Woodworking: The Best Wood For Beginners
Woodworking: Know Your Wood
Wood is made of cellulose fibers, held together with a
property called lignin, and is classified as hardwood or
softwood, depending on the type of tree from which it comes. In
addition, sapwood or new growth wood on a tree is still alive,
while heartwood refers to the part of the tree that is no longer
functioning. These two stages of wood also have different
properties and uses. Knowing something about the different woods
can help you determine which to use, how to work it, what
problems to watch for, and how to care for the finished
There are hundreds of different types of trees and wood, with
a wide range of colors, density, grain, figure, and other
characteristics that affect its workability and application to
different types of uses. The following is an alphabetical listing
and description of some of the more popular woods used in
woodworking. Types such as ebony and ironwood are not listed
here, as they are not typically used in woodworking, at least not
by beginners. The focus is on woods that work well and are common
The following legend provides a guide for symbols included
with each type of wood.
Cost: $ = inexpensive, $$ = moderate, $$$ = expensive
Ease of working: E = easy, M = moderate, D = difficult
Ash, white $, M
A strong, inexpensive wood that is lighter in color and bends
well, white ash is often used in sports equipment such as bats
and canoe paddles. It is also common in pool cues, tool handles,
and other products that require durability and strength.
Balsa $$, E
One of the lightest hardwoods, balsa has been used for canoes,
model building, life rafts and other situations where a light,
buoyant wood is needed. It is usually white in color and priced
moderately. Because it is exceptionally soft, it can be worked
well with hand tools, but has poor durability.
Basswood $, E
Basswood is an inexpensive and versatile hardwood that is often
used for woodcarving. It is soft, light, fine textured and ranges
in color from soft white to brown. Other uses include turning,
toys, kitchen utensils and crates.
Birch $, E
The birch known as paper birch, is the white tree growing in the
forest with its bark peeling like paper. Inside the sapwood is
creamy and darkens toward brown at the heartwood. It is
inexpensive to purchase and consequently is one of the most
popular woods with beginner furniture makers. It can also be used
for cabinets, toys and plywood but is not durable when left
Butternut $$, M
A course-textured wood that is light to medium brown, butternut
is moderately priced, and is a common choice for veneers,
woodenware, and church alters.
Cedar, aromatic $, M
Known for its red coloring and pleasing, somewhat spicy smell,
aromatic cedar or red cedar is a popular woodworking material for
containers and closets. It has alternating lines of dark and
light color and may also have dark knots, making it visually
appealing as well. It is relatively inexpensive.
Cherry, black $$, E
Cherry sapwood is light colored, but the heartwood can vary from
light brown to a dark red color that many find appealing. It has
a fine grain and tends to darken in color as it ages. It is used
most often in cabinetry and furniture making and is moderately
Cottonwood $, E
A white to pale brown colored wood that is part of the poplar
family, cottonwood is light and tends to be soft, which makes it
good for carving. It is also used in making furniture, toys and
woodenwares. Many carvers prefer the bark of the cottonwood tree
because it can be found in large pieces and has a soft, workable
Cypress $, E-M
Cypress wood has an oily texture, resists rot and decay and is
often used in outdoor furniture and docks. It is light yellow in
color and is inexpensive compared to other woods.
Elm, white $$, M
There are many elms, and most tend to be easy to work with and
bend well. The white elm is soft yellow in color, and if used by
beginners, it is usually in a furniture project. This tree is
affected by Dutch Elm disease, so it is becoming more difficult
to find, and thus a bit more expensive.
Mahogany $$, E
A reddish colored, dense hardwood that is durable and easy to
work, Mahogany, (especially that from Honduras) is often used
when making various grades of furniture and cabinets. It is
Maple, white $$, M-D
Maple has white sapwood and reddish brown heartwood. The grain
can come in different patterns including wavy and birds eye. It
can be difficult to work, but is used to make furniture,
cabinets, flooring, and small projects such as cutting
Oak $$, E-M
In the oak family, white oak is perhaps the easiest to work and
is highly durable. It has a light tan color with a straight
grain. It is moderate in price and used for furniture, cabinets,
and is a favored wood for building barrels.
Pine: Ponderosa, white, yellow $, E
Although the different kinds of pine have varying specific
features, it tends to be a softer, light colored wood that is
used in many construction settings. It is also a popular wood for
woodworkers, especially beginners, because it is inexpensive,
easy to find, relatively easy to work, and holds up well (except
for white pine). Often selected for birdhouses, flower boxes,
benches and other beginner projects.
Redwood $$$, E
Redwood is known for its ability to hold up well in outdoor
conditions. It is relatively easy to work and is used in outdoor
furniture, decks, and other applications where durability
outdoors is important. Despite the fact that redwood trees grow
quite large and yield high quantities of boards, the price is on
the higher end.
Walnut, black $$, E
A dark, tough wood that works well, black walnut is used in
carving, making gunstocks, fine furniture, cabinets, and other
items where strength and appearance are both important. It has a
chemical in it that can cause irritation. Black walnut is
Willow $$, E
There are many different varieties of willow, but in general they
are a soft, light wood with dull brownish heartwood and light
colored sapwood. Because of its softness, it is popular with
carvers. It is also used for caskets, Venetian blinds, and a
number of other items.
Yellow poplar $, E
Yellow poplar is a strong, inexpensive hardwood that has a light
color and sometimes is streaked with green, which can make it
more difficult to finish. It is not a true poplar. Along with
pine, it is one of the most common woods used today. Poplar is
used in basic furniture, shelving, and boxes. It is also
acceptable for carving.
Copyright © 2005 by Ferhat Gul. All rights reserved. You
may redistribute this article in its unedited entirety, including
this resource box, with all hyperlinked URLs kept intact. Ferhat
Gul is the publisher of the brand-new "Woodworking Beginner's
Guide - Tips From Experienced Woodworkers to Help You Get
Started", made just for people who love woodworking. This
comprehensive, yet compact woodworking introduction for beginners
is easy to read and helps to save time, money and effort.
MORE RESOURCES updated Tue. January / 16 / 2018
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
The Marketplace at Vogue Knitting LiveMyCentralJersey.comEvery year, thousands of knitters com to Vogue Knitting Live in New York. They come f rom the New York metropolitan area, of course, but they also come from other places. I met fellow knitters from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and ...
Big turnout at Hobby Lobby hiring eventCadillac NewsDebbie Walker, a Cadillac resident who applied Wednesday, said even if she doesn't get a job, she's excited to shop at Hobby Lobby. Walker has taken floral design classes, does other crafts, and has worked as a cashier before, she said. The store is ...
Hobbies can make you money in retirementScranton Times-TribuneEven if you don't make a lot of money, you can file a tax deduction for your hobby to help offset costs. A lot of online craftspeople make shirts, posters and knickknacks for trendy TV shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Doctor Who.” These shows have ...and more »
Cash in on hobbies in retirementGoErie.comContinuing to work in retirement isn't uncommon. A 2017 report conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 53 percent of U.S. workers expect to retire after age 65 or don't plan to retire, while 56 percent intend to take on ...
Greetings from Vogue Knitting Live, NYC 2018MyCentralJersey.comEvery garment is a unique combination of shape and yarn, guided by the standard sizes provided by the Craft Council. Sizing between increments is generally half-an-inch for the smaller sizes and yarns that are worsted weight or lighter. Heavier yarns ...
University of Rochester (press release) (blog)
A stitcher's storyUniversity of Rochester (press release) (blog)And because January's chill had set in, a hobby he could enjoy indoors was ideal. “I wanted something to replace the crazy work life I'd been leading with something more calming,” says Cook, who now serves as building and project manager for River ...
On trend with Mary Jane MucklestoneMyCentralJersey.comSince her books, “150 Scandinavian Motifs” and “200 Fair Isle Motifs” came out a few years ago (Published by Interweave), Mary Jane Mucklestone has been recognized as one of the great experts on stranded knitting -- sometimes referred to as Fair Isle ...
Another hat for charityMyCentralJersey.comWell, in the meantime, the Craft Yarn Council, an organization supported by most yarn manufactureres, designers and dyers, has added a seventh standard to its system, super jumbo #7 yarn. This is yarn that is probably going to be used most in finger or ...
Related Hobbies - Crafts articles:
Choosing The Right Mat
Board color For Your Art Work
The framing industry has no books, no set theory, not hard
and fast rules on how to pick colors. There are some
personal opinions from various writers but that's all they
Patterning and Spacing
in Your Scrapbooks
How can you arrange your scrapbook page to best show off
your mementos and embellishments? You can place everything
in the center of your page, place a single focus item in
the center, or divide the page into sections adding items
to each section. You may also choose to lay the items out
in a standard recipe or calendar layout.
How to Make a Simple
With gemstone beads, every bead is precious. Every bead is
Finding The Best Display
Case For Your Treasures
Maybe you have a bunch of collectibles sitting in your
closet gathering dust. Or perhaps you've been storing your
fine China in the kitchen cupboards instead of a hutch.
Money Making Hobbies -
Which ones can be money making hobbies? A friend made a
life-sized cow out of plywood once. He painted it, put it
in the yard, and people started asing if he would sell it.
Decorative Metal Work
Techniques From The Early 1900s
Today's Metal Craft workers should truly appreciate the
artistic skills & techniques used exclusively by the
highly skilled metal artisans from almost one hundred years
ago. Decorative metalworking is undergoing a new renaissance
as more & more people become involved in hobby metal
Woodworking: The Best
Wood For Beginners
Woodworking: Know Your Wood. Wood is made of cellulose
fibers, held together with a property called lignin, and is
classified as hardwood or softwood, depending on the type
of tree from which it comes. In addition, sapwood or new
growth wood on a tree is still alive, while heartwood
refers to the part of the tree that is no longer
Embroidery Magic 2 software is very easy to use to make
lettering, it is also easy to learn to use the digitizing
part of the program but to digitize a good design takes
learning, skill and practice. An example of what I am
saying is that - for a artist to paint a picture, all it
takes is some canvas, paint and brushes (these supplies and
tools are easy for anyone to use but it takes learning,
practice and artistic skill to paint a beautiful picture.
A Brief History of
For centuries man's progress has been lighted by candles.
However, people know only very few things about the origin
Comic Book Supplies,
Necessities of the Serious Collector
If you want to keep your comic book collection in tiptop
shape, comic book supplies will become part of your
collecting life. As soon as a magazine is printed there are
natural environmental forces going to work to try and
destroy the ink and the paper.
Capturing the Craft Show
Finding the right product to sell at a craft show is
extremely important in finding success on the craft show
circuit. You may already have an excellent craft product or
line of products you are creating or even selling, or you
may be looking for a craft to produce in order to enter the
From Clutter To
Treasure: Re-use and Not Reject!
Make use of clutter to decorate your home! Sounds strange?
Believe me its possible! While moving into my new house, I
had to get rid of a lot of old pots, torn clothes, cracked
dishes and chipped china. At my wit's end trying to figure
a way out of the mess, it struck me that I could actually
use a lot of these to make decorative accents for my new
A Look at the Humidor
There are many styles of humidors that range from the
smaller traveling humidor to the large cabinet and even
walk-in room humidors. By far, the most popular humidor is
the glass top humidor also referred to as the desktop
Use Tags and
Embellishments to Give Your Scrapbooks that Personal Yet
Tags are a little added touch of professionalism that adds
to the overall well thought out look to your scrapbook.
Tags can be used for accents, captions, and thought bubbles
as well as dedications.
Tech-Savvy Crafters Can
The image of a crafter or artisan is often serene, even
pastoral. It's easy to imagine a potter spinning his wheel
in his barn-turned-studio and then selling his wares at the
little farmer's market down the road.
A Few Tips About Comic
Book Backing Boards
Comic Book Backing Boards come in different thicknesses and
acid-free properties. The basic purpose for using a backing
board is to give the comic some stiffness, which helps keep
the comic pages from bending, creasing or wrinkling.
By the time your teen is in high school, you probably
aren't taking as many pictures of them as you used to. I
have to keep reminding myself that I only have a couple of
years left and no time to waste trying to capture fleeing
Easy Crafts for Kids -
Help with Learning
According to the research on child cognitive development,
making use of basic easy crafts for kids can stimulate
their mental growth and enhance the learning process. Since
early times, mankind has always known that early crafts for
kids taught some important lessons.
Figures - Is About Fun Memories And More Money
Superhero action figures first stormed the doors of
department stores and toy stores nearly 35 years ago.
Constructed of various kinds of plastic and clothed in
uniforms, costumes and capes G.
Scrapbooking on a
Memories are priceless, but the cost of preserving them can
be high. Here are nine tips for making the most of your