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Type of Wood for 1st Project

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Forum topic by Croikee posted 09-19-2020 03:40 PM 340 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Croikee

31 posts in 46 days


09-19-2020 03:40 PM

What type of wood would you all recommend for a 1st step into focused woodworking? By that I mean, really sitting down, planning things out, and being meticulous about all of the steps, instead of just watching a DIY on youtube.

It is going to be a piece to hang on the wall that holds our cycling shoes and yoga mat. Probably 3 feet wide, 2-3 feet tall. My plan is to stain it a custom blue color, but still have some grain showing.

Common board is super cheap, but often isn’t straight. I do NOT have a table saw to square everything up. I have a mitresaw, a circular saw and a straight edge.

Also, would you suggest a lumber yard, or like Home Depot? And is it reasonable to ask either place to run the pieces through their equipment to make sure it is square since I do not have the capacity for that?

Thank you all!

ps – I really want a table saw.


18 replies so far

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Rich

5987 posts in 1473 days


#1 posted 09-19-2020 11:33 PM

Alder, cherry, maple and walnut all are easy woods to work with. Regarding getting milled lumber without the tools to do it is another story. Check around locally for milling services. For example, there is a store here and in Phoenix called Woodworker’s Source that has full milling service. For a few bucks you can have them mill S4S out of rough stock to your specifications.

Woodworker’s Source does mail order too, but I have no idea how expensive that would be. You can get on their web site or call them for more info. I’m sure there are many other options available online as well.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Madmark2

1717 posts in 1472 days


#2 posted 09-19-2020 11:34 PM

Select pine. Not #2 common.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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Loren

10718 posts in 4532 days


#3 posted 09-19-2020 11:43 PM

Birch, alder or poplar are all alright. Pine is easy to dent and tricky to work with hand tools. Hard to stain as well and tends to be ugly when stained. Poplar may not stain well for you either. I’ve used it for paint grade work and its color variances may not suit what you want to do.

Call around at your local lumber suppliers and ask what they have. You might find a place that sells “shorts”, shorter boards that are great for learning projects.

My HD doesn’t have a planer. A lumber yard may be able to help you out and many lumberyards sell skip-planed or dimensioned hardwoods. Just call and tell them what your limits are and the salesperson will likely be able to offer you some solutions that won’t break the bank.

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PurpLev

8598 posts in 4532 days


#4 posted 09-20-2020 12:19 AM

dry wood

:)

I would recommend poplar, or maple. S4S which can be found most places (Home Depot included), and will not require you a jointer/planer/table saw to get it square and flat for work which will reduce the learning curve for 1st project.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Croikee

31 posts in 46 days


#5 posted 09-20-2020 12:29 AM

S4S is the term I need to remember. I saw birch at HD and thought it looked pretty for staining. What about Maple? All I know is from a lifetime of drumming, maple produces a warm tone, birch more attack…that means little for woodworking, unless I get into drum making….quite a ways off! :)

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SMP

2668 posts in 789 days


#6 posted 09-20-2020 01:03 AM

Curly maple looks good dyed blue.

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gdaveg

54 posts in 86 days


#7 posted 09-20-2020 01:26 AM

Staining and having the grain show through makes this more difficult with lower priced woods. Maybe Birch is a good priced wood that will take stain acceptably. Cherry is also good to work with but I would never stain cherry in a blue or other color too much different from natural. Cherry is the lowest price fancy hardwood that you will find at HD/Lowes. Price of maple and walnut much higher.

But pick your poison and eyeball down the boards and go through them for straightness. At HD they will let you cut off what you don’t want, it is sold by the foot. So if the board warps at one end take that into account.

A trick that I use at HD is to check the bow and edge straightness after eyeballing it is to put the lumber against the steel columns to see the wane and bows in the wood.

Just my 2 cents.

Dave

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA

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CWWoodworking

1092 posts in 1063 days


#8 posted 09-20-2020 01:27 AM

What about plywood with wood edging? With your limited tools, might be an easy way to make a nice storage unit.

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Rich

5987 posts in 1473 days


#9 posted 09-20-2020 01:37 AM


What about plywood with wood edging? With your limited tools, might be an easy way to make a nice storage unit.

- CWWoodworking

+1. Also, if you want blue with the grain showing, use dye, not stain. Be sure to do test boards before you do any finishing on the final project, and read up on blotch control.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Aj2

3415 posts in 2682 days


#10 posted 09-20-2020 01:54 AM

I also vote for plywood or poplar. Or a combination of both

-- Aj

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gdaveg

54 posts in 86 days


#11 posted 09-20-2020 02:18 AM



What about plywood with wood edging? With your limited tools, might be an easy way to make a nice storage unit.

- CWWoodworking


CW
Great idea. Less money too.

Dave

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA

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DaveMills

48 posts in 283 days


#12 posted 09-20-2020 02:28 AM

Regarding wood generally… my local Home Depot is about twice as expensive as my local hardwood supply places. Frankly unless I was looking for cheap grades of Douglas Fir, that the wood places don’t carry, I can’t think of any reason to be buying wood at HD. So much nicer to shop at a local hardwood place and be able to ogle all the beautiful woods, too.

Just mentioning it because I know my default assumption was that HD would be cheaper, and you may be thinking that as well…

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SMP

2668 posts in 789 days


#13 posted 09-20-2020 03:39 AM

If you do go the plywood route at a home center, stay FAR away from the less expensive “sanded plywood” and look for actual hardwood plywood like maple. It will be $10 or $20 more per sheet. But that cheap stuff is super soft and takes stain like it has anti blotch control built in.

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therealSteveN

6461 posts in 1458 days


#14 posted 09-20-2020 03:44 AM

Fact is wood can be expensive. If you start using expensive wood, making mistakes hurt more.


What type of wood would you all recommend for a 1st step into focused woodworking? By that I mean, really sitting down, planning things out, and being meticulous about all of the steps, instead of just watching a DIY on youtube.

If you are new to joinery, if you can make Framing lumber work, IE: flat, cut to fit, finish, use in a mock up, then you can probably get most woods to work for you when you decide it’s time to move away from planning, and get to doing.

It is going to be a piece to hang on the wall that holds our cycling shoes and yoga mat. Probably 3 feet wide, 2-3 feet tall. My plan is to stain it a custom blue color, but still have some grain showing.

I would suggest dye for the Blue

Common board is super cheap, but often isn t straight. I do NOT have a table saw to square everything up. I have a mitresaw, a circular saw and a straight edge.

No, it’s not straight, but as I said before if you can make it straight then pretty much any wood is going to work for you, and trying it out as a “pine” project costs much less then a Walnut piece if you make any mistakes.

Also, would you suggest a lumber yard, or like Home Depot? And is it reasonable to ask either place to run the pieces through their equipment to make sure it is square since I do not have the capacity for that?

BORG’s aren’t equipped for more than cutting to length, and ripping, they don’t have jointers, and planers to prep stock, so that leaves you at a cabinet shop, or some hardwood dealers, but yes some places offer this service, you will have to check around locally. Know they will charge for this service, and some places also insist you buy the wood from them, and you may find that buy price is inflated.

The quickest way to a clean path to where to go, is put in a general location of where you are. If you live in California, it makes no sense for me to list places near me (SW Ohio) because freight will kill the deal.

Thank you all!

ps – I really want a table saw.

- Croikee


-- Think safe, be safe

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Madmark2

1717 posts in 1472 days


#15 posted 09-20-2020 03:46 AM

Sanded plywood at the big box is definitely paint grade.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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