If its rough, that's because it hasn't been surfaced yet. Many woodworkers
prefer to purchace wood "in the rough", as it costs less that way.
Its possible to get a very nice, smooth surface on virtually any wood. And
you'd be very surprised to see how different any wood looks when properly
surfaced, vs. rough.
You'll need to know the exact wood species before you can decide how to use
it. Cherry (if that's indeed what it is) is not very well suited to an outdoor
application without a tough, water and UV resistant coating, and it would be a
shame (some think its a crime!) to cover cherry that way.
You may very well have some expensive wood (12/4 cherry 3"x12"x10' = 30bf)
(10.50 x 30bf = $315) if its a decent hardwood. Some others hardwoods are
even more costly. Have the wood looked at by a local wood
supplier/furniture shop to determine what it is. It would be a shame to
build a swingset out of this wood. Do not be put off by the roughness.
Most of us buy it this way and cut and plane it to the size we need.
Swingsets, use regular construction lumber and seal it. Your kids will
outgrow it before it rots.
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