That's a bit better.
No suggestions as to what hardwood. What ever takes your fancy and fits the
pocket book. Maple isn't bad. Hard, tight and straight grained it should
give you minimum trouble in terms of wild grain, tear outs, that sort of
thing. Soft maple, and no, it isn't all that soft, is going for a fairly
decent price these days and has a nice figure.
Ok, now about these 8" and 10" boards. Your risk of having them warp
increases as the width of the boards increase, it has to do with old growth
wood and new growth wood, changing climates, etc, etc,.You are also going to
probably pay a premium for wider boards. It's a supply and demand thing. .
First thing you have to think about is how are you going to face joint an 8"
or 10" board so you can true up the other three sides? I'm fairly certain,
from you comment about the planer, you don't have an 8" or 12" jointer
handy. Hand plane maybe?
I usually rip stock to 6 inches or less for two reasons. One, to lessen the
risk of warpage or at least minimize it though I'm lucky, my supplier has
always been good and when I check the stock after letting it acclimate in
the shop for a couple of days it's always down around the preferred MC of
8%. The second reason is I've only got a 6" jointer. I suppose if I had an
8" one I'd rip to that size but then again maybe not. I'm comfortable with
the 6" figure.
You'll see some recommendations to alternate you growth rings and it has
some merit but not enough to sacrifice the finished appearance of the job.
If alternating the growth rings means you can't get a good grain match don't
do it. Not much sense in making the thing if it doesn't look good and with
properly dried wood and proper construction techniques the thing isn't going
to go south on you.
Having said all that one thing you have to keep in mind. No matter what you
do, no matter what precautions you take, wood has a mind of it's own and it
will occasionally hand you a nasty surprise or two. No one is immune to it.
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