Understanding Wood

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  • Repairing a Wobbly Table

    Building a wobble-free table or wobble-free chair legs can be tricky. Sometimes you might be working with organic shaped material, or other times perhaps there is the slightest slippage while you are gluing up. Whatever the cause, it’s common that a project wobbles just slightly when you take it out of the clamps. Never fear,

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  • How to Level a Wood Slab

    Perhaps you want to build one of those “River Tables” that are becoming famous around the internet, or maybe you want to build a simple coffee table using hairpin legs supporting a big ‘ol slab from a tree that was cut down in your neighborhood. Either way, you’ll need to learn how to level a

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  • What is Chatoyance?

    Like snowflakes, no two pieces of wood are exactly the same. That’s one of the things that makes woodworking so much fun. Like Forrest Gump said (using a little artistic license), wood is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. It’s so cool to clean up a piece of wood,

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  • What is Spalting?

    Many woodworkers want to invest some time into understanding wood, which is understandable since we spend a lot of time with it and wood selection is an important aspect to any woodworking project. There are many types of “specialty woods” to learn about, from quilted and curly patterns, to the dramatic effects that can be

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  • Using Mineral Spirits to Show Wood Grain

    It’s a magic moment…when finish hits your project for the first time and the grain starts to pop, glow, show you just what you’re going to get, it’s soooo cool. Here’s the problem. As you build your project or, even more importantly, as you select your material, you may have a hard time knowing how

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  • Filling Knots with Epoxy

    Some of the most amazing pieces of wood are the ones that have “defects.” Defects could be spalting (mold), small checks, bark inclusions or, in this case, a huge hole. Sure, we could cut around those things and eliminate them, but I’m a huge fan of including this character in the final piece. I think

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  • Allowing for Wood Expansion on Solid Wood Tops

    Wood moves; there’s nothing you can do about it. Even after the tree is down, the wood has been dried, you’ve got it in your shop, and you apply finish, wood is gonna move. It’s a living, breathing thing. If you don’t allow for wood expansion, you’re going to have problems in the future. Problems

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  • Incorporating Blue Stain Pine in Your Woodworking Projects

    Incorporating Blue Stain Pine in Your Woodworking Projects

    Holy buckets! My pine is full of bluish-grey stains. What happened there? Don’t worry, it’s not a bad thing. What you’re seeing is called blue stain, and blue stain pine isn’t all that uncommon. Don’t view it as a defect, view it as a feature and benefit. What causes blue stain pine? Some people like

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  • Benefits of Sequence Cut Boards

    You may have heard woodworkers refer to sequence cut material and how cool it can be. What does that mean? In this video George has two amazing pieces of maple in his shop, fresh off the sawmill, and they’re perfect examples of sequence cut boards, and the benefits they can bring to your projects. Once

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  • Kauri: An Ancient Wood

    Meg went to college in Ashland, WI, and while there learned about Ancient Wood, a company that imports kauri from New Zealand. Knowing that I was sort of interested in all things wood-related, she passed their information along to me and I was able to tour their facility. What’s the deal with kauri? The kauri

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