How to Choose Wood for Woodworking?

How to Choose Wood for Woodworking?

As a woodworker or a DIYer, you should know that they are various types of woods, and thus you should never consider them as the same. Different types of woods are meant for different woodworking projects.

The success of your project is determined by your ability to select the right kind of wood. Failure to choose the ideal type of wood will compromise the success of your project.

Whether you are creating wood projects for your home or selling, the ideal wood makes a huge difference.

The suitable wood will determine how durable and robust your finished product will be. You must take the time to select the type of wood that will perfectly suit your woodworking project.

This piece will give you the needed insights on choosing the suitable wood for your woodworking project.

Choosing Between Softwood and Hardwood

The most crucial factor to consider before you start working on your woodworking project is whether to use softwood or hardwood. Therefore, it’s paramount that you fully understand these two main types of wood so that you may be able to differentiate them.

Your specific woodworking project will dictate the type of wood to go for. If you need a kind of wood that will withstand immense pressure, you should opt for hardwood.

However, if you seek a type of wood that will not take several knocks, you should opt for softwood.

Some of the popular species of hardwood include cherry, walnut, mahogany, and many others. They are preferred mainly by woodworking experts due to their fantastic color, grain pattern, and durability.

If your aim to create something that will last for many years, then hardwood will be a perfect choice.

Unlike softwoods, hardwood is hardly stained; thus, it would not be ideal for covering them with paint. In most instances, hardwood is coated with a clear topcoat, including oil, lacquer, or varnish. Most softwoods have an unappealing outlook and thus may need to be covered with paint.

Hardwoods may be challenging to work with due to their density which makes them tough on tools. Sanding may be required as saw blades leave burn marks on some hardwood species, including maple and cherry.

Opt for Stable Wood

Wood tends to move and change size as it dries up through the seasons. You need to put this into consideration while choosing the right type of wood for your woodworking project.

The type of wood selected should be stable enough, and this includes wood with vertical end grain.

You may opt to use the combination of less stable and stable woods in a single project. However, it’s important to note the parts that require stable wood and the parts that do not.

For instance, the door frames should be made of stable lumber to be robust enough for their functions.

Avoid Defected Wood

Some woods feature built-in defects that make it challenging for woodworkers to work with them. If you want your project to be successful and durable, you should avoid at any cost working with wood with defects.

Wood knots are an example of the wood defect; they are not ideal for your woodworking project as they are unstable and may fall out over time. Additionally, they make planing an uphill task.

Insect holes are another wood defect that should be avoided because they tend to bring about instability in the wooden object.

Ideally, it would be best if you went for wood and boards that have been dried evenly and within an appropriate period.

To avoid bowing or twisting, you should ensure that the boards have been correctly stacked to dry.

Contraction and Expansion

All types of wood are susceptible to contraction and expansion. During humid or rainy months, boards or wood will draw in moisture, and as a result, they will tend to expand on widths and lengthwise. In hot months, they will lose that moisture and thus contract in size.

The aspect of contraction and expansion is an essential factor that you should consider while choosing the type of wood to go for.

Although this aspect may be insignificant in small woodworking projects, they are critical in big tasks, such as making a tabletop.

Your Type of Woodworking Project

The type of wood you choose should be based on the type of woodworking project you are working on. Various types of projects require different types of wood.

For instance, you may need something robust, durable, and waterproof if you are making outdoor furniture. On the other hand, easy to carve and softwood when making a jewelry box.

Cost Considerations

The type of wood that you will choose for your project depends on your budget. Various types of woods are sold at varying prices depending on their quality.

For instance, a significant proportion of hardwood species tend to be costly as they are robust and durable compared to their softwood counterparts.

You should always ensure that you get value for your money. High-quality wood will enhance the success of your project will cheap, and poor quality wood will tend to compromise on the overall quality of your end products.

Get Wood from Approved Wood Stores or Dealers

If you are not sure about the type of wood to use on a specific woodworking project, you could seek the help of a specialist who will advise you on the same.

You could also opt to purchase your wood from an approved wood store to recommend the best type of wood to go for.

Rather than ordering wood online, you could pay a visit to the wood stores and choose the type of wood you want.

You will also be in a position to identify defects and thus avoiding such kind of wood.

Bottom Line

The type of wood that you choose plays a significant role in determining whether your woodworking project will be a failure or a success.

You should take your time to research the appropriate type of wood for a specific project to make wise and informed decisions.

Armed with the above guideline, you will be in a position to choose the appropriate type of wood for your project.


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Sokna Chan

Welcome to Carpentry is my passion. I understand that it can be challenging for those seeking to venture into this industry, especially if you are a novice. I hope you enjoy and get a lot of ideas from my website. Thank you so much for your time.

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