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“Wood is expensive!” -Out of touch YouTubers waste it!

recently I was watching one of my favorite woodworking channels and I saw this playing it down to reveal this beautiful grain so I'm going to use my sled here table saw to cut off the sap wood now this turned out to be a great project I'll link to it below go check it out especially if you haven't seen the channel in a while but today I want to talk about that beautiful locally grown Hickory board that he had it was stunning hardwood like that isn't cheap either so why did he cut off and throw away 25 percent of it is it because he's in a rich elitist YouTuber sponsored by big Hickory so he could throw away wood that everybody else would kill for well I asked David if I could use his video to teach an important lesson about sapwood that's the light colored stuff he's trimming off his board many would have you believe that you can't use that part of the board personally I disagree I've embraced sapwood in many projects I think when it's used properly it looks great but it has to be used properly that means understanding what sapwood is when it should be used and when it should not be used these next few minutes may change how you built your next project and I think they might save you a lot of money on wood trees are not just big solid stalks of wood they are living organisms and their bodies or their trunks are made up of different types of wood cells everybody knows that you can tell how old a tree is by counting the Rings that's because trees grow from the outside adding new odor rings with the passing of time in the center of the trunk is the Heartwood these are the old dead cells that have been filled with waste and other chemical compounds from the tree those chemicals or extractives fortify and Harden those inner cells making the Heartwood the strongest part of the tree and the most desirable for woodworking the outer rings are the sapwood these are the living open cells that transport the water and the nutrients up the trunken to the branches and the leaves the sapwood cells are similar to The Heartwood but they've not been filled and fortified with extractives that makes them less durable and sometimes less stable than the Heartwood you can often see the difference between the sapwood and the Heartwood just by the color especially in Hardwoods because those extractives tend to darken the hardwood cells so in furniture making it's the darker Heartwood that has traditionally been what everyone wants boards with even a streak of light sapped wood can be discounted discarded or trimmed away the waste is considered a small price to pay to get that evenly colored furniture but Styles change in more recent times some have really embraced the contrasting colors of Heartwood and sapwood together some consider it to be part of the tree's natural beauty something to be admired rather than tossed into the bin but is it just about looks unfortunately like everything it's not that simple as I said sapwood is often less durable than hardwood depending on the species it may not be as hard it may also absorb moisture at a different rate than the rest of the board and this can become a problem if you don't design your projects in a way that allows for that extra movement for example the top of this credenza contains a lot of light-colored sapwood while the side panels have very little it's unlikely that the top is going to swell and shrink and whip at with the changes in humidity in the air at the same rate as the sides will so you have to be careful not to connect these two panels in a way that will force them to move together because that could potentially cause the slower moving side panel to split over time this difference in stability can also be a challenge with large flat panels such as slab table tops because sapwood is found on the outer rings of a tree a flat sawn board which is a slice right through the log may have sapwood on one side but just hardwood on the other side so if the sapwood side swells more than the Heartwood side then that slab will cup more over time so in that case the solution would be to use joinery that holds that panel flat while still allowing it to move the biggest consideration on whether to use sapwood though is appearance in my appearance if you're going to use it you have to have enough of it a mix of stripes and swirls can look great but just a little streak of light wood on an otherwise Dark Project might just look out of place so for this reason some folks try to stain or Dye sapwood to blend it in and make it look like the rest of the board with experimentation that is possible but you really have to be careful because the inconsistencies in the sapwood fibers make it very prone to blotching and uneven coloring and keep in mind that many species of wood naturally darken over time so you might stay in the sapwood to match the Heartwood now but will it still match once that Heartwood begins to darken with time all those challenges though may be worth it when you consider the cost savings when using boards with sapwood because many consider it waste a lumber dealer will often discount a board significantly if it contains a lot of sapwood it's also more environmentally sustainable the older Retreat is the thinner the sapwood layer around the trunk will be so boards that have no sapwood at all might come from older trees if you harvest a relatively young tree or one that's been planted in a way that encourages fast growth you will end up with more sapwood but also a more sustainable logging operation I personally like sapwood when it's used creatively whether you choose to embrace it or discard it is up to your personal tastes and the project that you're building I hope this video helps you decide what's best for your next project it's just a couple of cuts your ears will be fine right they will be if you have your isotunes Bluetooth earbuds in because you'd already have your ANSI certified hearing protection on because you're listening to your favorite music 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