Questions tagged [wood]

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

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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
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
12 answers
8k views

How do I make around-the-room shelves for a seriously skewed room?

I've been given the Christmas task of setting up an HO model train and rails around a child's room, so I researched a bit and found a shelf train would be the thing. So I go to measure the room in ...
QuestionerNo7'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
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
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
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
23 votes
3 answers
5k views

How can I remove material from this wood beam?

I am trying to mount a roller shade in between two wood beams on my porch. The problem is that the beams are a hair too close together to accommodate mounting the shade. I am trying to remove a small ...
Ian McClaskey's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
74k views

How would I go about turning a tree in to a tabletop?

My father-in-law is about to cut down a large Ash tree (on the insistence of a neighbour). At the same time, we need a dining table, and quite like the idea of a simple wooden slab on legs. ...
UpTheCreek's user avatar
  • 1,051
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
21 votes
1 answer
17k views

What's the difference between "Framing Lumber" and "Framing Studs"?

The Home Depot website has these two as categories under Dimensional Lumber. Why would one want to exclude items from one category during a search for wood to use in a project? What is the ...
brentonstrine's user avatar
20 votes
12 answers
61k views

How can I repair a puncture in a hollow-core wooden door?

Someone punched my wooden door. Now it has a giant dent in it. The dent is similar to this one. Fortunately, it's a bit less severe than this. How can I "pop" the dent back out?
Shaun Wild'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
6 answers
31k views

Should I use nails or screws to refasten my subfloor to the joists?

My subfloor is squeaky, and there's a small window of opportunity I'll have to fasten it down before/during my carpet being replaced. I have available to me a nice corded drill, and an air-powered ...
Bryan Boettcher'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
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
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
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
17 votes
2 answers
63k views

Can you rout plywood?

I have some applewood 13 ply 3/4" plywood that I'm using for a desk top. I was wondering if I took a router to the edges if it would turnout ok.
Luke's user avatar
  • 325
16 votes
3 answers
146k views

What are the pros and cons of medium-density fibreboard (MDF)?

I heard mixed opinions about making cupboards and beds from MDF. Some said it doesn't matter, MDF is as durable as whole tree or sandwich boards. Some said that MDF is weak, and will not last for ...
Elazar Leibovich's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it safe to remove old rusty nails from a wooden beam?

During the renovation of our old house I uncovered a load-bearing beam which has a lot of old rusty nails just sticking out of it. By "a lot" I mean that there are around 50 nails in random ...
Andor Polgar's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
68k 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
  • 528
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do I repair my stair bannister?

My stairs bannister are made of small wood posts nailed to the ramp. The whole thing have always been quite fragile. After 10 years, a couple posts came loose and most show a gap between the posts and ...
Jeffrey's user avatar
  • 2,031
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

How can I fix this hole I accidentally made with a screw?

I mistakenly used a longer screw to my chair when I assembled the legs and messed up my chair. I attached some photos and what do you think I should do? I'm considering to buy the cushion but I'm ...
harumomo503's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
70k views

Which is better for deck flooring: 2x6 or 1x6 deck boards?

My current deck flooring is done with 2x6x10' boards, however they have degraded to the point now where they need to be replaced. I'm wondering if there are any specific pros or cons for using the ...
Wally Lawless's user avatar
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
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
6 answers
10k views

re-using wood from a concrete form?

I strive to not waste materials wherever possible, and "use once then discard" methods are particularily irksome. So with this mind, what suggestions do you have for enabling re-use of lumber used for ...
matt wilkie'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
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

What substance is used to make the hard plastic finish on wood after painting?

I would like to turn a wooden desk from a wood finish to a white painted finish with a hard "plastic" like surface. We currently have a wall mounted fireplace with a wooden surround that has ...
ORStudios's user avatar
  • 265
12 votes
4 answers
6k views

How can you repair split wood that cannot be moved?

My goal is to install a new set of blinds in an existing window. It looks like a former owner tried to do the same thing and split the wood on the side of the window casing. Unfortunately the location ...
Ben S's user avatar
  • 223
12 votes
1 answer
72k views

Is there a more rugged finish than Polyurethane for a heavy use table?

A few years go I sanded a stained table we had. Upon doing so, we discovered that it had really nice wood underneath. So instead of restaining, I applied about 4 coats of satin polyurethane. It looked ...
DA01's user avatar
  • 24.3k
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to modify a wooden fence to keep Nubian goats from extending their heads over and eating dwarf tree on the other side

We have a 4-ft (1.2 m) high fence (with a hog wire mesh) between our house yard and pasture. I want to release Nubian goats into the pasture. But a Nubian will rear up, butt the front feet on the ...
Doug Null's user avatar
  • 231
11 votes
4 answers
8k views

Will my wooden bridge withstand the weight of my small truck?

I am building a bridge across a small stream. I have 3 hemlock planks that are 24 feet long, and are 6 inches by 4 inches in dimension. The hemlock planks are positioned so that the 6 inch sides are ...
Richard Price's user avatar
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
11 votes
3 answers
19k views

What can I use to lubricate screws?

I am re assembling a swing set made of pretty hard wood. My electric drill won't drive the screws in all the way and I have to try to use plain screwdriver. I don't want to strip the heads though. Is ...
Daniel Williams's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
28k views

My house has steel "2x4s" in the walls, can I hang cabinets, a TV, or some other heavy item from them?

The question is pretty much all in the title: My house has metal "2x4's" in the walls. Can I hang cabinets or a TV directly on these metal studs? If not directly, is there something special I must do? ...
Nate's user avatar
  • 325
11 votes
1 answer
18k views

What is this amber substance on the wood in my attic?

I was examining my attic with a head lamp and the light illuminated the wood just right and these amber drops started to glow. They are on the surface of a lot of the wood in the attic. What is it ...
milesmeow's user avatar
  • 4,990
10 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to keep squirrels off of a 4x4 post that's already in the ground?

I have a 4x4 wood post that's quite tall (probably 8 - 10 feet) that's used to hang lights and bird feeders. In particular, I have a suet feeder hanging from a hook about 4 feet off the ground. ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is my wooden deck salvageable? Repair tips and Stain vs Paint questions

Here is my deck condition. Couple questions: What do I need to do to prep a deck in this condition? Was planning on washing with oxi clean and dish soap and orbital sanding. I'm guessing some wood ...
FalcoBalco's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I fix chips out of painted fiberboard crown moulding and baseboards?

I have a chip on my baseboards around a corner. Can it be fixed or is it better just to replace these pieces all together? All comments are appreciated thank you.
Jacksonkr's user avatar
  • 377
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

Chipped floor planks keep snagging my socks

In my home office, there are parts of the floor that seem to be chipped off. Their pointy edges keep catching my socks when I walk by. How would you solve this problem? Ideally the solution would not ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 409
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
3 answers
3k views

What type of wood is recommended for an outdoor jungle gym?

I'm not sure what other specs to include, as I haven't started the blueprints yet, just wanted to price the main parts out to see if it would be cost effective to build one vs buying from a big box ...
MDMoore313's user avatar
  • 1,074
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
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
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I remove a moisture mark from a wooden table?

I have a white mark on my wooden dining table that was caused by a potted plant sitting there for too long without a saucer. Attempts to clean it off have been futile because it seems not to be a ...
wim's user avatar
  • 1,175
10 votes
4 answers
52k views

Recommended screw fastener length

Is there an industry standard for recommended screw lengths to fasten to pieces of material together? For instance, if I need to fasten a piece of 3/4" plywood to a vertical brick wall, how long ...
TJL's user avatar
  • 113
9 votes
7 answers
56k views

How to SLIGHTLY widen bored hole in 2x6

I'm making a stand-alone pullup bar and I bored 1 1/4" holes in 2x6's for my 1" galvanized pipe (1 1'4" outside) to slide through. Only the pipe is definitely 1 5/16" (thank you, guy at Lowes) and I ...
Tom G.'s user avatar
  • 201

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