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I need to rip some custom sized molding on my table saw. Which is the best kind of lumber to use? I imagine plain 1x Spruce-pine-fir (SPF) is not the best choice.

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Poplar is a good choice –  Gunner Jun 17 '13 at 3:10
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If you're in the Pacific Northwest, Hemlock is the wood of choice for soft-wood molding. Pine would have to be clear (knot-free) and fine-grain Douglas Fir is expensive and tougher on the shaper blades.

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