Today's tip comes from Brian Campbell of Basswood Artisan Carpentry, a Saint Paul carpenter. When you are selecting lumber, look at the grain on the cut edge of the lumber, and follow these guidelines:
1. The grain should be vertical or horizontal, not diagonal.
2. More (tighter) growth rings are better.
3. Flat outer rings are better than the round inner pith of the tree. The outer part of the tree is sturdier than the pith.