How to Work with Natural Defects in Hardwood Lumber in Franklin County, MA

Trees are imperfect. That means the wood we create from them is also imperfect. The natural defects we find create a variety of challenges for woodworkers. Unattractive knots can get in the way of a smooth finish. Cracks or splits can threaten the integrity of a piece of furniture. Insect holes can interfere with the final appearance you hope to achieve. With so many obstacles, is it possible to work with natural defects in hardwood lumber in Franklin County, MA?

Yes, it is. However, some woodworkers go to great lengths to avoid wood with defects. They worry these blemishes will detract from the beauty or value of their finished product. They pay extra for choice selections of lumber or spend extra time sorting through piles of wood to choose the best pieces. These methods can pay off, if you are determined to use only defect-free wood. However, it’s not always necessary. Fortunately, there are some simple work-arounds to natural defects that can save you time and money and even enhance your final project. Here’s how.

Hide it

Does your lumber have a knot, bird peck or insect defects? If you want to use the wood anyway, simply hide the defect. For example, arrange the wood so the knot is on the underside of a tabletop. If you can get a bit creative with your placement, no one will ever see the defect. For imperfections that don’t affect the structural integrity of the piece, this is a great solution.

Incorporate it

While many woodworkers try to avoid defects, others actually seek them out. Used well, they can add character to the wood and enhance the final product. Knots can add natural appeal to a piece. Other imperfections work well for distressed looks or rustic finishes. Depending on your goals and customer base, you might find that a few defects make your final product even more attractive. Rather than decreasing the value, they just might give it a boost!

Accessorize it

Another method of incorporating defects into your hardwood lumber in Franklin County, MA is to use imperfect pieces as accessories. If a defect has made the lumber too unstable to use as a major support for the piece, it may provide the ideal accessory. The blemishes might create a unique look for a trim piece, backing or other supportive role. Consider slicing the piece or shaping it to accentuate the defect in a positive way. Don’t throw it in the burn pile yet. See if you can use that defect to enhance your detailed finishes.

Defects can reduce the value of lumber, decrease its strength and render it useless. For the creative and determined, this doesn’t have to be the case. Using these methods, you can draw on potential advantages from natural defects in the wood and craft unique pieces with rich character. When you’re ready to start on your next project, contact Forest Products Associates to choose from a variety of over 50 species of wood. We’ll help you find the best product for your needs.