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What is a Straight Grain?

A straight grain describes wood grain that runs in one direction. It has very few curls or waves.

A straight grain refers to wood grain that runs parallel to the axis of the tree. It does not weave or curl. Types of woods that have straight grain include cherry, hard maple and cedar. Woods with straight grain are much easier to work with and are generally stronger than other types of grain. Since the grain runs in one direction, it is easier to cut, drill and nail. Woods with straight grain also have a smoother texture, whereas other grains may be more coarse or rough. While woods with a straight grain are easier to cut and carve, they do not always provide the unique quality and beauty of coarse grain patterns. Coarse grain may be difficult to manipulate, but its waves and texture can yield an unexpected product, especially when carving. This can sometimes result in beautiful pieces of art, but some woodworkers prefer to stick with the predictability and reliability of straight grain.

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