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15 votes
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How to straighten a warped board

Your pallet board may not be worth the effort, but there are several techniques that you can try to salvage any warped board. The optimal solution will vary depending on how you intend to use the ...
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15 votes

Does dropping boards really relieve internal tensions?

I find this really hard to believe.. if dropping a piece of lumber did 'relieve stress' then there should be no stress in it by the time it makes it to your local lumber distributor-- it's been ...
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  • 4,382
14 votes

Hollowing out a piece of timber

Rather than hollowing out a piece of 4"x4"x8' piece of lumber, think about how to use thinner stock to come up with something that looks like 4"x4"x8'. There's a long tradition of this- porch columns ...
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12 votes
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What are some guidelines to consider when determining the thickness of boards to use?

The Sagulator is a good quick calculator you can use to work out the type and thickness of material for any shelf or tabletop spans. It also factors the type of material into the load-bearing capacity....
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11 votes
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Hollowing out a piece of timber

If you have a table saw that can rip at least 2" deep, you could do something like this: Source: me Dark gray areas are waste. This assumes you have a .1" thick blade. Basically, you would take off ...
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11 votes
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Is dimensional lumber kiln-dried differently than a kiln-dried board meant for woodworking?

You're asking the right questions but before you blame the drying process or harvest season, make sure you're comparing apples to apples. You didn't mention what type of wood you're using when you ...
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11 votes
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Crosscutting 18" diameter logs by hand

I suspect the issue here is with the bowsaw blade not having enough 'set' to the teeth. The 'set' of the teeth on a saw blade is how far to either side the teeth are bent out from the main body of ...
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11 votes
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What is a board foot?

A board foot is a volume of wood 1 inch by 12 inches by 12 inches; i.e., 144 cubic inches. If the board is 1/2" thick and 12" wide, one board foot would be 24" long. If the board is 2" thick and 6" ...
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10 votes
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How can I ensure my wood is ethically sourced?

The more you know about the species the better. First is knowing that the species you are buying is endangered. This Wood Database article provides a decent reference for species to look out for. ...
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10 votes
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What are the different uses for plain sawn (flat sawn), rift sawn, and quarter sawn boards?

While named the same, the milling processes and resulting boards are two different things. It would be easier to say that each of the milling processes can yield boards of different types. There is ...
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10 votes
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When is it best to use kiln-dried vs. air-dried vs. green wood in a project?

Green — Very fun to turn and it's like shaping butter, however, the greener it is the more likely you will get cracks as it dries and quite possibly a bit of warping. for building projects (book ...
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10 votes
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2x4's are not really 2x4. How does this affect the integrity of a structure?

The strength of wood is established for various species based upon the actual cross section area of material. Industry standards set over 50 years ago established the actual dimensions of a nominal ...
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9 votes
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Building A Table - Help With Wood Selection and Joints

First, I would avoid any pressure treated wood around anything having to do with food preparation - the chemicals that go into that wood are often poisonous. Redwood or cedar would be good choices ...
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  • 8,026
9 votes

Given final dimensions in mm, how do I choose what dimensional lumber (in customary units) to buy?

The confusion comes from nominal vs. actual dimensions of dimensional lumber. Typically a solid wood board sold in customary/imperial units is slightly smaller along its thickness and width, the ...
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  • 18.6k
8 votes

How do I shop for lumber to use in home wood working projects?

Great question, Steve. I wish I'd had the wisdom to ask this before I got too into woodworking. I used to buy all my hardwood lumber at Home Depot for 4 times the cost! (I'm not exaggerating). Big box ...
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8 votes
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How do I shop for lumber to use in home wood working projects?

It can very difficult to find wood that requires minimal milling, but it is possible. The tradeoff is that you may need to spend a lot of time searching through every board to find the one or two that ...
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  • 18.6k
8 votes

Using green cedar for planks on a boat

I was trying to find the answer to something else and realized there was a section in this book called, Modern Woodworking Techniques. It is a conglomeration of articles from the magazine Fine ...
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7 votes

When is it best to use kiln-dried vs. air-dried vs. green wood in a project?

This is exactly right. Kiln dried wood is typically prized for it's stability and use in construction. This may be preferable in pieces work that would get laminated or otherwise glued together, ...
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  • 1,772
7 votes

When building an outdoor structure, should I use pressure-treated lumber or something like cedar?

If it's in contact with or partly buried in soil, and isn't adjacent to food plants, go with PT; it'll probaly last several times as long. If it's above grade and will dry out berween rainstorms, ...
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  • 9,121
7 votes

How to straighten a warped board

If you do not need the exact thickness of the board you could just run it thorough a planer and or jointer to flatten it out. But if the board thickness is exactly what you need then I have seen a ...
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  • 171
7 votes
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Considerations using lumber stored outside

I would certainly worry about assembly in the cold, and anything you are going to glue needs to be above 50F for the glue to work properly anyway. Moisture is the bigger worry, and in the northern ...
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7 votes
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What would be the UK equivalent of the common US 2 by 4 (not just by size)

Does the UK have a piece of wood that is universally commonly used for hobby / domestic projects that it is simple referred to by a common name and is this typically a suitable substitute for the US 2 ...
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  • 12.1k
6 votes

Does dropping boards really relieve internal tensions?

Stress is only relieved by either bending or cracking. If dropping cracks the wood in the right way, then stress is relieved. You could potentially relieve internal stresses by encouraging it to bend ...
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  • 2,396
6 votes

Hollowing out a piece of timber

The only time I can think of where you would actually need to hollow out a piece of wood, would be when you're making a spindle for a floor lamp. These need to have a hollow core for cabling to run ...
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  • 3,809
6 votes

Is dimensional lumber kiln-dried differently than a kiln-dried board meant for woodworking?

Additionally, it's how the wood is grown - the spf used for dimensional lumber grows and is grown fast... Look how wide the growth rings are. This contributes a coarseness to the wood in working ...
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  • 2,396
6 votes

What are the techniques to seal or remove sap?

This is actually a very common occurrence in woods like pine and fir. Many would suggest that you do not use these woods for reasons just like this one. If you persist then heat is the solution. Note: ...
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6 votes
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What is the yellow stain on the end of this pine I bought?

The paint isn't only used to identify the wood boards by lumber yards, but it's also used to seal of the end grain to slow down the drying process. Because exposed pores or tracheids on the end-...
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  • 2,390
5 votes
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Protecting wood from powder post beetles

I have not found any reference for the bark comment but depending where it is stored and even if you haven't had problems in the past you cannot assume you are safe from infestation. I personally have ...
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  • 20.1k
5 votes

Hollowing out a piece of timber

You would need one heck of a plug cutter to bore a core out of an 8' timber. I don't know of any other tool that would hollow it without turning the center into chips, which would not be particularly ...
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  • 5,649
5 votes

Crosscutting 18" diameter logs by hand

Keep the gap open with wedges. Next to that, sharp teeth are the most important thing. I learned that lesson with a chainsaw -- even though the engine was doing the work, a dull chain got me nowhere,...
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