There are lots and lots of kinds of wood for woodworking projects. So many, in fact, that it can sometimes be challenging for a woodworker to decide what is the perfect type of wood for his particular project. For example, a good piece of solid wood is what you would most often find being used for furniture, and the particular type of wood used would determine the look and/or durability of the piece. But given the tips we will be outlining here, hopefully we can shed a little bit of light on what the differences are from one type of wood to the next, and what type is the best for each particular project.
Ironically, softwoods are not actually “softer” or less durable that hardwoods, although that is what the name would likely lead one to believe. They usually are yellowish or reddish in color, and are not as pricey as hardwoods. Another plus to softwoods is that they are grown on specific farms, and are a sustainable resource, and are not being cut to extinction (deforestation) like some other kinds of woods. Here are a few softwood choices:
Cedar is a straight grained, red colored wood that has a nice scent. Cedar also stands up to the environment very well, making it ideal for outdoor furniture and decks.
Doug fir is probably the most basic wood you will find in your local hardware. It is what is used to build houses, and it is hard, sturdy and inexpensive. It is not a very attractive wood out there though, lacking the beautiful grains that you may find in other woods. Doug fir doesn’t stain well, either. Doug fir is mainly only recommended for use if it is going to be covered up later with paint or more wood, etc.
Pine is an inexpensive soft wood that is great for carving. Pine will take a stain, but you will need to seal it before applying any stains. The main drawback to pine however, is that you may often find sap oozing out of it.
And finally our last softwood is redwood. It is indeed reddish in color, just as its name would suggest. It is moderately priced and very attractive.
Some common hardwoods:
Ash is a choice that is simple to work with and easily stainable, but it is becoming increasingly hard to find.
Birch is not too expensive when compared to other common hardwoods and comes in shades of white and yellow. The stains come out blotchy when you attempt to stain birch however.
Cherry is a very popular hardwood that is a great all around choice for all your woodworking wood needs. It is easy to work with, stains well and comes in beautiful shades of red and white. It is sustainable and eco-friendly, but it is also expensive.
Mahogany, like cherry, is a reddish hardwood with a nice grain. So nice looking, in fact, that it will look nice with just a coat of oil and no stain at all. Mahogany is not sustainable and may be extinct one day, therefore is very expensive.
Maple is not too expensive, and is very stable, but difficult to work with.
Oak is the type of wood that you most commonly find in furniture, particularly outdoor furniture, since it holds up so well to the elements. White oak especially, because it looks nicer and holds up even better.
Poplar is generally not too expensive and is nice and strong, but tot too pretty, which is why you will often find it in places where it will not be seen, such as inside drawers.
Teak is a very expensive wood that is also often used for outdoor furniture that is becoming hard to find.
Walnut is a great choice to make a project prettier, but it is expensive and finding large pieces of it is getting harder these days.
Now that you know all your options of wood for woodworking, go out and build that project!
Source by Allan Clearpool