I have worked on the supply/manufacturing side of the lumber industry since 1965 and feel you have done your readers a great disservice by suggesting that they remove grade stamps by planing their decking prior to installation (see “Removing Grade Stamps,”Q&A, Feb/Mar 2015). This would reduce the thickness of the decking, and therefore its span rating, and I don’t know of any mill or manufacturer that would stand behind its product after this was done. Any building inspector that was aware of this practice should require certified engineering and testing on the new product. In addition, if there was ever a claim against the decking, I’m sure a mill representative would deny it in the absence of grade stamps or mill numbers. Even if the recommendation is to remove only 1/16 inch from the face of the decking, there’s no guarantee that readers of the article will do the same. Most 5/4 decking measures 1 1/8 inches thick, so removing 1/16 inch will reduce the thickness and strength by 6%. I also think it would be hard to produce the same quality finish that is provided by the mills.

Terry John
Holly, Mich.