I decided to get started building some stuff with wood. I've selected for my first project the Sturdy Work Bench. Tonight, I went to Home Depot and picked up a pine 2x4 to "practice" on, along with some basic tools—a saw, a mitre box, a square, and some other stuff. No power tools, yet, but give me time.
Anyway, as I was looking at the 2x4, a silly question came to me. Most of the ends are smooth, but the cut ends are very rough. In the even that these are exposed at the end of a project, do you just sand them down?
Sorry—this is a really inconsequential question. I'm pretty far away from building anything that will require proper finishing. But I figured there was no harm in asking.
You can sand the end grain of boards just go in one direction, these are the ends of the long fibers of wood so they are always more rough. Think of a stack of straws, the sides are smooth but the two ends are rough because of the open ends of the straws - just like wood fibers in the board.
Maybe try a sanding sponge. They are versatile, easy to hold and use and have a couple of grits on them so one will give you a good starting point. A work bench is a logical first project.