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Knots Barre VT

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.

Barre - Auth Hometown
(802) 479-2541
1598 Us Route 302 Berlin
Barre, VT
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:9-18
Tue:9-18
Wed:9-18
Thu:9-18
Fri:9-18
Sat:8-17
Sun:10-15
Store Features
Mon:9-18
Tue:9-18
Wed:9-18
Thu:9-18
Fri:9-18
Sat:8-17
Sun:10-15

Waitsfield True Value
(802) 496-2496
Village Square Shopping Center
Waitsfield, VT
 
Kenyons Variety
(802) 496-3922
3337 Main St
Waitsfield, VT
 
Farm N Country Hardware
(802) 433-1158
2383 Vermont Rte 14
Williamstown, VT

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Kenyons True Value
(800) 642-7392
93 N Main Street
Northfield, VT

Data Provided by:
Kenyons True Value
(802) 485-9676
93 N Main St
Northfield, VT
 
Harrys Hardware
(802) 563-2291
3087 Main St
Cabot, VT
 
Waterbury True Value
(802) 244-8905
838 Waterbury Stowe Rd
Waterbury, VT
 
Builder Specialties
(802) 223-5583
92 River St.
Montpelier, VT
 
Harry's Hardware
(800) 642-7392
3087 Main Street
Cabot, VT

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Knots

Knots

Knotty boards are beautiful, yet frustrating! Here's how to get the most out of them.

by Tom Caspar

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 encased knot is formed when a tree grows around a dead branch. It’s surrounded by a dark ring of bark, and its center is often decayed. An encased knot is also called a “loose” knot, because the bark prevents the knot from tightly binding 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. 


Pound out an encased knot before ripping a board on the tablesaw.

Click here to read the rest of the article from American Woodworker