Boat Building Forum

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Material: Wood

Richard Mertins asked - No idea if air or kiln dried, any way to tell, no markings on wood?

Wood is a huge subject onto itself.

Steve Solomon - lamented about experienced builders saying, "Do this" without explanation.

Well the reason experienced builders say, "Do this" without explanation is a lot of these explanations are learned over years of working, making mistakes, which if you choose to avoid, forces you to research a little further and you become aware of the hugeness of the subject. And there is no quick answer which should not spark a dozen new questions.

Most of us did not have the web at out fingertips to answer questions, so answering, "How do I tell if it's kiln dried?" should lead to "What is the difference between air dried and kiln dried woods" which you would have to have heard of "kiln dried" and "air dried" in the first place to ask the question.

Which brings us back to the answer of everything is 42!

And after all the years I've worked with wood I realize there is still a lot I don't know about wood.

For our purposes I would suggest everyone out there learn as much as they can about wood by do searches for the answers to;

What are the differences between hardwood and soft woods?

The differences between sap wood and heart wood?

Early wood and late wood.

How are boards cut from a log? What are the different cuts called and how are they best used?

What is grain run out?

What makes a wood good for bending? What is lignin?

Differences between kiln dried and air dried lumber.

And knowing what a great piece of wood looks like is the hardest thing to learn.

I bought pieces of flame maple for years and didn't realize the furniture builders had got to the lumberyards before me and snatched up all the best wood!

Do an image search on woods like flame maple to see what you're looking for.

Others, please add to this list of questions to ask for "Lurkers".