Choosing the Right Wood for Your Woodwork Project
7th Jan 2015
Quality woodwork projects begin with the right type of wood. But choosing the right type of wood doesn’t just entail its aesthetic and how good it looks on the outside. You have to consider a lot of factors before settling on a certain type/s and placing your order from a supplier.
Factors to Consider
First thing to ask yourself is what is your intended use for acquiring wood. Is it to create furniture, to do some construction and renovation, or perhaps some smaller types of woodwork such as making instruments, toys, and other whatnots? This can help determine the quality of the type of wood you’ll need, especially pertaining to its wear and tear through the years. Your budget also plays a part into all of this, and more so importantly if you’re running a business. Would you need just a couple of pieces of lumber or slabs, or would you require a supplier that can offer wholesale pieces for a good price?
These are just some of the logistical matters that you have to concern yourself with, but in zeroing in on a type of wood, you also have to be knowledgeable of what type of wood grain to get and whether you’ll need either softwood or hardwood, or a combination of both.
Closed Grain vs. Open Grain
An open grained wood basically pertains to a type of wood with large pores in it. An oak is a popular example of which, and this is a favorite for some because of its unique look and how you can see the grain even from a distance. On the other hand, closed grain woods are for those who want a smoother finish and texture. Cherry and maple are both common types of closed-grain woods.
Softwoods vs. Hardwoods
Don’t get fooled by its name—softwoods don’t exactly mean they’re weaker than hardwoods. These come from coniferous trees, which include cedar, fir, pine, and (California) redwood. What sets them apart from hardwood is how they are generally more affordable than the latter since they grow faster and can be easily found in tree farms.
But while that is the case with softwoods, most professional woodworkers do prefer hardwoods for their projects. These are the types of wood that feature unique textures, colors, and grain patterns, which make for more exotic and exquisite furniture. But such beauty comes with a price, especially for exotic woods. Examples of hardwoods include birch, ash, mahogany, oak, poplar, maple, and teak.
Source & Supplier
Depending on your location, there are several domestic wood suppliers that can be your go-to supplier for all your woodwork requirements. However more often than not, local suppliers provide you limited types of wood, so it’s better to do your research and find a local wood supplier that can provide you with even exotic wood or custom wood.
Upon choosing your supplier, it’s highly recommended to ask them various questions relating to the type of wood you’re interested in. This can include where it came from, especially if it’s an exotic wood. It would also be helpful to know its age, if possible, in order to determine if it can be sturdy enough for your intended use of it. Seek out more helpful information from your supplier as to what types of wood work best for specific woodwork projects, such as flooring, furniture, musical instruments, and so on. A good quality wood supplier should be available to answer any and all of these questions.
Besides being able to provide you with a wide variety of domestic and exotic types of wood, it would also work well in your favor if they offer wholesale products for your bigger projects, such as construction and renovation. Start searching for your go-to wood source and get a head start on your woodworking project right now.