What To Look For When Buying Lumber

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lumberWhether you are building a deck or you are simply creating something interesting for your home, one of the first things that you need to think about is your lumber.

Buying good lumber is essential for any project, and you will discover that there are a few things that you need to consider.

Take a moment to learn how to select lumber for a project that is going to last.

Avoiding Heartwood

Heartwood is the wood from the center of the tree, and overall, it is more dense than the layers outside it.

While this sounds like it is an ideal candidate for a project that requires very tough wood, you will find that there is one big disadvantage.

The problem is that heartwood does not take pressure treating as well as the wood on the outside. Without pressure treating or with uneven pressure treating, you may find yourself with wood that is much more prone towards splitting.

Knotholes

When you are looking at wood, you will see whorls in the wood known as knotholes. Some people hate them, others love them, but they are generally inescapable when you are looking at creating the right kind of look for your home.

The thing to remember about knotholes is that ones that are in the wood tight will be difficult to budge, and that is preferred.

However, if there is a dark ring around the knothole or if it is loose, there is a better than average chance it will fall out, leaving you with a hole in your lumber.

Shake

Shake refers to a quality where boards are missing chunks of wood between the growth rings. If at all possible, avoid this because it creates a problem with the board’s structural integrity.

Take a moment to examine the boards in front of you and to make sure that there is no shake present. Some boards with shake will be missing whole triangular segments, while others simply have a looseness to them that is undesirable.

Sight Along the Board

Some people don’t mind working with a bit of a bow, but the truth of the matter is that you always want your board to be as straight as possible.

Put your eye to the edge of the board and look for any dips and curves. If you see a wave in the board, you will find that you should pick another. Remember that the more severe the bow is, the more difficult the board will be to work with.

When you want to make sure that you are putting in your effort and producing something worthwhile, take a moment to consider how the wood you are working with will affect that.

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