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What is a Mineral Streak?

A mineral streak is an area of the wood that has a different color due to its mineral content. Mineral streaks are often considered to add value and appeal to the wood.

A mineral streak is a black, grey or olive line or band in the wood, and it develops when the tree absorbs and deposits minerals from the soil. Mineral streaks run parallel with the grain, and they are easy to identify and measure. Some carpenters prefer to avoid mineral streaks when they are building cabinets or furniture. They may cut around the deposits, or they may try to bleach the area so that the streak is lighter. However, other carpenters believe that the bands add more character to the wood and opt to keep them. Mineral streaks are prevalent in lighter grains, such as maple, cherry, hickory and basswood. They are especially noticeable when the light wood is left unstained.

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