Wood for Furniture – Which Are the Best Woods?

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You can’t be a woodworker without wood. Obviously, that’s not a big revelation. But this might be: wood doesn’t grow on trees. Oh wait, it does! OK, let’s get serious. We’re going to talk about some of the most common types of softwoods and hardwoods and their applications. You need to know the various woods and their properties in order to be the best woodworker you can be. Choosing the correct wood for furniture is the first step in any successful project. Let’s take a look at some common softwoods and hardwoods you will find at your lumberyard or home center.
Softwoods — Generally, softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods. These are some common varieties that you will probably be using in many of your future projects:
Pine. Pine is a great wood for furniture making and is a good choice for most any project. It’s easy to work with and best of all, easy to carve. It stains well and is readily available in most (if not all) lumberyards and home centers.
Cedar. Western red cedar is a popular choice for outdoor projects such as decks and outside buildings. It’s easy to work with, moderately priced and impervious to rotting. Additionally it’s available almost anywhere. Fir. Fir is normally used for building but is useful in making some kinds of furniture. A good rule of thumb would be to use fir on projects that are going to be painted. This is because fir is inexpensive and the grain is not very appealing.
Redwood. Redwood is resistant to moisture and is used mostly for outdoor projects. It’s soft, easy to work with and readily available.
Hardwoods — Hardwoods are more expensive than softwoods but are a beautiful wood for furniture. There are a large variety of colors, grain patterns and textures available. However, some hardwoods can be difficult to find. Let’s take a look at some common types of hardwoods and their applications:
Maple. Hard maple is difficult to work with. In fact, it is one of the hardest woods of all. There is a softer type of maple available that is much easier to work with than the hard variety. Both types are stable and generally less expensive than other hardwoods.
Cherry. As hardwoods go, cherry is fairly soft. It’s a great choice for most furniture making because it’s easy to work with, stains well and ages like a dream. It’s pricey so you’ll want to take that into consideration before starting your next project.
Oak. This is one of the most widely used woods for furniture. And for good reason: it’s strong, easy to work with and relatively inexpensive as compared to other hardwoods. It comes in two varieties, red and white. Normally, white is the type preferred for furniture making but can also be used for outdoor projects because of it’s resistance to moisture.
Birch. You have two varieties to choose from: white and yellow. Both types are hard and readily available at any lumberyard or home center. It’s fairly easy to work with (which is always a good thing) and stable as well. Like fir, birch is best used for painted projects. This is because it is a difficult wood to stain.
This is not a complete list of wood for furniture by any means. It would be in your best interest to research the various types of hardwoods and softwoods and their applications. This will make you a more competent and confident woodworker.

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Thank you for reading the article above. Many important points you need to know.
Have you ever:
– Wanted to build something, because you cannot find it “retail”?
– Thought of making something custom for a specific need?
– Struggled to find detailed plans to build your dream project?

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects