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What is your go to wood for furniture?

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Forum topic by BigDwood posted 01-16-2019 03:26 PM 678 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BigDwood

11 posts in 275 days


01-16-2019 03:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood furniture knowledge

Hi guys…I’m new to woodworking, and I’m having trouble deciding what type of wood I want to use for my furniture. What is your guys go to woods for furniture and why do you use it? I’d love to hear what you think and increase my knowledge. Thanks!


27 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

4996 posts in 1099 days


#1 posted 01-16-2019 03:43 PM

Cherry, alder and walnut are all extremely easy to work with. Of those, I’d suggest alder since it’s about half the price of the other two.

-- There are 10 types of people—those who understand binary, and those who don’t

View Snipes's profile

Snipes

432 posts in 2754 days


#2 posted 01-16-2019 03:56 PM

Whatever the customer or wife wants

-- if it is to be it is up to me

View Andre's profile

Andre

2794 posts in 2315 days


#3 posted 01-16-2019 04:02 PM

For some reason there is alot of Oak in my shop from past projects that I keep trying to use up?
Still have some Birch that I milled myself!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5748 posts in 3003 days


#4 posted 01-16-2019 04:32 PM

I wouldn’t call white oak my go-to wood, but it seems I use more of it than alternatives. I prefer cherry, and sometimes walnut.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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LittleShaver

586 posts in 1129 days


#5 posted 01-16-2019 04:41 PM

When I started, I used pine as it was cheap and available. Tossing mistakes didn’t hurt the wallet much. After the kids grew up a bit, and my skills improved, I moved to hardwoods. Then it became whatever SWMBO asked for.

-- Sawdust Maker

View pottz's profile

pottz

6349 posts in 1494 days


#6 posted 01-16-2019 05:02 PM

i love all woods but it depends on the project or what the person im making it for wants.im building bedroom furniture right now out of cherry,and before that a rocker out of walnut,both great woods to work with.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3386 posts in 2307 days


#7 posted 01-16-2019 05:07 PM

My default is cherry—easy to work with and pretty.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

625 posts in 413 days


#8 posted 01-16-2019 05:58 PM

Most of us choose wood based on appearance, function, price, ease of woodworking, availability, etc. We may even like the idea of changing wood to gain experience. If we are building something for someone else, we let them decide. You can approach this matter as you choose. Our opinions are unimportant.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Rich's profile

Rich

4996 posts in 1099 days


#9 posted 01-16-2019 06:02 PM


Our opinions are unimportant.

- Phil32

Speak for yourself. The OP has gotten some valuable opinions so far in this thread.

-- There are 10 types of people—those who understand binary, and those who don’t

View SMP's profile

SMP

1392 posts in 415 days


#10 posted 01-16-2019 06:12 PM



Cherry, alder and walnut are all extremely easy to work with. Of those, I d suggest alder since it s about half the price of the other two.

- Rich

I’m new to hand tool woodworking, and am using a lot of alder for the reasons you listed. I live close to mexico and can get rough alder about 1/3 the price of cherry or walnut for whatever reason. Plus its soft enough where I don’t have to sharpen my tools all the time, which is nice especially since I don’t have the greatest sharpening setup yet.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

3094 posts in 2857 days


#11 posted 01-16-2019 06:23 PM

I’d suggest that you consider what is available and what the prices are in your area.

Here in the upper Midwest I can get white oak (rift, QS, flat sawn), cherry, walnut, elm, maple, alder, hickory, and even some chestnut, just to name the stuff I remember off the top of my head, all at decent prices.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View jonah's profile

jonah

2079 posts in 3808 days


#12 posted 01-16-2019 06:30 PM

I prefer cherry. I just love the look of it, and it only gets better over time.

Second is maple. I love the light color, plus its another wood that gets more attractive over time.

View MPython's profile

MPython

166 posts in 322 days


#13 posted 01-16-2019 06:46 PM

I don’t know the I have a “go-to” wood. Over the years, I’ve built furniture from maple, mahogany, oak, cherry, ash and walnut, with a smattering of other stuff thrown in. I like them all. Each wood has its own working characteristics and it has been fun learning them. In my opinion, walnut and cherry are the easiest of our domestic woods to work. They’re not too hard, have relatively mild grain, they mill nicely and they are hand-tool friendly. Mahogany is the king of furniture woods and has been for several centuries. It is a dream to work with both machines and hand tools, and it is beautiful. But good mahogany is getting hard to find and it is very expensive. I think walnut and cherry are a very close seconds to Mahogany and they are plentiful and much more reasonably priced.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3886 posts in 1084 days


#14 posted 01-16-2019 06:46 PM

Maple, especially curly. Cherry, especially with gum streaks, and the little irregularities. Walnut, all brown please. Pretty much in that order, unless the project just tells me it needs another wood, or maybe a few woods for contrast.

All 3 of them are very easy to work with, tool wise. The curly maple needs some care in final prep, and finishing, but the trouble is worth the effort in what it brings to the end project.

-- Think safe, be safe

View pottz's profile

pottz

6349 posts in 1494 days


#15 posted 01-16-2019 06:50 PM


Our opinions are unimportant.

- Phil32

Speak for yourself. The OP has gotten some valuable opinions so far in this thread.

- Rich


+1 if it didnt matter why would he ask right?

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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