Dealing with wood defects
Checks, Shakes, and Knots
Solution for checks and shakes: These cracks occur at the ends of boards, so you may simply cut off the bad areas. But don't be too hasty. Good narrow pieces often exist on either side of a check.
Shakes, because of their orientation, usually have to be cut off. Be leery of boards with excessive shake. This may be a result of the board simply being dropped on one end, but shakes also can be a sign of improper drying.
Solution for knots: If they're tightly held in the wood, knots usually pose just appearance problems. Use these boards in inconspicuous places where the knots won't show. Loose knots, on the other hand, may fall out or be pulled free by cutting bits and blades. Cut out and discard areas with loose knots.
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