I'm starting a build of a 16' skiff. Everything is going well so far, but I am concerned about some WO I recently purchased (plain sawn, air seasoned from a reputable mill/boat supplier - currently at approx 14-16% MC). In retrospect, I may have been too concerned about knots, and didn't place much importance on what I thought were small surface checks. As I mill the wood, the checks seem worse than I thought. I have read as many posts as I could find on the subject (avoiding end checking w/ anchorseal during drying, red lead, white lead, filling with 5200 after red lead, praying), but my question comes down to, should I use the checked wood, or not? What is common practice? I am painting, and am not hung up on the cosmetics - I just want to make sure I'm not compromising mechanical integrity or asking for trouble. (Perhaps I'm answering my own question)
I understand WO is particularly susceptible to checking, but being new to the process, I have no calibration for what is normal or acceptable.
Use is for a 3" thick stem (that piece is actually okay), and a 5/4 transom (I was going to layup 3, 8" wide pieces, but can only get much narrower check-free pieces near the edges - i.e. q-grain areas).
I have pictures, but don't want to bog down the group. I can create a flikr account if that would be helpful.
Thanks so much. My progress would be way slower had it not been for the awesome conversations at this site. As a teacher and engineer, I totally appreciate the knowledge sharing that takes place here.