Four Defects To Avoid When Purchasing Wood

Posted on: 28 May 2016


When it comes to woodworking, craftsmanship is important, but it's not what's most important. The wood you're working will have an effect on the final outcome of your project. High quality wood with minimal defects is what to look for. If you're new to woodworking and looking to purchase lumber, make sure you know what defects you want to avoid.


Knots are best characterized as circular clusters that appear considerably darker than the rest of the wood. They form on a trunk when a branch dies and falls off. Their look is popular among workers who want to design a more rustic piece; however, issues can arise long-term. Knots are not solid. Consequently, they can detach from the wood surface and fall out, leaving you with a hole in your piece.


Checking is a movement defect that is the result of wood either drying unevenly or too quickly. It appears in the form of one or several tiny cracks. Some novice woodworkers will overlook the cracks because they are so small. The problem is that whenever the wood is manipulated, this only aggravates the crack and causes it to extend. Before you know it, the checking can span the entire horizontal or vertical length of a piece of wood.


Waning is a wood defect that affects the corner or edge of a piece of wood.  To spot this defect look for a board that has a rigid or porous looking surface. The main problem with waning is that it rarely ever only effects the surface of the wood, the rigidness and holes often span deep into the wood surface. When you need to smooth the surface or insert nails, this can create a challenge. This can also reduce the strength of the wood.


Cupping is a problem that causes a piece of wood to curve and form somewhat of a shape reminiscent of the letter c. This is another movement defect that has to do with the drying process. When the wood is wet, lumber professionals have to stack the wood precisely. When the wet wood is stacked incorrectly, cupping occurs. While the quality of wood isn't altered, it can be especially challenging to smooth out this shape so it makes your work harder.

Quality wood and high quality craftsmanship go hand-in-hand. The more effort you put into selecting wood for your project, the better the outcome. Make certain you are taking your time to make the best selection. Work with suppliers like Henning Building Supply Co Inc for your wood needs.