Open-grain vs. closed-grain wood - FineWoodworking

What is the difference between open- and closed-grain wood? Understanding wood at a cellular level is not necessary for woodworking, but I find the knowledge gives me an extra tool in my arsenal. Having a deeper relationship with the material I work with has an impact on how I select and use it, and can drastically change the final product. Wood selection goes beyond just color; since furniture is an interactive experience, using different species to make creative choices in texture can change the look and feel of a piece entirely. In some applications, there are things like gluing and finishing that dictate what species to use. Open- and closed-grain wood is just one of the many distinctions you can make between species, and is a good example of the importance of selecting proper material for a project.

Under the surface

All wood species break down similarly at a cellular level, the distinction is found between how different types of…

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