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Shop-Tested Techniques

Shop-Tested Techniques

Any exceptions, and special tips pertaining to this issue's featured wood species, appear elsewhere on this page


  • For stability in projects to be used indoors, always work wood with a maximum moisture content of 8 percent. For outdoor use, wood of 12 percent moisture content is okay.
  • Feed straight-grained wood into planer knives at a 90 angle. To avoid tearing, feed figured wood or that with twisted grain at a slight angle of 15, and take shallow cuts of about 1/32".
  • For clean cuts, rip with a rip-profile blade that has 24-32 teeth. For crosscutting, use a blade with about 40 teeth.
  • Avoid drilling with twist drills. They tend to wander in the wood and cause breakout. Use a backing board under the workpiece to reduce breakout.
  • Drill pilot holes for screws.
  • Rout with sharp, preferably carbide-tipped, bits and take shallow passes to avoid burning.
  • Carving hardwoods generally means shallow gouge bevels?15 to 20?and shallower cuts.

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