Questions tagged [wood]

For questions involving wood as a construction material, either as lumber or finished features of a home.

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41 votes
9 answers
126k views

Should I use steel or wood studs for basement exterior walls?

Related: When should you use metal studs? I'm planning on finishing my basement. (assuming all water issues are resolved) I'll be putting up a water barrier (tar paper) on all exterior walls, ...
Chris Cudmore's user avatar
33 votes
9 answers
348k views

How much load can a (wood) board support, if it is supported only at the ends?

How much load can a board support, if it is supported only at the ends? At the moment my specific problem is hanging a tire swing between two trees, and depending on which trees I choose they could ...
evil otto's user avatar
  • 473
8 votes
5 answers
157k views

How do I vertically connect two 4x4s on a deck to build a roof?

I have a deck I am going to put a roof over. It has 4x4s for vertical supports that I need to extend upward to attach my trusses to. What is the best way to connect two vertical 4x4s?
Matt's user avatar
  • 81
25 votes
3 answers
22k views

Why are 2x4s really 1.5"x3.5"?

Just curious as to the reasoning. Is it a spec, or is it simply for backwards compatibility?
esac's user avatar
  • 1,073
7 votes
3 answers
5k views

How can I drill a hole in a small stick of wood?

I need to make a few arrow shafts hollow, they're about 1/2" thick. Example: There would have to be enough space in the middle to put iron wire in it (the thickness of an old coat hanger)
Jelle De Loecker's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Floating wall mounted office desk

I'm currently about to embark on redeveloping my home office. We have a room with a small alcove and want to mount a desk top inside it. The approx size is 220cm x 80cm We can source the wood we ...
Wayners247's user avatar
13 votes
10 answers
156k views

Should I let pressure treated lumber dry before building with it?

I bought some treated 2x4s from Lowes, and they were fairly wet and heavy. I went ahead and built a firewood rack, but screwing into it releases a lot of water. It got me thinking, is it better to ...
TheSean's user avatar
  • 323
13 votes
10 answers
92k views

Is it safe to use an angle grinder with wood cutting blades? [closed]

Being a newbie to DIY and trying to get more and more jobs done myself, safety is a concern to me. I recently bought a Makita 5" angle grinder to cut some metal balustrades, job done. I considered ...
Ray_Hack's user avatar
  • 265
1 vote
3 answers
5k views

How should I fix this cracked floor joist?

Last night, I observed that one of the floor joists that is supporting the house is badly cracked. I can shine a flash light through the crack. I am thinking this is a major safety issue. My fear is ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 353
1 vote
6 answers
10k views

Remove cured Danish oil from tiles

My worktops are treated with Danish oil, and I appear to have got some on the tiled splashbacks and not noticed until it's cured (it's not very obvious except in daylight, I oiled by artifical light). ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 6,556
30 votes
14 answers
174k views

What are cheap ways to build strong shelves with a large span?

I have removed several old and moisture damaged built in storage units from my house. I would like to replace them with shelving. There are a number of different sized gaps (width and depth to fill). ...
flamingpenguin's user avatar
17 votes
9 answers
20k views

Why is the cut using a jigsaw not a perfect straight line?

I attempted to test-cut a straight line using my new electric jigsaw. Therefore, I clamped a piece of scrap wood and used another piece as guide, marked the cut lines using a pencil and fitted the ...
Dimitrios Desyllas's user avatar
12 votes
10 answers
9k views

Was my approach to repairing stripped holes in a door jamb appropriate?

Two of the screw holes on the doorframe of a bedroom in my house are completely stripped out, to fill them in I soaked small strips of paper towel in wood glue and carefully stuffed them deep until ...
Jared L.'s user avatar
  • 121
10 votes
9 answers
26k views

How do I take apart a wooden pallet without cracking the wood?

I'm trying to save the wood from some wooden pallets and have been unsuccessful. I have been hammering close to where the nails are and then pry the nails out; however, before the wood comes out far ...
Court Butterfield's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
3k views

How would you fix this wooden cottage's leaky walls?

I have an old prefab cottage made of wood. its walls have become leaky. When it rains sideways (happens a lot because we're so close to the sea), water seeps in from in between the beams, and ...
Pekka's user avatar
  • 417
5 votes
5 answers
14k views

What do I need to do to fix stripped door hinge screw holes?

The door to my basement broke. The bottom hinge has three screws; the top and bottom one turn endlessly. You can see the pictures here. I understand that there's a matchstick/toothpick trick, where ...
ashes999's user avatar
  • 392
4 votes
1 answer
536 views

How to paint a wood house?

I'm looking for good resources for painting a wood house. I'm looking for the proper tools and techniques. I don't want to hire somebody to do the job, I would like to do it myself. I just need to ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
10k views

How can I repair water damage under the kitchen sink?

I found out that our kitchen water connection had somehow loosened up and was leaking water on the floor underneath the sink. Now the particle board cabinet floor is warped quite a bit. I was thinking ...
TornadoKnight's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
25k views

Is this swing beam safe?

Please help. I made a swing for my kids and now am wondering how safe it is. The swing beam is pressure treated yellow pine 4x6 and 16 feet long. The swing hangers are attached to the 4 inch side of ...
Deborah's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
3 answers
205 views

Is wood flooring in bathroom a right decision? [closed]

We have decided to install wood flooring in bathroom. Is it a right decision??
marks fletchers's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Cause of white rot on floor joist

The structural floor system on the 4th and top floor of a house in Rotterdam that was built in 1906 consists of 20cm x 7.5cm wooden joists which are spaced at 67cm center to center. There is nothing ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 185
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

What type of Drill should I go for?

I am planning to build a new Computer table and a book shelf by myself. I will require a drill machine that can drill a hole into wood and that can also drive a screw into this hole (using the drill, ...
God_Father's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

Bevel a 2x6 long ways

I need to make a bevel plate (of 10 degrees) to support wooden I-joists on a single slope (shed) roof assembly. I'm working with 2x6s, and I'd really like to cut the ten degree bevel across the 5.5'' ...
William's user avatar
  • 13
0 votes
1 answer
20k views

How do I attach a wooden post to existing concrete steps?

Background At the front of my house I have concrete steps leading up to the porch. Having just rebuilt the porch, I've discovered that they are actually concrete veneer over brick. It appears that the ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 46.8k
54 votes
5 answers
400k views

When pre-drilling for screws, how do you determine the correct bit diameter?

Suppose I want to pre-drill for, say, a 5/16 screw. How do I determine the correct drill bit diameter?
ageektrapped's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
11k views

What is the best tool for cutting up scrap wood?

I have some wood left over from building a patio, mainly some planks. Normally when I'm creating firewood, I just use an axe a split the wood, but these are too long for that. I really don't want to ...
AidanO's user avatar
  • 403
26 votes
13 answers
266k views

What grit sandpaper should I use between coats of polyurethane?

I'm planning on applying polyurethane to a pine bench I've finished staining. I decided on foam brushes for application, but I wasn't sure what grit sandpaper I should use between coats. Is 400 good ...
Doresoom's user avatar
  • 15.7k
22 votes
7 answers
67k views

What's the best way to account for saw blade width (kerf) when cutting boards?

In theory, to cut a 350mm piece out of a longer board, I would have to mark the line at 350mm + half of blade width. So if I have a 2mm hand saw, the line would be drawn at 351mm. How does that work ...
Moshanator's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
193k views

How to calculate the maximum safe load on a horizontal wooden beam?

I am thinking of constructing a wooden bed/desk/roof/shed/ship/bridge/rocket How can I calculate the maximum load a rectangular horizontal wooden beam of dimensions L x H x W can safely support if ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
46k views

What is causing/caused these brown circular stains in my cabinetry?

Recently moved into a 1950s-built home and have unearthed a number of brown, circular stains on the wood inside various closets. These rings don't appear on the plaster walls, but rather on the wood ...
Scott Mitchell's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are some tips for finishing wood?

I'm kind of embarrassed to ask, but I'm looking for a good how-to guide for finishing pine furniture. (Could also apply to baseboards and trim, so I'm hoping for an on-topic pass here.) I watched my ...
Doresoom's user avatar
  • 15.7k
19 votes
2 answers
74k views

What size dowels to use for joints?

I'm comfortable with the process of creating and joining wood with dowels, but I'm not sure what size dowels to use in which cases? Specifically, I'm working with 1" thick stock (3/4" actual), what ...
Sparafusile's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
67k views

Why mate two boards instead of using one thicker board?

I need to build a footbridge across a creek and, due to soft and low land around it, will need a long span crossing the creek. I found this tutorial by Ron Hazelton where he makes a bridge with a 12' ...
Tango's user avatar
  • 518
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are diagonal cracks in a primary beam a concern?

We recently purchased a home and are remodeling our basement. I’m not super knowledgeable about stuff like this and that’s why I hired this out instead of doing it myself. They have taken the old wall ...
Mitch DiMauro's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
15k views

How can I attach two pieces of wood in an invisible way?

I would like to attach a thin tree trunk to a flat smooth piece of wood, in order to create support for a very heavy shelf. Any suggestions on how to do it, while leaving a minimal outside marks? ...
Shwouchk's user avatar
  • 305
10 votes
1 answer
8k views

What is the recommended number of teeth for making finish cuts with a miter saw?

I'm going to be cutting 1x6 oak planks with a miter saw, but I'm not sure what blade to use. I currently have a 24T blade in the saw (which I know for sure I don't want to use), since I usually use it ...
Tester101's user avatar
  • 131k
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

How do I know whether a bookcase will rack/sag/twist if hung using butt hinges as a (non-secret) "door"?

I want to take a bookcase and install it as a door, to hold near 100kg max of heavy food items (but probably less than that most of the time). The bookcase itself is 36kg. The bookcase carcass and ...
not-so-secret-bookcase-door's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
25k views

How can I fix a hairline crack in a thin wood panel of an exterior door?

My 100-year-old house has a wooden front door made of thick wood ribs interspersed with 8 wood panels, each about 10" high, 8" wide, but only 1/8" or 3/16" thick. Perhaps the door originally had ...
Justin Grant's user avatar
  • 1,587
9 votes
6 answers
201k views

Why is my desk still tacky two weeks after finishing it with a polyurethane clear coat?

I've recently built a standing desk out of sandply with a mahogany veneer. I have stained it, and two weeks ago added a polyurethane clear coat to protect the stain. However, after doing this, the ...
Malfist's user avatar
  • 596
8 votes
5 answers
48k views

Is there a way to remove the warp in plywood?

I just bought some 1/2" plywood from HD for a project, and the best piece I could find was still pretty warped. Is there a way to fix this? Currently, it's sitting flat on my garage floor with a sheet ...
Doresoom's user avatar
  • 15.7k
8 votes
2 answers
22k views

How can I plane the edges of plywood?

I'm working on an 8ft x 12ft climbing wall. I have 3/4 inch ACX plywood attached to a frame. Since the frame isn't perfectly square, the plywood overlaps on the edges (up to about 1cm) so I need to ...
balexand's user avatar
  • 185
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What can be done to fix a squeak in stairs?

This might be better suited as a community wiki, what do you think? My parents house has very squeaky stairs. The house is over 100 years old, so it's to be expected. What can be done to fix a squeak ...
Coltin's user avatar
  • 183
7 votes
4 answers
26k views

How do I install this knee brace to my pergola post?

I have built a 7' x 13' pergola over my deck and have a slight wobble, so I intend to install some knee braces. Each post has two pairs of perpendicular beams stretching to the adjacent posts. For ...
David Brumbaugh's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
98k views

Plans for building a simple swing set out of wood

I would like to build a simple A-frame style swing set, which obviously has to be safe while also accommodating up to two swings. Where can I find plans for building such a swing set?
Sebastien's user avatar
  • 223
7 votes
3 answers
40k views

How can I "stain" wood white?

I am building a shelf similar to the one here, but mine is going to be against a dark wall. I think it would look nice if I could paint the wood white, but still allow the texture to show through. (I ...
user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why should I use advanced nails instead of wood screws for strength?

Recently I found that there're some superior nails for constructing hurricane-resistant houses - with very clever design for preventing pulling the nails out and tearing the boards off when the ...
sharptooth's user avatar
  • 9,597
7 votes
5 answers
66k views

How can I mount a desk on a wall with L-brackets?

I'm currently planning a new wall-mounted computer desk and intend to use something similar to this as the top: However, my end goal is for a wall-mounted desk, using L-Bracket mounts. I've never ...
Justin Hall's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to prepare & paint a porch that has existing lead paint?

I'd like to repaint my 100-year-old wooden front porch. It almost certainly had lead paint at some point. I would very much like to avoid stripping it, or any other procedure that might mobilize the ...
Drew Steen's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to best support garage storage suspended from slanted ceiling?

Fairly new to handyman work here so I'd love to have some of your expert help! I've looked all around for ways to suspend garage storage from a ceiling but none of them are dealing with a slanted area ...
The Viking's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
18k views

What tools do I need to make a straight cut in laminated chipboard?

It's 38mm thick. Next week I will need to cut it along a straight line, and I would like the cut to be as straight and clean as possible. What tools do I need to do this ?
alecail's user avatar
  • 3,166