If you are starting a building project, you need to make sure that you are using good materials for it. The wood you use for building a new structure or remodeling your home is very different from what you use for finish work, so you need to know what to look for there. You may also be wondering how to pick good lumber. Here are a few tips that can help you with this process.
For framing and building purposes, pine, and fir are the most commonly used. This is because they are soft wood and are easy to work with as far as cutting and nailing together. They also come from evergreens that grow quickly and are easy to harvest and sustain.
You can generally make a pretty good decision on your lumber just by giving it a good look. Lumber goes through a lot before it actually makes it to the store to be bought, so you need to look for signs of damage.
One of the first things you should look at is whether the boards are warped or twisted. If they are going inside walls, a slight bow isn’t a big deal, but you want to pick the straightest boards you can find.
Hold one end of the board up near your eye and look down its length, turning it a couple times. If there is an obvious bend or twist in the board, don’t buy it.
Something else to look for is mold. Many stores won’t sell lumber that has obvious mold growing on it, but others don’t check carefully. Also, stores often can’t tell if there is mold because it likes to grow in the middle of the bunks of lumber.
Check for discoloration as you pull sticks of lumber out of the bunks. If you see black or dark green patches, look at them closely. It could be ink from the manufacturer marking them, but if it is patchy and appears to be growing on the wood, then it is mold. Put these sticks aside and don’t buy them.
As you are looking over the lumber, also check for knots and splits. Small knots aren’t generally a problem, so you don’t really have to worry about them. But if there are large knots near the ends of the boards or anywhere you are going to be driving nails into it, this can pose a problem. This is because knots are very hard and can keep a nail from being driven into the wood.
Also, splits near the end of a board can keep nails from being able to grab the wood properly. This can lead to your structure not being secure. Splits in the middle of boards are a problem because they compromise the strength of the board.
So there are some things you need to keep your eyes open for. But buying lumber isn’t difficult, and shouldn’t be a headache. Now that you know how to pick good lumber, you’ll have the right materials and be working on your project in no time.