The Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association sets the standards for Eastern White Pine lumber grades. A brief description of each grade is provided here. For more detailed information, visit the NeLMA website.
There are two select grades: C Select and D Select, which are the highest NeLMA pine grades.
C Select is the highest NeLMA Pine grade. While some of the pieces are clear, most pieces have minor characteristics which do not affect their high appearance or quality. Material of this grade is usually used for natural finishes in fine woodworking or interior trim. Typically, one sound, tight pin knot (maximum 1/2″) per 4 surface feet is allowed.
D Select pieces will have characteristics that are more pronounced than C Select, but are well spaced giving much clear material. Typically, one sound, tight pin knot (maximum 1/2″) per surface foot is allowed.
There are four Eastern White Pine common grades: Finish, Premium, Standard and Industrial.
Finish is a fine appearance knotty grade calling for sound, tight knots. Material of this grade can be finished to take advantage of the natural highlights of the piece or to give a fine smooth painted surface.
Premium is a good appearance knotty grade. It is used in the same areas as Finish where a slightly rougher natural appearance is desired.
Standard is a highly serviceable grade used chiefly for construction. it may be used where a coarser rustic decorative appearance is desired.
Industrial is the lowest common board grade. It admits large characteristics in any combination as long as the piece is usable full length. This material is generally used in rough construction where strength and appearance are not of primary importance.