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These Wood Working Tips Will Help You Find the Best Pine Boards

It is very important for you to follow these wood working tips when selecting your pine boards. Even easy wood projects can become difficult if your wood is not straight.

Many beginner projects are made from pine because the wood is inexpensive, readily available, and easy to work with.

Even the Kreg jig plans that are made primarily of plywood, require some kind of wood trim. Most of the time, that trim will be made from pine.

We are using the generic term "pine" to include all of the softwoods.

Evergreen trees are the source for softwood. These include pine, fir, spruce and hemlock. Generally these woods are used in home construction, but pine is, also, used often to make furniture.

Redwood and cedar are also evergreen trees, but the wood from these trees is primarily used in outdoor projects. The Kreg jig plan for an outdoor chair recommends the use of cedar if you want to stain one of these easy wood projects.

Softwood is not as stable as hardwood and plywood. It will absorb and lose moisture faster than hardwood, causing the wood to expand and contract. These changes in size need to be considered when making a project from the Kreg jig plans.

We recommend that you buy your wood a couple of weeks before you start your project. Store it indoors with pieces of scrap wood between each board, so that there is plenty of circulation around each board. This step will get the wood acclimated to the indoor environment, minimizing the expansion and contraction after your project is built.

There are two types of pine boards found at your local big box store: No. 2 common, and pine select.

The common pine has more defects, such as knots on the face of the board, and bark covered segments on the end.

Pine select is the grade that is commonly used in furniture. It usually only has small knots or small resin pockets. Whether you are using common pine, or pine select, follow the wood working tips below to select the boards to buy.

Step 1.
You want your boards to be as knot free as possible, so your first step is to check for knots. If there are any loose knots, or if there are knots along an edge of the board, do not buy that board.

Step 2.
Your second step is to peer down the side of the board. Set one corner of the board on the floor, and hold it so you can see down one of the narrow sides of the board. Then, turn the board over, so you can see down the other narrow edge. You are checking whether the board is bowed or twisted.

Step 3.
Your third step is to set the board flat on the floor. Is one end higher than the other? Does the board rock? Also, check for cups and bows in the middle of the board

Step 4.
Your next step is to set the narrow edge along the floor, while you look to see if there is any daylight under your board. You are also looking to see if the ends are going to the left or right.

There are no boards that are perfect, but you want the ones that have the fewest defects.

Also, it is easier to find shorter boards, like the 6 footers, that are straight, than it is to find long ones, like the 8 footers, that are straight.

It is best to have the dimensions of your project pieces, as well as a tape measure, with you when selecting your wood. If the plans for your easy wood projects includes shorter pieces, you may be able to work around a knot, or other blemish, if the rest of the board looks good.

Plan to be frustrated when you are looking for the good boards. And plan that it will take time. But if you follow these wood working tips, it will save you in both frustration and time during the assembly stage.

Because pine absorbs stain in differing amounts, due to the variation in grain, we recommend that you apply a wood conditioner on pine. Apply the conditioner. Then, let it dry. When you stain your project, the color will be more even.

Follow these wood working tips to make your building of the Kreg jig plans a complete success!


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