Log lessons your can use at the lumberyard
Look for layered logs
While examining a bin of boards, pay special attention to any boards in which the end grain aligns as if the boards came from the same log, because they probably did. Mills often bundle boards as they come off the saw, and a sequence -- the sliced-up boards making up a complete log -- will often end up in the same bin. It's your opportunity to snag boards with consistent color and complementary grain patterns. Confirm your find by pulling the boards and comparing their lengths; lumber from the same log will be the same length.
After you zero in on a few likely candidates for project stock, pull those boards into the light for a final check. Does the grain match your expectations? Is the color consistent between boards? (If not, a stain or dye job might be in your future.) Sight down the edge to check for defects, right. And when you're done, proper lumberyard etiquette dictates that you neatly restack any rejects back in the bin.
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