Norwood, Ohio
2117 Monroe Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45212
(513) 731-4035

4 Common Lumber Defects September 24, 2020

Norwood, Norwood
4 Common Lumber Defects, Norwood, Ohio

Lumber is a natural material, so each piece can be a bit different than the next. This provides beautiful variance that you simply can’t get with man-made material. However, it also means there are sometimes defects that could impact a finished product. Some of these issues may be fine for specific purposes, but others may make certain wood unsuitable for your needs.

What Defects Should You Look for When Buying Lumber?

1. Checks

Checks are small cracks that usually run lengthwise through a board. This generally occurs when the wood dries quickly, so it’s common in outdoor projects like decking. Protective stain and paint can help prevent this issue or keep it from getting worse.

2. Bowing

lumberBowing describes wood that has a slight curve running along the grain, which usually occurs when a board dries unevenly. It can be difficult to cut this type of wood since the uneven drying can make it springy. If you select this type of wood for your project, make small, careful cuts with the two bowed ends up in the air.

3. Knots

Knots are visible spots on wood that indicate the presence of a branch. These imperfections can make a piece of wood weaker and less attractive, but they’re fine in smaller projects where strength isn’t a major concern. Knots are generally considered when grading wood, so you’ll find fewer in lumber that’s rated as high-quality.

4. Wane

Wane is another defect that’s mainly present on lower-grade wood. It occurs when a small corner is missing or when there are small amounts of bark present. Basically, it was cut from the edge of a log, and some part of the exterior made it to the final product. You can sometimes use this type of board by simply giving focus to the opposite side so that the defect isn’t visible.


If you’re looking for quality lumber to use for your woodworking projects, check out the selection at Huber Lumber. Serving Cincinnati, OH, and the surrounding areas, the home improvement supply company offers a wide array of building materials and services for homeowners, contractors, and construction professionals. The knowledgeable team has more than a century of combined experience and is always available to answer questions. Visit the website or call (513) 731-4035 to learn more about their products and services.

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