When the wood has been selected for a particular project, there are some guidelines to follow which will enhance the appearance of the finished piece. When making a wide board from a number of planks, lay them out side by side so that you can arrive at the best arrangement. If there is one that has a different texture or colour, it should be swapped for one that matches the rest. If possible, the knots should be evenly distributed across the board in a random pattern.

The direction of the grain is also important. A panel looks best if the plank and grain direction is vertical rather than horizontal, as this makes it look longer and more elegant. Similarly, it is customary to have the plank and grain direction on a table top running parallel with the longer side.

Drawer fronts look very effective if the grain direction is vertical. However, it is often more convenient to have it running horizontally, as it is then possible to make the complete front from a single plank which will not require any joins. What should be avoided - unless it is a deliberate part of the design - is having the grain running horizontally on some drawer fronts and vertically on others.

Do not mix two types of pine with different knot patterns, textures or colours unless it is to achieve a design effect. For example, it can be effective to have the knobs on a drawer front made from a contrasting wood.

When selecting pieces of timber for a particular project, place the flawless pieces in the front where they will be seen and the rougher ones out of sight.

Most pine darkens with exposure to light. The stronger the light and/or the longer the time for which it is exposed, the darker it will become. If a picture or poster is pinned to the front of a pine cabinet and left for a couple of months, it will leave a lighter-coloured area when removed.

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