Welcome back for another edition of What I Screwed Up This Week. This week’s snafu happened while I was cutting out the cheeks and stretcher for my Gramercy-style turning saw.
As I was cutting out one of the cheeks, an endgrain offcut fell off in two pieces. This was unexpected, and I stopped to investigate. I found that a check from the end of the hickory board extended through the end of the piece I was cutting:
The only solution in a case like this, where the wood will be under tension and require no weak areas, was to discard the piece and make another one from sound wood further up the board.
Be very careful when laying out pieces near the end of a board. Checks from drying can easily go undetected and can quickly ruin a piece. In some cases, they don’t appear on the surface, but cause the interior fibers to separate. It’s always a good idea to cut off the very end of the board to expose fresh surface, which can help to reveal any checking.