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How to Deal with Knots Portales NM

A spike knot is formed when a board is cut right through the length of a branch. A spike knot may be tight at its base (the intergrown portion) and loose at its end (the encased portion).

Portales Ace Hardware
(575) 356-6711
227 S Main Ave
Portales, NM
 
North Plains Mall
(575) 769-4700
2811 N Prince St
Clovis, NM
Store Hours
Sears Stores
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Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:10-21
Sun:12-18
Store Features
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:10-21
Sun:12-18

Hacienda Home Centers
(575) 769-2651
200 East Brady Avenue
Clovis, NM
 
LOWE'S OF CLOVIS, NM
505 742-4000
3601 NORTH PRINCE STREET CLOVIS, NM, 88101
Clovis, NM
 
Lowe's
(575) 742-4000
3601 North Prince Street
Clovis, NM
Hours
M-SA 7 am - 9 pm
SU 9 am - 8 pm

PGP, Inc.
505-762-6654
1729 W. 21st Clovis, NM, 88101
Clovis, NM
 
Fastenal- Clovis
505-763-9335
1306 State Rd. 209 Clovis, NM, 88101
Clovis, NM
 
Triangle Ace Hardware
(575) 762-3301
2400 N Prince St, North plains mall
Clovis, NM
 
Burns Hardware Do it center
(575) 769-2528
1511 N Prince St
Clovis, NM
 
Furrow's Home Lumber Inc.
(575) 763-4437
1201 E 1st Street
Clovis, NM
 

How to Deal with Knots

How to Deal with Knots



Knots are usually considered defects in wood. They're cut out of boards and thrown on a scrap heap. But take a closer look at a knot. In a hardwood, it's surrounded by stunning grain. Why not make it the focal point of your next project? The best knots crop up on some of the least expensive, lowest grade boards available. Dealing with knots can add extra work to a project, but you don't need any special equipment. You just have to know what you're up against. To begin, take a look at where the three basic types of knots come from in the photos at right.

An intergrown knot is the base of a living branch within a tree. It's surrounded by a halo of circular growth rings. An intergrown knot is also called a “tight” knot because it's tightly bound to the wood around it.

 

An intergrown knot is the base of a living branch within a tree. It's surrounded by a halo of circular growth rings. An intergrown knot is also called a “tight” knot because it's tightly bound to the wood around it.

A spike knot is formed when a board is cut right through the length of a branch. A spike knot may be tight at its base (the intergrown portion) and loose at its end (the encased portion).

 

Use knots for drama. Here's an opportunity to have fun with unusual patterns, as in this spalted-maple kitchen table. It has a comet-shaped pairing of a huge intergrown knot and a very long spike knot. Showing off the incredible swirling grain around a knot turns an inexpensive, lower grade board into a beautiful example of nature's art.

Resawing can be spectacular! A board with knots near an edge yields the most interesting mirror-image patterns, as shown in this piece of aromatic red cedar. Before you cut a board down its length on a bandsaw, hold the board on edge against a mirror. The outside of the board and its reflected image give you a pretty good idea of the book-matched pattern you'll get after resawing.

 


 

Keep your distance from knots when you're cutting them out. It's tempting to get the last inch out of every clear piece, but often it's not worth it. The wood fibers around a knot have a very steep slope. (Right next to the knot, they run almost vertically, the same direction as the branch grew on the tree.) Wood fibers with a steep slope are called “short grain.” Short grain weakens the end of a board, making it unsuitable for rails and legs. Short grain may also cause the end to chip out when you joint or plane the board.

The Way Wood Works 

Pound out an encased knot before ripping a board on the tablesaw. If a saw blade were to catch this knot, it would launch it like a missile!

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