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Woodworking 101: Which Wood is Best?

Walking into a lumber shop can leave you speechless as you look over the grains, colors, thicknesses, and different types of specialty woods offered for sale. Not only do different trees present different colors of raw wood, but those trees also offer different hardness and patterns. Though the choices available may seem complicated, you can rest assured that after a quick review of what your project is, you can find the best woodworking wood for success.

Boards

There are three major methods used for sawing trees into wood planks. Quarter-sawn produces a beautiful wood, but it is not an efficient way to cut into a log. The plain-sawn milling technique is more efficient, but the boards are not visually appealing. The most efficient is the continuous milling technique that pushes a board through the saw lengthwise, without any thought to grain or patterning.

Grades

If you have a carpentry project to complete, you need to understand the different grades of woodworking wood. With four grades to choose from, you can find one that fits your project and allows you to work with few complications. The 2C has a surface that is at least 50% free of flaws, cracks, or knots, and it is the most common. The 1C should be 66% free of area defects. The best cuts and grades of wood are the F1F and SEL, which boast beautiful grained wood designs that are 83% free of any defects.

The boards you need to purchase depends on the project you are creating. A storage unit in the garage would not use the same quality of planks that a dining table would. Although lumber options can vary widely in color and style, after doing a few projects in wood and understanding the grain and texture, you will be surprised how quickly you become a pro in buying the appropriate woodworking wood.