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20 votes

Can 160-year-old wood still have sap?

The table top is still sipping out sap. Is this even possible from something that is 160 years old? Sure, it's definitely possible. Sap doesn't just disappear from a piece of wood because it's old. ...
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18 votes
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How is it possible to let wood reach equilibrium moisture content?

In such a wildly changing environment, how is it actually possible to let wood reach its EMC, or is the advice misguided, and does it not actually matter? It does matter, and the moisture content bit ...
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17 votes
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What is the difference between hardwood and softwood?

Hardwood is usually from a deciduous tree and softwood is usually from a coniferous one. Hardwoods typically have a higher density (hence hardwood). Seriously? For the most part that is the general ...
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17 votes
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What is a burl?

A burl is an outgrowth on a tree: source wikipedia They are cause by infestations or injuries. Inside the burl the grain is twisted and interlocked, this makes it interesting for carvings and for ...
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16 votes
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How do I determine what type of wood a board/plank is made from?

If nothing else The Wood Database exists solely for this purpose and has a great deal of information about all its woods in its database. The database contains picutres of all its known woods and ...
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14 votes
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Type of wood glue-up used in some Ikea furniture?

This is called a butcher block. It comes in two types - edge grain (like in the Norden tables), where the surface shows the edge (long) grain of the pieces of wood: And end grain, where the surface ...
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13 votes

What is "White Wood"?

White wood is the cheap, crappy wood available at home centers, and will vary by region. Here in Arizona, it's white pine.
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13 votes
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Why S4S boards sold at Home Depot aren't straight?

The boards did have 4 smooth surfaces, all perpendicular to each other, and were straight. That was when they came off the mill, though. Since then, they've been exposed to the elements, shipped to ...
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13 votes
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which direction does wood expand?

Wood is made of fibers. Think of wood as a bunch of soda straws or flexible rubber tubes bundled together. When you add water, the fibers expand to hold the extra water. When it dries, they ...
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  • 8,026
12 votes

How can I identify some of the common engineered boards/panels?

At least in North America I would consider these to be the more common encountered engineered wood products. Note: While some of the pictures are large this is be design so everyone ( Some people are ...
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12 votes
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Smell Longevity of Eastern Red Cedar

The smell comes from the oils in the wood. If you want it to last longer it should remain closed as with your chest. Direct sunlight, moisture and large temperature changes will dry the wood out ...
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  • 1,101
12 votes
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What common woods produce the safest/most harmful dust?

I do not know what wood is common in Portland. Common woods will differ between locales. If you have lung issues then I would imagine you should't be working unknown woods. If you are fortunate ...
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12 votes
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What is wood stabilization?

Wood stabilization typically refers to reinforcing wood against inherent defects or weaknesses. In turning, stabilization may mean anything from filling cracks with epoxy, to impregnating the wood ...
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12 votes

Finishing a desk or tabletop?

oiling and applying something like polyeurethane which seems to be used in all the youtube tutorials OK need to run though a number of basics first. Firstly a general caution, lots of people who ...
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12 votes

Filling Hole with Sawdust & Glue

I'd advise not trying to fill a void that big with glue and dust. Wood doesn't really like being treated like car bondo. Smaller voids and cracks can be filled with putty or home-made filler, but in ...
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  • 6,194
11 votes

Does Pine have any advantages?

I assume you're probably more thinking of what is commonly labeled "SPF," which stands for "Spruce/Pine/Fir." Cheap wood used for dimensional lumber; however, pine is a pretty broad category. This ...
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11 votes
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Are there any serious and non-obvious disadvantages to thermally modified wood?

Lee Valley has begun using what they call "torrefied wood" in their plane totes and knobs, which seems like the same thing as what you're explaining above. To quote: All totes are made using ...
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11 votes
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Will black walnut dull my carving tools

I've never worked with it before, and was wondering if it would be a wood that could be worked by hand? Yes, absolutely. Black walnut isn't really all that hard of a wood, comparatively. Looking at ...
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10 votes
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What is "White Wood"?

I suspect it is any cheap tree that is fairly white. 'White wood' is not a species. It is likely pine, but in theory could be balsam or aspen or a bunch of others. I did a little looking and it ...
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10 votes
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I accidentally used woodglue that doesn't stain. How do I fix it?

Almost every glue commonly in use won't take stain, and one or two that are said to stain don't stain as well as you'd like (similar story with 'stainable filler' incidentally) so it's good practice ...
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10 votes

How to fix a wooden floor

In the past removal of old finish from floors was done manually, by scraping, and it does a superb job and doesn't generate large volumes of dust. But it's backbreaking labour and can't be recommended ...
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10 votes
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What is the difference between MDF and MDO?

MDF is Medium Density Fiberboard and it's made by essentially combining resins with sawdust and compressing it into a fairly dense, extremely flat and smooth sheet. In general it can be worked like &...
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  • 1,064
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
9 votes

Are there any serious and non-obvious disadvantages to thermally modified wood?

Now, the wood is thermally modified. Which basically means it went into a kiln at a somewhat higher temperature and underwent a heat-induced chemical reaction. The thermal modification of wood into ...
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  • 59.2k
9 votes

Installing fancy distressed wall hanger knobs

By to look of the "keyhole" shaped holes in the back of the knobs, you're probably supposed to slide them onto the head of a screw that's attached to the wall. Here's the keyhole in glorious ASCIIart,...
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9 votes

How to bind wooden pieces together, but detachable

You could try Lincoln Log™ style A nice DIY write up at Lumberjocks At least they are still made of wood. You could use round magnets like those found here. You'd want to make the hole with a ...
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  • 5,649
9 votes

What is this hand tool with handles similar to a spokeshave? It has different selectable profiles around the edge of a disc

This looks like a beading scratch-stock. Beading is a decorative detail added to the edges of boards to make them less prone to damage and to hide gaps in joinery or around doors. This tool creates ...
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9 votes

Difficulty level in restoring wood bench?

This isn't very answerable, as suggested by the comments you are getting. But we can make some general statements about this project. First of all, whatever you are doing right now: stop. Put the ...
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  • 6,194
9 votes

Filling an old hole to offset it a few mm and put in a fastener, what is the best approach?

Use a hardwood dowel and PVA wood glue. I mean, you could use hide glue if you want, but don't use epoxy. We want something that is strong and workable like wood. Epoxy will be hard, but it won't be ...
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  • 6,194
8 votes

Does Pine have any advantages?

Does SPF, in general, have any redeeming qualities besides just being cheap Weight. Fast-growing woods like soft pine, fir, and spruce have densities between about 20 and 30 lbs/ft3. Hard woods like ...
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