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White Oak

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Shop-Tested Techniques

Shop-Tested Techniques

Any exceptions-and tips pertaining to this issue's featured wood species-appear under headings elsewhere 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 wood with figured or 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 that has 24-32 teeth. Smooth cross-cutting requires at least a 40-tooth blade.
  • Avoid drilling with twist drills. They tend to wander and cause breakout. Use 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 generally means shallow gouge bevels-15 to 20-and shallow cuts.

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