The May/June 2003 issue of WoodenBoat has an article by Ray Speck entitled
"Reading the slope of wood grain - know what to look for in bending stock"..
Ray is a teacher at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port
Townsend, Washington, and a local boat builder. The article is oriented
toward selecting bending stock for steam-bent frames. Lots of drawings and
pictures, and a bibliography for future reading.
////////////////////////////// > = grain direction
Bad ASCII art drawing above. Look at edge of board the grain is usually
running like petting a cats fur.Pet the face of the board and see how it
feels. If rough that's the wrong grain direction. Some wood has grain
running two different ways or changes in the middle of the piece.
Try using a block plane set very fine and do a test cut, on the board. If it
tears out, try a different direction.Angle the plane at about 30 degrees to
the edge of the board when trial cutting, maybe 45.
Good luck. Some wood has really wild grain and you are just are forced to
sand it. Like Birdseye maple. Sometime wetting the wood will raise the grain
enough to show you the direction of said grain.
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