One step down from CLEAR CEDAR equals big savings!
CLEAR is the top of the line in any wood. This is an architect's grade. The rarest part of the tree, the hardest to get, the most expensive option.
But one appearance notch down from CLEAR is Buffalo Lumber's NEAR CLEAR grade which includes B&BTR, D&BTR wood Mill Grades that are "one off" CLEAR grade. NEAR Clear has very few, very tiny knots and a median price point for the "Knot so fond". Your appearance priorities will determine your budget with clear grades.
The following picture is of a 1x6 Flush Joint Tongue and Groove Inland Red Cedar stained smooth face with Olympic "Cedar" toned Semi-transparent oil based.
The official mill grade on this was a D and Better Clear (D&BTR) - which falls in our Buffalo Lumber Cedar "Near Clear" grade.
This picture is a good example of NEAR Clear grade. You can see that the look is pretty clear overall. One grade step down from CLEAR which customers can use to save serious bucks.
In Buffalo Lumber Layman Terms- If we were talking about a 1x8" board 12' long,
the higher "B" Grade Near Clears will allow no more than 3 knots per board no bigger than 1 & 1/2 inches.
The lower "D" Grade Near clears will allow no more than 4 knots per board no bigger than 1 & 1/2 inches.
These grade rules represent the maximum to expect per single board - NOT all boards. A good percentage of boards will be completely clear or with one small knott per 12' length.
Grade rules are intended to be the worst case allowable on a board - but NOT the entire order. When interpreting grade rules the integrity of the mill you are using becomes important. We do not expect every board in our D Grade clears to have 4 knots. We expect some to have that but many more that will have less.
When we zoom in you can see the knot structure a little better.
As you can see not every board has 4 knots. The idea is a mostly clear apperance overall with a few knots in any given area you focus on.
This grade was invented because the Aye&Better Clears are so expensive. Allowing a knot or 2 into the grade brings the price down around $1 per square foot or more.
Here are some more pictures of our Near Clear Inland Red Cedar milled and ready for shipping. As you can see some boards have several knots and some don't have any.