Many beginner woodworkers make the mistake of thinking all wood is the same. Wood is wood, right? Sure, there are more expensive woods than others but that is probably the only factor to consider. Wrong. Being able to choose the right wood is a very important part of the woodworking project.
Whether you are making wood projects to sell or wood projects for the home, the right wood makes all the difference. The right wood creates the perfect look for the project, and it also affects how strong and durable the finished project will be. The perfect wood can make the difference between an object that lasts a lifetime and one that falls apart at the slightest touch. Find out how to choose the best lumber for your woodworking project right here.
Pick Between Hardwood and Softwood
The first thing you need to think about when you are starting a woodworking project is understanding the difference between hardwood and softwood. Whether you pick hardwood or softwood, or a combination of both, depends on the project. You should be able to understand whether the wood will need to withstand a lot of pressure, and therefore be very hard, or will not take many knocks, and will therefore be able to be constructed from softer wood. Take a look at guides to hardwood and softwood and the best uses for these different types of wood.
Look for Stable Wood
Wood does move and change dimensions as it dries and through the seasons. You need to recognize this and make sure you are building this into the design. You also need to choose the most stable wood you can. This means the wood has a vertical end grain. You can use a combination of stable and less stable woods inside one project. But some parts, particularly on fine furniture or doors, need to be very stable.
Avoid Wood With Defects
Certain woods come with built-in defects that make working with it more difficult. Steer clear of these defects if you want to guarantee success with a project. These defects include wood knots, since these are not particularly stable and may fall out with time. They also make life tough when you are planing. Avoid insect holes since they can cause instability in the wooden object. Look out for boards and wood that have been dried too quickly or dried unevenly. Make sure the boards have been stacked correctly to dry in order to avoid twisting or bowing.
Visit Specialist Woodstores
Visit local wood mills and dealers to find high quality wood. You will often get a better choice and better wood than at DIY stores or hardware stores. You will also be able to find more exotic wood and wood that you won’t get from the big box stores. Woodworking hobby stores could be the answer If you live in a city and cannot get out to a place where the wood mills operate. However, the wood from these stores is likely to be more expensive and you won’t get the volume of wood available.
Your Project Dictates Your Wood
You will quickly realize the importance of the correct type of wood when you look at how one project differs from another. For example, you need something weatherproof and durable for an outdoor swing seat but you want something soft and easy to carve for a delicate jewelry box.
Look Out For Cost
Cost will be a consideration in choosing wood for a project, for most people. In general hardwoods are more expensive than softwoods since they are more durable and they have attractive grains. Softwoods may not have the most interesting grain but this often becomes a non-issue when they have been finished.
So make sure you do your research and choose the right wood for your project – it will make life a lot easier and your project more successful.