I find that a lot of the pressure-treated 4x4s and 6x6s I use twist badly after installation as they dry. It’s not a structural problem, but it looks terrible. Is there any way to recognize pieces that are likely to twist so they can be culled before the problem comes up?

A.Alexander Schreyer, a structural engineer and lecturer in wood technology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, responds: The twist you’re seeing has two main causes. First, PT lumber contains a lot of water from the treatment process that needs to dry out. Second, the larger-sectioned square members are typically cut from the center of...

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