Our timber products are manufactured from soft wood logs. The various sawmills and plywood plant are operating on the basis of quality programmes certified by South African Technical Auditing Services (SATAS), according to the International Standards organisation (ISO) Guide 65.

SATAS is a certification body similar to the SABS. Both these bodies are internationally accredited by the South African National Accreditation Services (SANAS). York’s quality management systems are functioning in a practical manner, consisting of process controls performed by the operators and/or process controllers at each process in the manufacturing lines; starting with the incoming logs right up to the dispatch of the finished products.

Staff in the Quality Control department verify them results of the process controls and also ensure conformance of the finished products to the required standards.

At the sawmills we produce sawn lumber (in 38mm, 50mm and 76mm thickness by 76mm, 114mm, 152mm and 228mm width) for use in structural applications, mainly roof trusses.

Brandering (38mm by 38mm) is also produced for use in ceilings and underneath roof tiles.

These products are also produced in finger-jointed lengths, which enable us to supply any length the customer may require. The products are kiln-dried and regularised to a uniform thickness and width, and then visually graded to comply with the requirements of various South African National Standards (SANS) specifications. The grades produced are S5, S7 and BBB.

The S5 grade indicates that it complies with a certain stress grade, which is related to specific strengths. These commodities are also available in rough sawn sizes. The rejects from the above grades are called “Utility”, which is graded according to in-house specifications. This material is not suited for structural applications and is mainly used in roofs of informal housing.

The sawmills also produce industrial sizes of lumber (16mm, 19mm and 25mm thickness). This is graded to comply with in-house specifications into Furniture, Industrial, XIN and Crating grades. These grades are used in the manufacture of furniture, pallets, cable tolls, crates, etc.

York also manufactures thicknesses of 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm appearance grades on request, mainly used in furniture manufacturing.

Rejects from the thicker size are D grade, Shop grade and Blister boards defined as “cutting grades” where the user can cut out sections still fit for purpose. The rejects from the smaller sizes are a packing grade which is mainly used for packing products. York also treats timber with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) for coastal use or exposed application. The Hazard classes are treated according to SANS requirements H2 (exposed under cover) and H3 (exposed no cover, non-ground contact). York’s plywood plant specialises in the manufacture of shutterply boards predominantly in 18mm and 21mm thickness. Thicker boards are also produced for specific applications. The most common grades are BB, BC, CC and C+C. These are manufactured according to the requirements of the SANS specification. Additionally the CE (European Standards) requirements can also be applied if required as York also holds certification by British Standards Institute (BSI) of London, UK.

York is audited monthly by SATAS for conformance of product quality and quality control. SATAS audits the sawmills’ systems once per annum and plywood is audited twice per annum for compliance with the CE European requirements. SATAS acts as Notified Body for BSI London for the performance of these audits.

York uses the visual grading method (at final grading), whereby each board is visually checked for size (width and thickness), twist, spring, cupping, bowing, splitting and knot configuration. Samples on each production run (the period that a single product is manufactured continuously) are taken and analysed to ensure the timber meets the density requirement.

Density requirements are as follows:

  • Brandering: 345kg per m³
  • S5: 360kg per m³
  • S7: 425kg per m³

Grading of lumber is the action taken to ensure that each board produced by York meets a predetermined standard. These standards are either in line with SANS (SANS 1783:2009 part 1, SANS 1783:2012 parts 2 and 4 and SANS 10096:2012) for structural graded timber or as per in-house specifications according to customer requirements.

The whole process is audited by SATAS. Inspections on product and production process are audited monthly and a full audit is conducted annually.

Typical grades produced by york:

S7 and S5, mill run, Utility (otherwise known as black cross), Furniture grade, export quality industrial (XIN), industrial, crating and abnormal grade (ABN).

Sawn Lumber - Grades and Uses

STRUCTURAL Grades: S10, S7, S5Structural timber is for construction use as per SANS-1783:2013 specifications most commonly used in the production of roof trusses. All characteristics linked to the required strength. Wane Restricted Knot Restricted, Available as rough sawn or RAR, Available in all 600mm Modules.
BRANDERING Grades: BBBConforms to SANS 1783:2013 Specification requirements. Structural uses: Roof Tiles, Ceilings Battens
UtilityPiece must be useable full length (square sawn)
Good utility value. For low end non-structural uses. Thickness 38mm and thicker.
Good Utility grade for many non structural and other end uses.
Fall down from SANS 1783 Structural Timber, Brandering & Batten specifications due to: Wane, Knots, Sizing and Other

Plywood Grades

Appearance Grades: A & BStructural Grades: C+/C
Primary uses being paneling and furniture (face grade).Most commonly used in Shuttering applications, brick pallets and flooring
Appearance Grade Thicknesses: 6 mm, 9 mm, 12 mm, 16 mm, 25 mm, 28 mm, 32 mmStructural Thicknesses: 18 mm, 21 mm, 25 mm, 28 mm, 32 mm


Regular testing is carried out in-house and verified by independent bodies:

  • MOE & MOR values for all structural material Sawn Lumber as well as Plywood
  • Emissions test to evaluate the release of formaldehyde
  • Fire Rating of material
  • Insulation testing
  • Finger Joint strengths