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Dealing with wood defects

There's no such thing as the perfect board. But you can salvage a lot of "challenged" lumber using these tricks.

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In woodworkers' dreams, all wood looks like the boards we see in cutting diagrams: flat and straight, with parallel edges and not a single knot or inconsistency. In reality, though, wood is far from perfect. Even the best grades often suffer from one or more of these common defects.

The best way to deal with lumber defects is, of course, to avoid questionable boards in the first place. But if a board has great grain, is the only one available that suits your needs, or carries a bargain price, don't reject it just because of a few problems. Use the following tricks to get the most from less-than-perfect lumber.

Continued on page 2:  Bow Defect


Comments (5)
ckwood3640978 wrote:

I agree with dhellew21. I've never considered tight knots to be a defect. Sure, there are projects where you want clear grain, but IMHO that's rare and for most projects, as long as the knot is not separating from the grain, it's not a defect.

3/29/2016 03:52:05 PM Report Abuse
Phellis wrote:

I had a few pieces of Oak that were crooked and my solution, due to limited space and tools, was to align and clamp the board with the outside crook parallel to the edge of my workbench then use a HD trim bit in my router to straighten the crook. Then I ran the routed edge through my joiner and finally used this straight edge to guide the board through my table saw to trim the inside crook off for a nice straight board.

11/6/2014 11:13:01 AM Report Abuse
dhellew21 wrote:

There is nothing wrong with knots. Knots and the grain around them add character and color to the wood. Small knots can be glued in place with super glue, larger ones with gorilla glue before processing the wood.

11/6/2014 10:34:42 AM Report Abuse

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