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What Woods Are Best For Woodworkers?

whar woods are best for woodworkers

With hundreds of hardwood and softwood to choose from, hardwood and softwood to choose from, it can be hard to determine the best wood for your woodworking project. Whether you’re carving fine furniture and musical instruments or choosing the best wood for your hardwood flooring, we’ve rounded up the top hardwood and softwood choices for woodworkers.  

1.  Mahogany 

Mahogony has been a popular hardwood for furniture and woodworking since the late 1700s. The signature red-brown to blood-red color darkens over time, creating beautifully unique pieces. With a straight grain and medium texture, mahogany is workable, making it easy to create ornate pieces, patterns, or intricate furniture. Mahogany’s popularity and rarity make it a relatively expensive option.  

Most popular uses: Fine furniture, veneers, stairways, pattern making, and caskets
Price: $$$

2.  Ash 

Ash is a durable and popular choice for woodworking. Ranging from white to gray-brown, ash is known for its staining potential. With excellent gluing and screw and nail holding properties, ash offers woodworkers durability and flexibility. Ash is often used as a substitute for oak, but as quantities become more limited, prices are trending higher.  

Most popular uses: Furniture, flooring, cabinetry, tool handles, baseball bats, oars
Price: $$

3.  Cherry 

Cherry is a classic woodworking option thanks to its workability and beautiful coloration.  Ranging from pinkish-brown to red-brown, cherry offers flexibility that makes it ideal for curved or complicated furniture designs. Since cherry is becoming so popular, its price is rising.  

Most popular uses: Cabinets, flooring, veneers, musical instruments, fine furniture, and architectural woodwork
Price:$$$

4.  Hard Maple  

Maple is a strong, light-colored wood that absorbs shock well and resists wear. Its strength, stability, and durability make it a great option for kitchen furniture since it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Maple tends to be more affordable than other hardwood options.  

Most popular uses: Cabinets, furniture, kitchenware, flooring, chopping blocks, and piano frames
Price: $$

5.  Teak 

Teak’s resistance to rot and moisture make it a go-to choice for outdoor furniture and structures.  Its beautiful golden-brown coloring makes it a popular choice for indoor and outdoor usage, and its weather-resistance and durability ensure your projects will remain beautiful for years to come. To ensure uniformity throughout your teak project, get all the boards you need from the same shipment, as color can vary greatly.  

Most popular uses: Outdoor furniture, flooring, and boat decking
Price: $$$

6.  Walnut 

Walnut is one of the most commonly-used furniture woods in the US thanks to its strength and coloration. Walnut pieces can express a great deal of character with colors ranging from a light brown to a rich, chocolate brown and eye-catching burls and crotches. 

Most popular uses: Furniture, carving, gunstocks, and cabinets
Price: $$$

7.  Red & White Oak 

Oak is often found in two varieties: red and white oak. Oakwood is one of the most common types of wood on the globe, and red oak is considered a benchmark wood in the flooring industry.  Both varieties are strong, easy to work with, and take stains well. However, only white oak is resistant to moisture. For this reason, white oak is a good alternative to teak when it comes to outdoor furniture.  

Most popular uses: Flooring, furniture, paneling, mouldings, and boatbuilding (white oak only)
Price: $$ 

8.  Pine 

Pine is abundant in North America. Pine is incredibly easy to work with and most varieties are relatively soft, making it a top choice for woodcarving. Pine finishes well, but you’ll need to use a water- or oil-based seal first.  

Most popular uses: Flooring, windows, construction lumber, mouldings, musical instruments, and paneling
Price:

9.  Cedar

The most common species of cedar is red cedar. This type of wood planes and shapes easily, and features a red to violet-brown hardwood with many knots. Red cedar can withstand moist environments without rotting, making it a popular choice for exterior furniture or structures.  

Most popular uses: Outdoor furniture, carvings, fence posts, chest linings, and small wooden items.
Price: $$

10.  Redwood

Redwood is naturally durable and can resist water, insects, and fungi. As the name suggests, redwood has a brownish-red hue which turns to gray when left unfinished outside. Redwood is relatively soft and easy to work with. The price and availability of redwood can vary greatly depending on how far away from California you live.  

Most popular uses: Outdoor structures/furniture, water tanks, decking, trim, musical instruments, and veneers
Price: $$$

 
Forest Plywood has a broad product line to meet our customers’ lumber needs. Let our expert team talk through your project with you and help you choose the best wood for your needs. Contact us today or call 800.939.7378 to speak to one of our experienced team members!

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