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Engineered lumber is strong and durable

More and more people are using engineered lumber for a variety of projects, and Sears carries lumber, including engineered lumber, for all your woodworking needs. What is engineered wood? It's wood made of wood scraps, plant materials, paper and other materials. Glue and compression help the ingredients bond. You'll find engineered wood boards for everything from home construction to flooring.

So why is engineered lumber so popular? There are three main reasons. First, it's strong and durable. In fact, engineered lumber can be stronger than 100 percent wood from a tree yet it doesn't add weight to your project. Some experts say it has a higher load-bearing capacity and is better able to withstand high winds. Third, those who are concerned about the environment like the green factor. Since wood scraps are used, some trees are spared. It's a great way to reduce waste and recycle. However, there some environmental concerns as well. It takes more energy to produce it than to mill lumber and the glues contain chemicals.

You'll usually find engineered wood when shopping for plywood and posts. Check out the red oak engineered plywood at Sears; it's a favorite of woodworkers. We also have primed ultralite, made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard). While MDF is a great, budget-conscious option, it doesn't work in all situations. First, moisture is its enemy. When moisture seeps in, MDF swells; it can even crack if saturated. So avoid using it in damp areas such as the basement or bathroom. Use cement board instead. MDF also has a sharp edge, so it is important not to take shortcuts while sanding. There's more consistency from piece to piece with the primed ultralite engineered product compared to natural solid wood. You'll find it's easy to work. You can make cuts and use nails and staples easily. It's already primed, so that'll save you time and money. You'll love the price, too, compared to solid wood. Try it for moldings: base, crown, chair rail or wainscoting.

Poplar is also popular because it accepts paint and stains well. In fact, many woodworkers stain it to look like darker woods, such as walnut. It has an even texture that's fine to medium. The grain is straight. Try it when creating furniture and wood toys in your woodworking workshop. The red oak, primed ultralite and poplar all fall under the category of dimensional lumber. That means the lumber is already cut to a standardized width and depth. All three are S4S, so the lumber's finished on all four sides.

When shopping for engineered lumber, you'll notice domino tenons in mahogany and beech wood from Festool. They're made from all natural, solid hardwood, so they're strong and stable. Both serve as true floating tenon in mortise and tenon applications. Use them indoors when making cabinets, furniture, casing and framework, for example. You can also use it outdoors. Try it when building a deck, outdoor furniture, or even for exterior trim. You're ensured perfect alignment.

When you're getting ready to start an indoor or outdoor woodworking project, turn to Sears. We have soft wood, hardwood and engineered lumber. We provide the materials you need for the projects you want to do.

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