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Western Larch

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Shop-Tested Techniques

Shop-Tested Techniques

Any exceptions-and special tips pertaining to this issue's featured wood species-appear under other headings on this page.


  • For more stability in use, always try to work wood with a maximum moisture content of 8-9 percent.
  • Feed straight-grained wood into planer knives at a 90 will do), and take shallow cuts of no more than 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 means fairly steep gouge bevels-20 or more-and deeper cuts.

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