What is Reaction Wood and How it Affects Woodworking Furniture and Projects?

Many individual woodworkers’ even seasoned ones don’t really understand the term reaction wood. This is where a piece of wood has a flaw or imperfection in it but one cannot see it easily. Then what happens is when a thin strip is removed from this type of wood it warps or twist. Then it could also pinch the blade and you end up with burns in the wood caused by friction or the blade stalls.
The culprit of this is that the piece of wood you are working with as been cut from a tree that had a lean in it. If it happened to be one of the softwood trees that it came from than the reaction wood will be called compression wood because it comes from the lower side of the lean. You may notice that this type of wood is very dense. Additionally it will be hard and brittle.
With hardwood trees, the compression wood comes from the opposite of the softwood types. In this case, now the reaction wood takes place on the upper side on the lean. It is now called tension wood. You may notice with tension wood that you get a lot of shrinkage in the length and it will have that wooly surface appearance to it.
If at all possible you want to avoid buying the reaction woods. To begin with if it’s the hardwood then the density it going to give you a problem when you go to stain it. The stain will not take evenly. This will be noticeable when you put it with the other parts of your project.
Another problem with reaction wood is its weakness. It won’t accept a heavy load. Then also, when you go to put your nails or screws into it the wood is liable to crack or split easier. If you are using this type of wood for carving or getting it to take any type of shape you are going to find its not very cooperative. It will react adversely to moisture changes as well.
The difficult issue about this whole problem is how to be able to identify what is a piece of reaction wood. For the untrained Construction Business Ideas eye, it’s almost impossible but there are a few common place things that you can look for that may be of some help.
If you take a close look at the piece of wood you are thinking of buying and you notice there is a sweep to it or it seems crooked then don’t buy it. Most likely it is reaction wood. If you are familiar with the type of wood, you are looking at and it seems out of character then use caution. If you find that the piece seems harder than usual or dense, it’s most likely reaction wood.
If you see that, the wood looks fuzzy or there are cracks that are pulling Building Contractor Salary away from the board that’s another sign of the reaction wood.
Hopefully by knowing a little about reaction wood your tools aren’t going to get all the blame that comes with the mishaps of this type of inferior wood.