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Because today few woodworkers other than carvers demand butternut, it may be difficult to obtain except at large hardwood lumber dealers located within its range. But specialty suppliers catering to turners and carvers frequently offer butternut blanks. When you do find butternut stock, the boards usually won't run extra wide or long due to the lack of large, clear logs. This factor also contributes to butternut's relatively high cost-about $3 per board foot for select and better. Butternut veneer or plywood generally isn't available at retail because it is only made for the architectural trade. Butternut wood sometimes turns out to be wormy, the work of powder-post beetles and their larvae. Such damaged wood can be used for attractive projects, as long as the varmints aren't still working! Kiln-drying usually solves any potential problems, and a thoroughly applied, tough finish guarantee's any survivors' demise, but it pays to closely observe all wormy wood for pests before buying.

Continued on page 5:  Machining methods


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