When building decks, I sometimes come across a severely bowed joist. Rather than live with it, I make a straight cut across its top, as shown in the drawing. Some builders would think of the waste piece as scrap, but I’ve got a better use for it. Except for a short length in the middle, the piece is tapered. So I cut it into pieces 3 in. to 4 in. long, and store them in a bucket for when I need a pressure-treated shim — for example, when I’m leveling joists or posts.
Christopher Norell, Green Brook, NJ