How to Choose Wood for Woodworking?

Submitted by brightbai on Wed, 05/11/2016 - 08:53

It may be diffcult to choose the right kind of wood for woodwroking for beginners. You might get lost with all the factors involved, including quality, grade, cost, grain, color, durability and availability. It would not make sense to buy very expensive solid wood if you are a raw beginner at woodworking because the chances are that you will make some mistakes as you learn. Carefully choose the wood for your projects.

1. Decide what you’re building first

Wood generally falls into two categories — hardwood and softwood — and each type is useful for certain applications. Before you select your wood, You must know what you are building. If you construct a furniture, such as a dresser, table or molding, then you need a hardwood like maple or oak to take the load.

If your project involves intricate wood carvings then a softer wood like poplar or pine might be in order. If your project is to be placed outdoors, then you will need a wood that can last out in the elements. Choose a wood like teak, that does not take a finish well, but its natural oils will protect it outside. You might also choose Mahogany wood which is used for projects requiring exposure to the elements like outdoor furnishings, deck chairs and tables.

Here is a list of popular woods that have been ranked from low durability to high durability: Alder, Birch, Ash, Poplar, Spruce, Teak, Oak, Spanish Cedar, Iroko, and Chestnut.

2. Choose the right grade and the cost

Wood for woodworking is further broken down by its grade. The grade refers to the overall quality of a particular piece; high-grade pieces are likely to have few defects and imperfections, while low-grade pieces will have knots, cracks, splits, or other damage that will cause parts of the piece to be unusable for construction. High-grade wood for woodworking will, of course, be more expensive than low-grade pieces, though low-grade woods are still usable for some applications and can save the builder money if he or she is willing to go through the extra effort of cutting out the best pieces.

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