Selecting the right wood can save time, money and deliver better results. If you’re building a visible project, like a book shelf, you should use “clear” or “select” grade boards – those with fewer knotholes or other defects.

“Common” grade wood has more defects and a rougher surface but is ideal for framing or fences. When you’re buying lumber, hold one end of a board up to your eye and look down the edge to make sure it’s completely straight and doesn’t bow or arch.

If your project calls for plywood you probably know that it comes in four by eight foot sheets…or that the thickness varies from one quarter inch to three quarters of an inch….but it also comes in grades of finish ranging from A through D…as you might expect A is the best.

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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