July 21, 2017

Choosing Wood for Your Woodcraft Project

Choosing Wood for Your Woodcraft Project

Many of our clients are looking for the right type of wood for their next project. They contact us because they know that as a wood supplier we have a large selection of different wood types. The challenge is to know which is the right one for them.

Choosing the Right Kind of Wood

Your choice of wood is critical for the success of your project. Different types of wood have different qualities that will determine thing like :

  • The way you can work with the wood,
  • How the end result will look,
  • How resilient it will be,
  • How suitable for the environment where it is eventually placed

When looking at a supplier’s warehouse or a hardware store, look for lumber that was not coated or over treated. When looking at the piece of lumber you should be able to see the natural features of the wood.

The kind of lumber that you are looking for is called dimensional. It was cut at a mill and made flat on all its sides. This lumber is called by its measurements of thickness, width and length, for example 2X4X6 which means that it is 2 inches thick, 4 inches wide and 6 feet long.

Knowing the Actual Dimensions

When planning your project you should be aware of the way lumber dimensions are measured in the wood industry. When you buy a 2X4 piece of lumber, the actual dimensions will be 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Any stated size above 2 inches represents an actual size that is half an inch less, so 2 will actually be 1.5 and 3 is 2.5.  One inch stated represents 0.75 inch. So a 1X2 piece is actually 0.75 inch thick and 1.5 inch wide.

The Right Wood for You

Many experts recommend using softwood for a do-it-yourself woodworking project. Softwoods are easier to work with. They are softer, lighter and easier to bend, which may help in case you need to apply a little force to make all pieces fit in to their place.

Try to determine the level of moisture before you choose a certain piece of lumber. You can know the amount of moisture by using a special tool that measures it or by feeling its weight – if you already have some experience with wood. If there is too much moisture in your wood – the lumber will change as it dries over time, which can damage to your project. Choose lumber with low levels of moisture – around 10 percent or below.

Look for knots and don’t choose a piece that has too many of them. If there is a knot, pay attention to the condition of the wood around it. Look for any sign of weakening or warping.

Place the lumber on the ground or attach it to a straight object in order to see how straight it is. Choose only pieces that are not bent or twisted in any way. Carefully watch all sides of the lumber and look for signs of warping or twisting. Also, make sure that your lumber is solid with no signs of small cracks.

For more information about how to choose the right wood for your project, contact an experienced wood supplier like Decotec Inc.



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