There are many places that wood can be sourced from for wood working projects. For most individuals, the easiest place to find the wood they need is at a local home improvement store. For larger projects or bulk purchases, sometimes purchasing direct from a lumber liquidator is the best option.
For the most part, wood is sold labeled as either “S2S” or “S4S”. The novice woodworker may not understand this terminology, but what it refers to is how many sides of the piece of wood have been finished or pre-surfaced. WIth S2S, two sides are finished, and with S4S, you will have four sides of finished wood. Some wood is also sold completed unfinished, and this is known as rough lumber.
The easiest wood to work with is often S4S. The reasons for this is because all four sides are finished, and this results in a reduced need for wood working materials that many novice users do not have access to. With S4S, using a planer or jointer is often completely unnecessary.
Wood labeled as S2S is finished on two sides, and there may be some rough edges. While this wood is still relatively easy to work with, tehre is some need for modification of the pieces. Using a jointer is often the best way to smooth out rough edges. This is especially true if the pieces will be joined together to create the desired finished product.
When it comes to working with rough wood, there is always a need to use wood working tools because an extensive amount of modification is often necessary in order to achieve the finish desired and the smoothness necessary for most projects. Rough wood should always be inspected before beginning a project to check the surface and edges. Using a jointer, any edges that are uneven or surfaces that feel bumpy or rough can often be smoothed out in order to make the wood easier to work with and create a more professional looking finished product.
Another thing that sometimes makes wood difficult to work with is the bend in each piece. This can happen for a variety of reasons including exposure to high humidity, damaging air pressure or even resulting from the way in which the boards were shipped or stored. In most cases, people will reach for a planer to fix this problem, but it is important to note that a planer will simply follow the wood’s existing curve. For that reason, using a jointer first is often the best solution to create a flatter, more attractive piece of wood.
Check out part two in the next post for more great information about planers and joiners!