If you’ve spent much time looking through lumber in a home improvement store or at a lumber yard in Houston, you know very well that you’ll rarely find a completely defect-free piece of lumber. This is because there’s no such thing as a defect-free tree—every tree is going to have some irregularities or abnormalities that, in turn, show up in the wood milled from them. These defects can occur due to natural characteristics in the wood, or in response to broken limbs, insect or fungus attacks, rapid growth or other issues.
While small defects are not problematic, large defects can make the wood harder to work with and reduce its value, strength, durability and overall usefulness.
Managing the defects
In many cases, you might actually find the defects in the wood attractive, and wish to make them a focal point of your project. Some people simply believe these defects add character to the wood and to any projects made with them.
Of course, your opinion may vary, and it’s important to note that there are ways you can work around defects or manage them in your project so they aren’t extremely noticeable.
Many woodworkers who wish to avoid defects work with suppliers to get high-quality pieces of wood. These suppliers are going to be reputable providers, and will be very careful to send their customers pieces of woods that are generally free of irregularities or deformations.
If you go to purchase your wood from a big box store or a lumber yard, it’s on you to be more discriminating with the pieces of lumber you take home. Be sure to carefully look over every piece of wood you’re interested in, and only select those that are usable for your needs. Depending on where you purchase your lumber, you might have to get permission from workers to sort through the lumber, and you might be responsible for stacking everything back up when you’re done, but the ability to get the exact pieces of lumber you need is worth the extra time you put in analyzing the board, especially if you care about defects.
If you’re not interested in sorting through stacks of lumber, you might choose to opt for more expensive grades of lumber, which are generally going to have fewer defects and weaknesses. It really depends on the type of project you’re working on, how visible the lumber will be and if you have any budget limitations to consider.
In some cases, this top-grade wood can be a good choice, especially if you’re making premium furniture. But in general, you stand to save a lot of money and still get some good wood by using boards at lower grades. This is especially true if you want to work some of those defects into your final product—they can display more character.
For more information about defects in wood and how to manage them, contact Houston Hardwoods Inc. or visit our lumber yard in Houston today. We look forward to assisting you!
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