Common Wood Defects: Splits, also known as checks, at the end of a board aren’t a big deal; many times you can just cut the bad section off or rip around it. If you don’t like the “knotty” look, be sure to keep an eye out for knots in your boards. You will also need to check the flatness of your boards to ensure a stable project. Look down the edge of each board to check for bow and twist. Then, take a look at the board face for crook or cup.