5 Things About Wood That Woodworkers Need To Know

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Woodworkers need to know about wood. This may seem like a silly statement, but it’s actually very important. Different types of wood have different properties, and knowing what those properties are can help you select the right type of wood for your project, avoid problems during construction, and make sure your finished product looks great.

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In this blog post, we will discuss five things that all woodworkers should know about wood!

Understanding these 5 fundamental properties of wood will help you right from the start. Keep in mind that mostly what I’m talking about here applies to solid lumber, not plywood, except where noted.

Wood End Grain Explained

End grain is simply the direction that the grains of wood run. When you look at a log, end grain is what you see on the ends. It’s also the direction that most wood is cut when it’s first milled into lumber.

End grain can be oriented in different ways depending on how the lumber is cut. The most common orientation is quarter sawn, which means that the boards are cut perpendicular to the growth rings. This produces a more stable board with less cupping and warping.

Flat sawn lumber is cut with the grain running parallel to the face of the board. This is the most common type of lumber you’ll find at your local home center. It’s also the least stable, meaning it’s more likely to warp and cup over time.

Rift sawn lumber is cut with the grain running at a 45 degree angle to the face of the board. This produces a very stable board that’s less likely to warp or cup. However, it’s also more expensive because it’s more difficult to mill.

Finally, there’s live sawn lumber which is cut with the grain running in whatever direction is most convenient for the sawyer. This produces boards that are a mix of all three orientations, which makes them less stable than any of the others.

Knowing how the grain is oriented in your lumber can help you choose the right board for your project. If stability is a concern, choose quarter sawn or rift sawn lumber. If price is a concern, go with flat sawn lumber. And if you’re not sure, live sawn lumber is always a good choice.

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Grain Direction Explained

One of the most important things for a woodworker to understand is the grain direction of wood. The grain direction affects everything from how the wood looks to how it will react to being cut or sanded.

The grain is the lines that you see running through wood. It’s created by the way the tree grows, and it can be either straight or curly. The direction of the grain is important because it will determine how strong the wood is and how it looks when it’s finished.

If you’re working with a piece of wood that has a straight grain, you’ll find that it’s very strong and resistant to splitting. It’s also easy to sand and stain. Curly grain, on the other hand, is much weaker and can be easily damaged. It’s also more difficult to work with because the curls can catch on your tools.

When you’re choosing a piece of wood for your project, it’s important to pay attention to the grain direction. You should always try to choose a piece of wood with a straight grain. If you can’t find one, then you should at least choose a piece with a curly grain that’s not too tightly curled.

Keep these things in mind and you’ll be able to choose the best piece of wood for your project every time.

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Wood Movement Explained

As a woodworker, it’s important to understand how wood moves. Depending on the type of project you’re working on, you’ll need to take into account the expansion and contraction of the wood. Here are five things about wood movement that every woodworker should know.

The first thing to understand is that all wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. This is due to the wood’s moisture content – when the air is dry, the wood will absorb moisture from the air and expand. When the air is more humid, the wood will release moisture and contract.

This expansion and contraction can cause problems with your projects if you’re not careful. For example, if you build a table top out of solid wood, and the wood contracts in dry weather, you may find that your table top starts to warp or cup.

To avoid these problems, it’s important to use woods that are more stable, like plywood or MDF. Alternatively, you can create a “floating” top for your table by attaching the wood to the table top with metal or plastic strips. This allows the wood to expand and contract without affecting the overall shape of your project.

Another thing to keep in mind is that different woods move at different rates. For example, hardwoods like maple and oak will expand and contract more than softwoods like pine and cedar.

This is important to keep in mind when creating projects that will be exposed to changes in humidity, like a bookshelf or picture frame. If you use different woods in the same project, one of the woods may warp or cup while the other stays flat. To avoid this, make sure to use woods that have similar expansion and contraction rates.

Finally, it’s important to understand that the grain of the wood also affects its movement. Woods with a straight grain, like maple and oak, will expand and contract evenly across the board. However, woods with a wavy or curly grain, like cherry and walnut, will move more in one direction than the other.

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Choosing the correct Wood for your Project

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Wood Color Explained

Wood color can be tricky to understand. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to determine the color of your wood.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the color of wood can vary depending on the type of tree it came from. For example, pine and cedar trees will have different colors of wood.

The second thing to keep in mind is the age of the tree. Older trees will have darker wood, while younger trees will have lighter wood.

Finally, the color of wood can also be affected by the environment it was growing in. For example, trees that grew in a sunny location will have lighter wood than trees that grew in a shady location.

Keep these things in mind the next time you are trying to determine the color of your wood. With a little bit of knowledge, you will be able to figure out the perfect color for your project.

Why Is Wood Finish Important?

Your wood finish is important for a number of reasons. First, it protects your wood from water damage and other environmental factors. Second, it gives your wood a beautiful shine that makes it look great in any room. Third, it adds value to your home by increasing its curb appeal.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a wood finish. First, you’ll want to choose a finish that is compatible with the type of wood you’re using. Second, you’ll want to choose a finish that will provide the level of protection you need. Third, you’ll want to choose a finish that will give your wood the look you desire.

Wood Finishing Tips

Wood finishing is an art unto itself. There are as many ways to finish wood as there are woodworkers, and each one has his or her own preferences and methods. However, there are some general tips that apply to all finishes.

Before you begin, always test your finish on a scrap piece of wood or in an inconspicuous area to ensure that you like the way it looks and performs. Once you’ve decided on a finish, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter.

When applying any type of finish, always work in a well-ventilated area. And be sure to wear gloves and a respirator mask to protect yourself from fumes.

Finally, remember that practice makes perfect. The more you work with a particular finish, the better you’ll become at applying it. So don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a method that works best for you.

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