Now that you are familiar with the kinds of wood available to you, it’s time to know how to pick the right one in the lumberyard to suit your project. Here, you have some important points to take into consideration.
1. Type of project
As have been pointed above, different kinds of wood are preferred for different kinds of project. For instance, if you are planning to build a simple, unadorned side table, most inexpensive woods will suffice, while if you are going for something a bit more stylized, a higher quality wood will bring out the beauty of the design more. Fortunately, this is easy for beginners, as most projects provide exact specifications.
2. Type of wood
Often, there are several types of wood that can be used for a particular project, which might confuse a beginner as to what to pick. A useful point here is to determine which of the different wood types are more common in your area, as procuring them will be a lot easier. Also, note that there are some instances where softwoods can actually be substituted for hardwoods, as both have similar strengths. However, it would still be best for the beginner to refer to the specifications to determine the best-suited wood type.
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4. Wood Grade
With the specific type of wood chosen, you can now consider wood grade. This is especially important if you are working on a piece where wood quality is a main attraction. Wood are commonly graded as follows: No. 3B Common, No. 3A Common, Sound Wormy, No. 2B Common, No. 2A Common, No. 1 Common, Selects, FAS 1-Face FIF, and FAS, with FAS being the highest rating and is reserved for the finest projects. Wood grade is usually marked on the specifics of the sample provided in home centers and lumberyards.
5. Wood Condition
In some cases, a wood plank might look good from afar, but once you get working on it, a lot of imperfections show up. For instance, you might not be able to readily ascertain the straightness of a wood board at a first glance. Thus, it is a must to thoroughly inspect all the pieces of wood you purchase for a project to be sure they are free from defects. However, also note that there are instances where you can work around these defects, such as if the piece has to be cut and you can simply trim off the affected area. The next section lists some of the common wood defects you will encounter and ways of dealing with these.
6. Wood Cost
Wood cost can be quite tricky for beginners who are not familiar with how this is assessed. However, this can be made easy by remembering that hardwoods are generally more expensive than softwoods. Note that luxury woods are harder to acquire and as such, are more expensive. To save on costs, assess which parts of the project would need such high-end wood, and which sections can be done with a less expensive alternative. Also consider the type of finish you will do for the project. Get quotations from different sellers to have a better comparison of prices.
7. The following are some of the common defects you need to check for when inspecting wood:
A bow is warping of the wood from one end to another.
A cup has the wood bending across the one of the faces.
A crook happens when the wood is warped along its edge.
A twist is severe bending of the wood, where the whole or part of the wood is warped in a screw-like manner.
5. Wood Knot
A not is an imperfection where the grain part around a circular discolored area. A knothole is a hole where the grain similarly parts around.
A split is a crack in the wood, usually running from one end to another.
A check is a crack running along the annular growth rings of the wood, but not through its entire thickness.
Waning happens when there is either some missing wood or bark still on the edges of the board.