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A variety of factors keep someone from determining what type of wood they have. Learning how to this correctly identify wood requires learning what wood really is, becoming familiar with the process can greatly enhance your appreciation of woodworking and carpentry in general. Wood Recovery
Once the tree has been cut, the question of what to do with it becomes important. Anyone who enjoys woodworking yearns for more and more wood, and the last thing they want to see is a tree that is cut up and used for cooking or heating. We all know that this is inevitable in some situations, but we still try to rescue some trees for longer uses such as in furniture, turned bowls, carved items, and a variety of other woodwork items.
Taking the time to mill our lumber so that it is straight, square and consistent in thickness can have huge implications on how our projects turn out. If the wood is inconsistent there is no way for joinery to turn out perfect. Also, inconsistent or not-quite-square wood will give you fits trying to make a square project actually square.
While the jointer is capable of flattening most bows or warps, trying to remove substantial defects is a great way to waste wood and accidentally taper a board. We can make the jointing wood with major irregularities easier, faster and minimize loss by reducing the defect with a little prep work before taking the wood to the jointer.
I think the biggest trick to buying hardwood is to take your time. A friend of mine says the process we use to select hardwood is like a beauty pageant -- except the contestants are pieces of lumber. For the preliminary round, each piece is quickly judged for color, grain, and lack of warp. The best of these are set aside as semi finalists. Then the semi finalists are looked over carefully.
Recently, I was adding some built-in shelves to my home, and I decided to use plywood. Using plywood saves me the trouble of gluing up panels, and the runs were short enough (30") that I knew the plywood wasn’t going to sag much. However, as this wasn’t a utility room, I did want to cover the exposed plywood edges.
Woodworking begins with, well, wood. When traipsing through the woody section behind the house, all wood may look alike, but you can be sure that this is not the case. Certain types of wood are more suitable to some woodworking and carpentry projects than others.