost no guarantee of the suitability of that log for the intended end product. This applies particularly to pruned log processing and to mills cutting for the structural markets where mechanical testing of wood stiffness is the entry point. Researchers, technologists and sawmillers themselves have improved their knowledge of wood properties and characteristics and developed methods of measuring these to enable the development of a more suitable set of guidelines for log grades. The industry needs to update existing 'broad' quality specifications for logs into a set of standardised National grades more appropriate to current knowledge and to product specifications.
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