It is also known as timber. Wood is another crucial material required during finishing works of house for making door frames, doors, jamb frames, architraves etc. Being a natural construction material, it has certain characteristics such as moisture content, strength, elasticity, hardness etc. All the characteristics vary in different types of woods and also depend upon season and surroundings. Timber when extracted from trees consists of moisture content that should be dried before using it for commercial purposes. A normal and acceptable moisture content in timber ranges between 8-12%. If timber is not dried and moisture content is out of acceptable range then shrinking and swelling can happen in wood. Wood shrinks by decreased moisture content and swells with increasing moisture content. This process keeps on repeating until the moisture content is in parity and balance with surrounding air’s humidity and temperature. This process can be controlled if the wood is properly dried under the method called KD (Kiln dried). While purchasing, the word KD is often labeled on sacks of wood that indicates that it has been dried in kiln.
Woods available in market are known by names of trees from which extracted. Most commonly available woods that are used during construction of houses are:
It is very commonly available wood in Pakistan and is cheapest of all. It can be easily identified by its creamy white color when freshly extracted and turn to very light brown color with time when it is dried. It is characterised as a very light and soft wood with very low crushing and bending strength. It is not a recommended wood at all if quality and ambience in woodwork is to be obtained. This type of wood is vulnerable to termite and other insects even if properly treated.
Local pinewood is known as Kail. Pakistani kail is a good and economical wood that is used in house constructions. Though its availability is not as common as it used to be due to which it’s price has also increased. When purchasing Kail wood, make sure that it is Local Kail as many other imported types of kail are also available in market such as German Kail and Malaysian kail that are cheaper and of inferior quality as compared to local kail.
This wood is imported in form of sacks from America and is extracted from different pine trees. It has straight and round grains in patterns and can be identified by its yellowish color. This wood is neither too cheap and nor too expensive but is only recommended for door frames (chogath). Its grain has visible and non-smooth surface even after severe grinding which give awkward look after polishing. It also has more movement in form of shrinking and swelling even if its kiln dried.
Most widely used wood in quality constructions is Ash wood. It is neither cheap nor too expensive but has certain good characteristics such as moderate bending and crushing strengths, less movement in form of shrinkage and swelling. It has straight grains and white brownish in color.
Mohagni is very fine and highly recommended type of wood used in quality constructions. It is cheaper than diyar but expensive as compare to Ash wood. It has reddish brown color and a very flat and fine surface. Just like diyar it has characteristics of resisting termite attacks and very less movement after it is dried. Due to its hardness it is highly recommended for doors. However only drawback is that it can be finished in dark coloured polish due to its natural dark tone.
Commonly known as “Diyar wood”, extracted from the national tree of Pakistan. It is very durable but expensive wood used in construction of houses. It has straight, fine and even textured grains. It has a characteristic of very low or no movement; i-e shrinking and swelling rarely takes place in this type of wood. It is also not vulnerable to termite and other insects attacks.
Just like ash wood, oak is another hardwood that is available in both reddish and yellowish brown colors. It has very thin grains straight and open. Oak wood is mostly used for furniture and cabinetries and should be avoided for doors, as it becomes almost grain less after polishing.
Quality check at site
Quality of wood can be thoroughly checked only by an expert. However as a layman while purchasing wood following quality checks should be performed
- Wood should have a label of KD “Kiln dried” on it especially if it is imported(not applicable in all woods such as yellow pine for chogaths). Some local woods are air dried in which case the label of KD is not required. If possible check the moisture content with moisture meter and it should be in acceptable range of 8-12%
- Face of the timber board edges should not have too much crazy cracks, as it indicates that wood has been dried too quickly. In such cases outside of the wooden boards dries whereas it leaves the timber core wet with moisture content.
- Investigate knots present in timber. Small knots that do not travel throughout the depth of timber are acceptable. However preference should be zero or minimum possible knots.
- Purchase timber that has been cut in size such that it leaves minimum or zero waste. E.g. if your doors are of standard size 7 ft. x 3.5 ft., purchase timber boards that have lengths of either 14 ft. or 10 ft.
Quantity check at site
Quantity of timber is measured in cubic feet. However it is calculated in inches and then converted into feet if timber is sawed into lengths that are 2 inches wide since most of woodwork such as making of doors is carried out in maximum height of length in 2 inches whereas for chogaths most commonly used is 1.5 inches.
Let us suppose we have timber sawed in lengths as shown in above image and has following measurements:
Length = 14’ (168 inches)
Width = 1’ (12 inches)
Height = 2” (2 inches)
Total Quantity in cubic inches = Length (in.) x Width (in.) x Height (in.)
= 168 (in.) x 12 (in.) x 2 (in.)
= 4032 in2
Now let us convert in2 to ft3
1 ft3= 1728 in2 (12 in. x 12 in. 12 in.)
Total Quantity in cubic feet = 4032 / 1728
= 2.33 ft3.