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How To Reduce Your Lumber Bill with Crayon Defect Marking and Grade Marking

Posted on Jul 25, 2018
crayon defect marking lumber

Here's a simple how-to guide to reduce that heaping lumber bill of yours. Follow these easy steps to increase material yield, reduce scrap waste, and eliminate stock defects in-house. Don't let your lumber supplier hold you hostage- it's easier than ever to start saving. 

You could argue that Kindergarten is the most impactful year in all of school. It’s the year you learn “The Golden Rule,” the value of napping, snack time, and how to share. Well, there’s something Robert Fulghum forgot to mention in his book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and it’s seriously important. Yup, we’re talking about crayons. Back then in our wee years, crayons were a vital source of entertainment and quite possible, sustenance. You could draw on walls will them, stick ‘em up your nose, even eat them. But who knew crayons would come in handy as an adult? Investing in a few UV crayons could save your woodworking business boat loads of money in more than one way. Here’s the skinny on how to use crayons for defect marking and grade marking to increase your lumber yield.

 Crayon Defect Marking-Wood .jpg

Crayon Defecting

Use a UV Crayon and TigerStop’s Laser Scanning to mark your material according to how you want to process it. If there is a defect on your piece such as wane, splits, discoloration, or knots, mark the beginning of the defect with a line and the end of the defect with a line. The knot and any of the material between the two lines will be interpreted as waste and removed. The rest of the material will be scanned and optimized with TigerStop’s Dynamic Optimization™ software for the best yield.  

Why is Crayon Defecting so revolutionary? Well, you can now buy low grade knotty lumber and quickly defect it in your shop. This means your lumber bill will be significantly lower each month. Rather than purchasing that perfect FAS maple, you can buy lower cost paint grade maple with defects galore, quickly mark it with your UV crayon, have your TigerStop scan the piece and remove the knot. When you pair Crayon Defecting with optimization software you are maximizing yield, eliminating defects, and reducing scrap waste all in a few swipes of your crayon.

 lumber defecting


Grade Marking

But wait! There’s more. It gets even better folks. Your UV crayon can also do what we call Grade Marking. Grade Marking is simply using various crayon marks to tell your TigerStop which grade of material it’s going to process. 

A TigerStop can process up to 3 different grades of material at the same time depending on how you mark your piece. For example, if one section of your maple board is paint grade and the other is stain grade, you can make separate grade marking lists and process jobs for cabinet parts (stain grade) and pallets (paint grade) at the same time.

2 Lines drawn closely together tell your TigerStop to switch to Grade Marking List 1, 3 Lines drawn closely together tell your TigerStop to switch to Grade Marking List 2, and 4 tell your TigerStop to switch to Grade Marking List 3.

See how the different lines drawn above indicate the changing grades of the maple? You can now optimize your parts based on three separate grade marking lists. You could cut parts for 3 different jobs at once, all from one board. Oh, and Dynamic Optimization software makes sure that while the boards are being grade marked they are also being optimized for the highest yield.

grade marking lumber


Using Grade Marking and Defect Marking Together

Let’s say you are processing maple. You find a board with clear sections of FAS, No. 1 Common, and No. 2AC, but there’s a pesky knot at the very end. You have three grade marking lists created for three different work orders and you want to get the maximum yield from your piece. So, you whip out your crayon and mark the defect with two lines. Then you grade mark the board FAS, No. 1 Common, and No. 2AC paint grade. This is what it would look like:

crayon defecting marking and grade marking

Here you are combining the power of Crayon Defect Marking, Grade Marking, and Dynamic Optimization all into one. Not to mention all of the other inherent benefits of using a TigerStop, or as we like to call it, the 5 Finger Discount:

  • 1) Zero set up time
  • 2) 100% accuracy
  • 3) No more rework
  • 4) Increased productivity
  • 5) Improved yield


 To learn more about lumber defecting using Crayon Defect Marking, Grade Marking, and Dynamic Optimization, click the below link:

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