Questions tagged [wood-selection]

Questions regarding selection of wood for specific applications or characteristics.

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14
votes
5answers
23k views

What's an appropriate wood type for making toy blocks?

The wife wants to create custom painted toy blocks as a gift for a friend. The block will be approximately 3 inches per side, or whatever dimension is convenient based on the wood I purchase. I plan ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

What minimum level of hardness (on the Janka scale) is appropriate for a desk top?

A friend of mine asked what wood to use for his desktop and said, "I'd be fine with pine, since I assume it's cheaper." I told him that I wouldn't use pine because it's so soft and would dent easily, ...
13
votes
4answers
59k views

What are some suitable woods to use for tool handles?

We all occasionally have to replace a tool handle, be it an axe, a shovel, a sledge, whatever. The standard handle materials seem to be hickory and ash. I've bought my share of hickory handles from ...
13
votes
6answers
7k views

What wood is best for engraving?

I'm looking at getting into wood engraving for print, something like this: EDIT - I've just found out that the person that created this bird recommends birch plywood for beginners. Is this a good ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What common woods produce the safest/most harmful dust?

I inherited a bunch of my tools from an woodworker who had developed a severe lung condition due in part to sawdust. I've had lung problems my whole life so have been mindful of this via dust ...
12
votes
2answers
444 views

Choosing wood and finish for outdoor furniture

What qualities should I look for in woods to be used in outdoor furniture and what are some examples of woods which have those qualities? What finishing options do I have for weatherproofing wooden ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Wood to Use for 3ft Sorority Letters

I am currently trying to build 3ft wooden letters for my sorority's recruitment booth. I want them to be sturdy and weather resistant but also lightweight and portable. The letters will be in storage ...
11
votes
3answers
586 views

Make a bunk bed

I decided to make a bunk bed for my room as it is small and I need a desk. I'm a beginner at woodworking and I need some help. I have made some "plans", I will put 7x2m stakes, 4x1.40m each around ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I identify some of the common engineered boards/panels?

There are many different types of engineered wood out there with different names which can be misleading. To be a little more specific these are some examples I currently use. particle board plywood ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Does Pine have any advantages?

I am referring to the broad category of SPF or "Spruce/Pine/Fir". Although easy to come by and cheap, these seem to have more disadvantages. Bleeding sap for one and a large tenancy to all kinds of ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

What woods are soft enough for glazier points?

I'm working on building square picture frames and holding in glass, image, and cardboard backing. I'm concerned that certain hard woods may not be appropriate for glazier points; in particular I am ...
9
votes
1answer
125 views

Can low durability be mitigated with specific finishes?

I'm looking to build some outdoor furniture and I happen to have a lot of hard maple on-hand. While I also have a bit of cedar, I dislike how easily it scratches and dents. When reading up on ...
9
votes
1answer
279 views

Pyrography criteria to justify changing tools with different woods?

I have been using a binding-post interchangeable-tip pen (as seen in the third image here https://www.razertip.com/pyrography-pens.htm) from The RazertipĀ® Wood Burning Systems for over 10 years now ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Best wood for table saw cross cut jig

In particular the fence. The other day I got my sled nicely calibrated and on final screw up it lost its accuracy. I was only using a 18 mm MDF strip for the fence. I was worried it's flex was the ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Steambending Softwoods

I have read that there are only two softwoods that steambend well, Pacific Yew and Alaskan Yellow Cedar. Are there any other softwoods that have steambending properties that are comparable to the ...
8
votes
1answer
232 views

Easy to carve wood that takes a burn well

So I'm looking for a wood, but not sure which species would apply to what I'm looking for. Ideally, I would like a wood that is easy to carve by hand, but has a good color/grain and would take a burn ...
7
votes
3answers
108 views

Wood to use for case holding Lionel train set

I am planning to build a case to hold my old Lionel train set. I have the original cardboard and styrofoam box, which is beat up at this point and I'd like to give the train to my son in a keepsake ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Cherry wood for dining table - Strong enough or should I consider Walnut?

I went lumber shopping for my first wood working project - Pedestal dining table (See picture) I found that the prices vary wildly and am having a hard time choosing one because I don't know what is ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Similar wood to Koa

Long story short, I recently got a chance to visit Hawaii a few months ago, and while there really fell in love with all of the Koa wood stuff they have there. The wood is really beautiful, but the ...
7
votes
3answers
770 views

What factors are considered when grading softwood

If I just want some cheap material for a project, I often consider using softwood (meant for framing and construction uses) dimensional lumber. In case I pass by a Home Depot store and I have to pick ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Type of wood for bending into an arch shape?

I am designing a home theater that will have a small "stage" which will need to have a long (~8ft long, ~6in wide, thickness as required) piece of wood that is bowed slightly. I want to know what ...
6
votes
4answers
18k views

How can I make a sliding interior 'barn' door?

I want to make a door similar to this: What kind of wood would you recommend and what would be the best way to build it? I am guessing it would need to be reinforced from the back?
6
votes
2answers
47k views

What woods take stain well?

I'm just getting into woodworking, and I have a number of relatively simple projects (end tables, boxes, bookshelves, etc) that I would like to make, but I want them to match. Water based stain is ...
6
votes
1answer
11k views

What would be the UK equivalent of the common US 2 by 4 (not just by size)

I've found a DIY shelving project that interests me and am setting about researching the best place to obtain the wood required for it. In this project, and others I have seen, the American ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What kind of wood should I use for a storm door?

I need to make a new storm door since the previous one rotted. It was made of pine and developed decay quite quickly in the dado slots holding floating panels. I am thinking about using cedar ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Why S4S boards sold at Home Depot aren't straight?

I am planing to build a picture frame with walnut. Since I am still very new to woodworking, I need boards which are as close as possible to the final dimension. I found a 1 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. walnut ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Wood with good thermal insulation

Are all types of wood similar with respect to their ability to conduct heat or are some types better than other? I'm looking for a go-to, cheap type of wood to act as the barrier in windows around ...
5
votes
2answers
311 views

What wood/finish would hold up to use in a video game controller?

A while back, I went on a spree of replacing handles with wood in some tools/toys I had, since I quite liked the feel. In the past couple years, I've picked up competitive gaming, and would like the ...
5
votes
2answers
91 views

Why do I need to use mutliple narrower pieces of wood when I can just use one wide piece?

I'm a beginner woodworker and I'm trying to understand something super basic here - let's say I'm building a bookshelf that's 12 inches deep. Why do I need to glue (after jointing and planing) two ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Considerations when making my own threaded dowel for a vise

After looking at the answers for this question I was inspired to make a Moxon vise for easy table top use. This will buy me time until I make my actual woodworking bench. The one I have in mind is ...
4
votes
2answers
295 views

What is the type of wood that is often purchased in bulk at the hardware store?

I live in the central part of the United States. When I go to a local hardware store (such as Menards or Lowes) there are wooden boards of different thicknesses and length just labeled "Untreated ...
4
votes
1answer
619 views

Given final dimensions in mm, how do I choose what dimensional lumber (in customary units) to buy?

I would like to know how to figure out what timber to buy for a 45mm x 46mm x 1.6m part. My lumber supplier sells boards in customary units (2x4, 2x6, etc.). Can anyone provide a solid method to work ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Choosing wood type for child's rocking horse chair

I have purchased this plan to make a friend's child a rocking horse chair. The photo appears to show the project made from pine. Although I do like the appearance in the photo, I'm worried that pine ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Good wood for beer pong table

I'm looking for the best wood recommendations to build a large quantity of beer pong tables in the cheapest way possible. For those who don't know, beer pong is a party game in which a ping pong ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What kind of wood blanks should a beginner use for bowl turning?

I recently took a bowl turning class and want to build experience in a frugal way. From a quick online search, I see bowl blanks cost around $10 ~ $30, depending on the wood. What kind of wood blanks ...
4
votes
2answers
153 views

How to screw beer tap into wood without cracking

I am making a live edge shelf, similar to this, with my cousin. It will be about 3 feet long, 8 inches deep, and 1 inch thick. I want to attach beer taps too it about every 5-6 inches, but I am ...
4
votes
2answers
15k views

What wood type is suitable for a childrens toy?

I'm a GCSE student and for my exam I have to design a children's toy and I wanted a durable, non toxic and cheap wood for some of my designs that could be thrown around and be put into children's ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What wood type is appropriate for creating custom inlays?

I want to create an inlay of my fiancee's initials for a cutting board I am making for her. For the inlay pieces, however, I'm not sure what wood I should use. Because I am a slight beginner and don't ...
4
votes
1answer
776 views

What wood should I use to build my Custom Bike Frame?

Me & one of my friends were looking to build a 4 wheel pedal bike. I wasn't sure what type of wood I should use for the job. I wanted a light but strong wood. I was looking to have 2x4s in the ...
4
votes
1answer
510 views

Working with Wenge or Purpleheart

I'm looking into creating a jewelry box for a ring and I am trying to decide on which wood to use. I am stuck between either using Wenge or Purpleheart, I have heard that Wenge can cause an allergic ...
4
votes
1answer
572 views

How to make bottom for a big drawer?

I'm making a set of amateur under-bed "drawers" from scrap. Nothing fancy, just re-using materials from old closet. This is my first project of such scale. There are intended to be 3 quite large ...
4
votes
1answer
485 views

What wood species should I use for making stickers?

What type of wood would be best to make stickering pieces? Should they be round or square or triangular shaped?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Materials and finish for an office chair mat?

I want to build a chair mat for the desk in my home office which has high pile carpet. It gets heavy use and I'm tired of buying a new plastic one every year or so. The last one I got was from Costco ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of wood is appropriate for a cast iron bench?

I have a cast iron bench with wooden slats that have rotted outdoors. The environment is coastal New England, so there are extremes of temperature, salt, and ice. The type of bench is shown in the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What kind of wood should I use for making a toy car?

I want to engrave, i.e. shape, a small toy sports car out of wood. I do not plan on doing it using chainsaws but with a few hand tools. The dimensions of the car are going to be 15cm x 12cm x 10cm. I ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What kind of wood should be used in constructing a catapult arm?

I used 2x4's on my catapult. But I'd like to make it beefier with more throwing power. The body is pressure treated wood, and eventually I'd like to add more garage springs or other counter force ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

2.20m x 3.80m rectangular frame - will it be stable?

I want to make a cover that masks the pond foil along the edges of my parents' fish pond which is 2.2m x 3.8m. I'm planning on using quarter sawn boards out of larch, 11cm wide and 3cm thick, joined ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Strength of 1 1/2“ by 1 1/2” Douglas fir

I would like to put a new floor in a tag-a-long trailer. I would like it to be light but strong and I plan on using Douglas fir 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" as my floor joists and to be spaced apart 12" with a 5/...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Milling previously felled logs

There is an old growth forest near where I live. For sake of argument lets move past the most absolute certainty that I cannot remove anything from the premises. Likely to help the ecosystem. Some of ...
3
votes
3answers
105 views

Can you use smaller dimensions of hardwood than softwood and have the same strength?

I am planning on building some furniture which has to support 2 aquariums. I have found many examples online of a simple design which uses 2x4s constructional softwood to build a box for the aquarium ...