Selecting the ideal lumber can be a crucial challenge ahead of beginning your woodworking project. This will become substantially easier with every single job you complete.
The following is a couple of recommendations about what to consider when finding quality wood to use in your project.
Practical knowledge of the various types and classes of wood is without a doubt essential when it comes to selecting wood for your project.
Although there are many types of woods, each possesses distinctive characteristics that make it suitable in one place and not so good in another. It could ultimately determine the outcome and the durability of your woodworking project. Consequently, you need to spend some time studying the different characteristics of the lumber to determine, which is the best to suited for particular purpose.
About the classes of wood
With respect to the variety of trees they are collected from, hardwoods and softwoods are the two main types of lumber.
Without going into too much detail, a hardwood tree has broad leaves and higher density. It is categorized as deciduous. ie- lose their leaves annually. Coniferous trees are considered softwoods. Examples include pines, firs, spruces, hemlocks, and redwoods. The terms ‘hardwood’ and ‘softwood’ are general. Softwood trees can be sometimes harder and stronger when compared with several hardwoods. Douglas fir is a softwood that is harder and stronger than many hardwoods. Balsa is a hardwood which is softer than most softwoods.
About the grades of wood
Lumber is graded with regard to strength as well as for appearance. Generally, most boards that are (1-by’s, 1×4,1×6,etc.) in size, are graded for appearance. Most dimension lumbers (2-by’s- 2×4,2×6,etc.) are graded for strength.
Select, common-No.1, No.2, B& Better, are just a few of the grading terms of lumber..
The ‘select’ type of wood is of higher quality (in appearance) and is usually considered clear of imperfections. Woodworking projects like furniture that demand an attractive finish and look are often crafted from this type of wood.
The ‘Common’ grade classifications have allowable defects that are specific for each grade. Think of it as ‘ how bad it looks’ as opposed to ‘how good it looks’. A No.1 common has fewer visible defects than a No.3. Depending on the look that you are trying to achieve, don’t rule out lower graded lumber for your woodworking projects. Knots and imperfections can add character and uniqueness.
About the types of wood
Woods that are ideally suited for your project may be of a variety of types. As a general rule, you use a main wood type( mahogany, oak,walnut,etc.) in the overall appearance. That is, what you can see. For instance, a cabinet can have a walnut front and top that is visible. The inner frame can be constructed from less expensive lower grades of lumber without taking away from the overall beauty of the project.
Knowing some of the characteristics of wood will help decide. Woodworkers tend to have their favorites. Whether it is a look or just how easy one wood is to work with over another, you will probably form a favorite of your own.
Below are just a few common observations.
-Pine can be stained easily into many shades and colors.
-Poplar can give you a smooth finish with it’s tight pores and very few knots.
-Consider redwood for outdoor patio furniture and fences, since they are naturally resistant to decay.
– Oak, maple, cherry and some other woods have grain patterns on them, which are nice to look at. They are popular in making woodworking projects with accented features.
– Mainly because of to its fairly reddish hue and a polished finish, rosewood is frequently used in making musical instruments.