How To...Select Wood for Projects

How To...Select Wood for Projects

Jul 10, 2008

Last Saturday we were chillin' at our usual weekend hangout spot (the hardware store) when we noticed a gal staring at the piles and piles of wood with an expression of overwhelming confusion. She had a cart loaded with bags of planting soil, a book on vegetable gardens and piles of seeds. As she piled random planks of redwood on her cart, we realized how much we've learned over the past year while working on renovating our own home. Take for example the process of selecting wood. Easy as can be, and oh-so-important for just about every project involving wood. See our tips below the jump...

you don't want this piece. bad.

see that bend? it'll drive you all sorts of crazy.

The hardware store can be an intimidating place if you're not used to it. Just one year ago we shared that poor gal's confusion but now we're old pros; swaggering down the aisles with our beat-up work boots and worn-out leather gloves, throwing unsuitable pieces of wood aside in favor of the nice ones. Follow these easy tips to join the ranks of wannabe pros (ha!):

1. Gloves are a must. The pressure treated wood is filled with nasty chemicals you don't want on your skin and the regular wood has splinters jutting out from being thrown around.

2. Look for pieces that aren't all dinged up. A few nicks are okay, but you don't want anything that's obviously beat up. Same goes for knots. A few are okay, but you don't want to deal with too many. Try to avoid them in areas where you know you'll be cutting and hammering.

3. Hold the piece wood so that one end is on the ground and the other end is lifted up to your nose so that you can look down the length. You're looking for obvious warps and curves in the wood.

those are keepers! straight and clean

Now grab your measuring tape, put on the gloves and go practice your cussing and're ready for the construction zone!

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