Soft lumber and hard lumber are both equally susceptible to potential defects. E.L. Morse and other such lumber experts are available to help you select your lumber grade, but it’s good for you to be able to spot the common lumber defects that can arise.
Sometimes moisture, heat, or a combination of both, can create a bend in the lumber in one form or another. A bow in lumber is when the entire length of a board has been bowed from end to end. Whenever warping occurs that causes a board to curl in like a hotdog bun, that’s called cupping. Sometimes only the end of a board will experience exposure and distortion, like a crooked tail, which is called a crook. Then one last kind of warping that occurs on the ends of lumber pieces is when the ends are warped in two different directions, one side up and the other down. This is called a twist in the lumber.
As a piece of wood can be bent, it can also be broken. A crack that forms straight down completely through a piece of wood, usually occurring at the ends of the wood, is known as a split. Whenever there’s a crack at the end that doesn’t go all the way through the lumber, that’s called a check. Whenever the growth rings themselves seem to be splitting apart, that’s known as a shake and can extend along the whole surface of the board where the rings reach.
Understanding issues and defects in lumber will help you make the most of your wood and empower you to know when wood that you’ve been given is of a lesser quality. It doesn’t hurt to consult experts like those at E.L. Morse Lumber and other such lumber yards to get a better understanding.
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