The chief forms into which timber is converted for the market are as follows: - A "log" is the trunk of a tree with the branches lopped off; a "balk" is obtained by roughly squaring the log. Fir timber is imported in the subjoined forms: "Hand masts" are the longest, soundest, and straightest tree3 after being topped and barked; applied to those of a circumference between 24 and 72 in., measured by the hand of 4 in., there being also a fixed proportion between the number of hands in the length of the mast and those contained in the circumference taken at 1/3 the length from the butt end; "spars" or "poles" have a circumference of less than 24 in. at the base; "inch masts" have a circumference of more than 72 in., and are generally dressed to a square or octagonal form; " balk timber" consists of the trunk, hewn square, generally with the axe (sometimes with the saw), and is also known as "square timber"; "planks" are parallel-sided pieces 2-6 in. thick, 11 in. broad, and 8-21 ft. long; "deals" are similar pieces 9 in. broad and not exceeding 4 in. thick; "whole deals" is the name sometimes given to deals 2 in. or more thick; "cut deals" are less than 2 in. thick; "battens" are similar to deals, but only 7 in. broad; "ends" are pieces of plank, deal, or batten less than 8 ft. long; "scaffold" and " ladder poles" are from young trees of larch or spruce, averaging 33 ft. in length, and classed according to the diameter of their butts; "rickers" are about 22 ft. long, and under 2 1/2 in. diameter at the top end; smaller sizes are called " spars." Oak is supplied as follows : "rough timber" consists of the trunk and main branches roughly hewn to octagonal section; "sided timber," the trunk split down and roughly formed to a polygonal section; "thick ctuff," not less than 24 ft. and averaging at least 28 ft. long, 11-18 in. wide between the sap in the middle of its length, and 4 1/2-8 1/2 in. thick; "planks," length not less than 20 ft. and averaging at least 28 ft., thickness 2-4 in., and width (clear of sap) at the middle of the length varying according to the thickness, i.e. between 9 and 15 in. for 3-, 3 1/2-, and 4-in. planks, between 8 and 15 in. for 2- and 2 1/2-in. planks. "Waney" timber is a term used for logs which are not perfectly square; the balk cut being too large for the size of the tree, the square corners are replaced by flattened or rounded angles, often showing the bark, and called "wanes." "Compass" timber consists of bent pieces, the height of the bend from a straight line joining the ends being at least 5 in. in a length of 12 ft.

The following is an approximate classification of timber according to size, as known to workmen: -

Balk ........

12 in.

X

12 in.

to

18 in.

X

18 in.

Whole timber

9 "

9

"

15

"

15 "

Half timber

9 "

4 1/2

"

18

"

9 "

Scantling ......

6 "

4

"

12

"

12 "

Quartering......

2 "

2

"

6

"

6 "

Planks ........

11 in.

to

18 in.

X

3 in

to

6 "

Deals........

9 in.

X

2

"

4 1/2 "

Battens ......

4 1/2in

to

7 in.

X

3/4

"

3 "

Strips and laths

2 "

4 1/2

X

1/2

"

1 1/2 "

Pieces larger than "planks" are generally called "timber," but, when sawn all round, are called "scantling," and, when sawn to equal dimensions each way, " die-square." The dimensions (width and thickness) of parts in a framing are sometimes called the "scantlings" of the pieces. The term "deal" is also used to distinguish wood in the state ready for the joiner, from "timber," which is wood prepared for the carpenter. A "stick" is a rough whole timber unsawn.