Most popular woods used for woodworking

Woodworkers are creative artists who fabricate a wide range of products from furniture, closets, cabinets, cutting boards, and even musical instruments. The type of wood a woodworker uses determines not only the aesthetic beauty of the finished piece but also its strength and durability. There are a plethora of alternatives to pick from. Different species of wood come in a variety of colors. They each also have diverse properties that guarantee you can find the perfect type for any woodwork project.


  1. Pinewood

Pine is a lightweight wood. It is available in several varieties such as white, yellow, and sugar. Pine is a very popular material for furniture in bedroom sets, lawn chairs, and dining room. It has very good workability. It is also relatively soft, making it a great option for carving and drilling. For instance, you can easily create intricate decorative patterns on wooden door frames using a CNC wood carving machine. It, however, stains poorly compared to other woods. To achieve a slightly darker hue, first, seal the wood then stain it before applying a clear finish.

  1. Douglas fir

It is the most readily available softwood in North America, making it a cheaper option. Woodworkers favor fir over other softwoods because it is comparatively stronger. Fir has a straight grain and is tan in color. It is said to be moderately durable but is susceptible to decay and insect attacks. Consider painting finished products as it does not stain well.

  1. Cedar and redwood

Cedar in largely popularized for its inviting red tones and aromatic properties. It is also another type of softwood that is easy to work with. The most common variety of cedar is the western red variety. Cedar has a straight grain and is highly resilient. This makes it a nice option for outdoor woodworking projects like decks and gazebos.

On the other hand, as implied by the name, redwood also comes in various hues of red. It is highly resistant to moisture damage making it another viable option for outdoor projects. It can be stained as well as painted.


  1. Mahogany and cherry

These two kinds of wood are similar in more ways than one. They have a straight, tight grain pattern and are light brown to red. Mahogany is, however, fairly softer compared to cherry wood, which is slightly more difficult to work with. They both stain well and look good with just one coat of paint. Cherry and mahogany furniture will complement a lighter interior decor style. However, keep in mind that these two hardwoods are very expensive.

  1. Oak and ash

Oak is reddish-brown to tan in color with a brawny grain figure. It stains very easily, making it a favorite for use in religious buildings. Churches are among the largest consumers of oak wood. Their pews, pulpits, altars, and communal tables are all made of oak. On the flip side, ash is either pale brown or white in color and stains fairly easily.

  1. Other hardwoods

There are a plethora of options you can pick from other than the above mentioned, such as maple, poplar, walnut, and teak.

Food For Thought

Softwoods are somewhat softer compared to hardwoods. This means they are more susceptible to dent and gouge. They are also readily available. You may have to visit a local lumberyard to purchase certain hardwoods.

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