||Lumber and Wood
Lumber is used for furniture making, decking,
and room framing. Here are some tips to help
you find the right wood for your purpose.
Types of Wood
Most home improvement and lumber yards stock
a variety of woods ranging from the least
expensive knotty pine to very expensive oak
with a variety in between, such as cedar
and maple. Pick the type of wood appropriate
to your project: size of grain, hardness
and stiffness, texture, and overall appearance.
In many cases, the wood you might want is
actually a man-made product such as particle
board or fiber board, which are wood and
resin composites. If you intend the wood
to be used outdoors (such as a deck), choose
between treated woods, woods that you treat
yourself, and woods that have a natural resistance
to water and insects.
Types of Lumber
- Finished Wood: generally available in 1"
depths (actually measures 3/4") and
widths of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 inches
(with actual measurements 1/2" or 3/4"
less). Finished word has clean, smooth surfaces
and is ideal for shelving, furniture, or
other wood projects.
- Tongue & Groove: shaped wood, used commonly
for flooring. Each piece has one edge with
a tongue (a middle layer that projects beyond
the edge) and, on the opposite side, a groove
(that allows the adjacent board to lock in
- Furring Strips: a thin, low quality wood
for attaching plasterboard or paneling.
- Dimensional Wood: used for framing structures
and available in 2x4, 2x6, etc,. sizes.
- Laminates: wood sandwiched together in layers
(such as plywood). Laminates
and have increased strength
because the grain
of the layers are glued together
directions. However, this composition
difficult, if not impossible
to sand at the
edge and get a satisfactory
Grades of Lumber
Lumber is graded based on the
number of knots.
A grade of "clear"
has no knots;
select or select structural, #2 common, #3
common, construction or standard, and utility
represent progressively poorer quality. The
lowest quality for visible wood (panels,
desks, etc.) should be #2 common. Construction
quality is strong, but not pretty, so use
it internally to frame walls, etc.
Wood is sensitive to heat and
is therefore subject to change
Inspect all wood -- don't assume
it is a top grade that the piece
in all other respects. Make sure
is flat and straight along all
and, if it includes knots, that
are tight (not loose and subject