Any exceptions-and special tips pertaining to this issue's featured wood species-appear under other headings on this page.
- For stability in use, always work wood with a maximum moisture content of 8 percent.
- Feed straight-grained wood into planer knives at a 90° angle. To avoid tearing, feed figured or that with twisted grain at a slight angle (about 15°), and take shallow cuts of about 1/32".
- For clean cuts, rip with a rip-profile blade having 24-32 teeth. Smooth crosscutting requires at least a 40-tooth blade.
- Avoid using twist drills. They tend to wander in the wood and cause breakout. Use brad-point bits and a backing board under the workpiece to reduce tearout.
- Drill pilot holes for screws.
- Rout with sharp, preferably carbide-tipped, bits and take shallow passes to avoid burning.
- Carving softwoods generally means fairly steep gouge bevels-20° or more-and deeper cuts.
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