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Red Alder

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Shop-Tested Techniques

Shop-Tested Techniques

Any exceptions, and special tips pertaining to this featured wood species, appear under bold-faced headings elsewhere on this page. But for all wood species, always practice the following.

  • For stability in projects meant for indoor use, work only 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 twisted grain at a slight angle (about 15), and take shallow cuts of about1/32".
  • For clean cuts, rip with a rip-profile blade having 24-32 teeth. Smooth cross-cutting requires at least a 40-tooth blade.
  • Avoid using standard twist-drill bits. They tend to wander in the wood and cause breakout. Use brad-point bits and a backing board under the workpiece.
  • Drill pilot holes for screws.
  • Rout with sharp, preferably carbide-tipped, bits and take shallow passes to avoid burning.
  • Carving hardwoods means fairly shallow gouge bevels -- 15 or more -- and shallower cuts.


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