14 votes
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What are some suitable woods to use for tool handles?

One website states that hickory and ash are really the only (US domestic) woods worth using. Obviously just one man's opinion and a gross over-simplification. It's also inherently misleading because ...
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  • 59.2k
13 votes
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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) piece of wood that is bowed slightly. I want to know what types of wood (e.g. MDF, certain ...
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  • 12.1k
13 votes
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Why S4S boards sold at Home Depot aren't straight?

The boards did have 4 smooth surfaces, all perpendicular to each other, and were straight. That was when they came off the mill, though. Since then, they've been exposed to the elements, shipped to ...
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  • 2,612
12 votes
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What common woods produce the safest/most harmful dust?

I do not know what wood is common in Portland. Common woods will differ between locales. If you have lung issues then I would imagine you should't be working unknown woods. If you are fortunate ...
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  • 20.1k
12 votes

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

At least in North America I would consider these to be the more common encountered engineered wood products. Note: While some of the pictures are large this is be design so everyone ( Some people are ...
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  • 20.1k
11 votes

Does Pine have any advantages?

I assume you're probably more thinking of what is commonly labeled "SPF," which stands for "Spruce/Pine/Fir." Cheap wood used for dimensional lumber; however, pine is a pretty broad category. This ...
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  • 5,394
11 votes

Wood to Use for 3ft Sorority Letters

Plywood is designed specifically to resist warping and to be stronger than solid wood of the same dimensions due to the properties of lamination. The plywood you want will be labeled as being for "...
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  • 5,394
10 votes

Choosing wood and finish for outdoor furniture

The main concern for outdoor use is usually exposure to moisture and subsequent rot. Woods that are used outside should either have high decay resistance or be well protected from the elements by ...
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  • 2,396
10 votes

What are some suitable woods to use for tool handles?

Another consideration is the wood's effect on steel. Some woods like oak have acidic tannins in them that stain and promote rust, so oak is rarely used for that reason.
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10 votes
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Wood with good thermal insulation

The answer depends on which wood species are available to you. With that being said, you can easily calculate it yourself with a formula and the wood database. Theory You can calculate the R value of ...
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  • 2,390
10 votes
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What is the difference between MDF and MDO?

MDF is Medium Density Fiberboard and it's made by essentially combining resins with sawdust and compressing it into a fairly dense, extremely flat and smooth sheet. In general it can be worked like &...
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  • 1,064
9 votes
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What's an appropriate wood type for making toy blocks?

The big box home improvement centers in my area don't stock nice lumber thicker than 3/4". 2x pine lumber, sure, but nothing you'd want to use to make a kids toy that might go in a mouth. I would ...
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  • 4,382
9 votes
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What wood is best for engraving?

I've had a bit of a search and a few different places seem to suggest that Boxwood is the best wood for engraving, however I'm sure that there are a number of viable choices, and certainly for ...
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  • 3,809
9 votes

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

The confusion comes from nominal vs. actual dimensions of dimensional lumber. Typically a solid wood board sold in customary/imperial units is slightly smaller along its thickness and width, the ...
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  • 18.6k
9 votes

Can low durability be mitigated with specific finishes?

Can low durability be mitigated with specific finishes? Short answer: yes, absolutely. Think of the long service life of softwoods used outdoors when treated with wood preservatives. Is this ...
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  • 59.2k
9 votes

How is playground wood treated?

The equipment in your picture may be coated with a couple coats of an oil-based, penetrating stain. Or it may be just bare wood. Cedar and redwood, for example, stand up to weather very well on their ...
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  • 1,064
8 votes
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How can I make a sliding interior 'barn' door?

Generally-speaking, you can use whatever type of wood and finish appeal to you. Depending on your application, you may want the door to be either lighter or heavier. If the door is closing off a ...
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  • 18.6k
8 votes

Does Pine have any advantages?

Does SPF, in general, have any redeeming qualities besides just being cheap Weight. Fast-growing woods like soft pine, fir, and spruce have densities between about 20 and 30 lbs/ft3. Hard woods like ...
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  • 7,413
8 votes
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Wood to Use for 3ft Sorority Letters

If you're looking for weather-resistant and lightweight, you can't do much better than cedar for the wood choice. Cedar also has a good strength-to-weight ratio, making it very sturdy. For thickness,...
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  • 12.1k
8 votes

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

Dimensional framing lumber is often referred to as SPF which stands for Spruce, Pine and Fir. You will likely also find cedar and pressure treated lumber in the green or brown variants
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  • 4,796
8 votes

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

You can just use one 12 inch board. As long as the timber is seasoned properly, and at a suitable moisture level when you use it, it'll likely be fine. That said, there are some benefits to using ...
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  • 3,809
8 votes

How is playground wood treated?

Much construction of playground equipment uses pressure-treated softwood (wood from conifer trees). Current treatment of choice is ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary) but there is also CA (copper azole), ...
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  • 1,984
7 votes

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

Actually 2x4's could be perfectly fine for this, depending on what you are actually looking for as an end product. They come in thicker dimensions and are a softer wood. If you are looking to make ...
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  • 15.1k
7 votes
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What woods are soft enough for glazier points?

Is there a 'hardness limit' to which woods would be appropriate for this? Within reason I don't believe there is. Many picture frames are made of pine of course so anything like a glazing point or ...
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  • 59.2k
7 votes

Wood to use for case holding Lionel train set

Pine is easy for me to work with, but might be too soft. What wood would be light enough to be very portable, but strong enough to stand the test of time? Also avoiding the most expensive wood. ...
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  • 12.1k
7 votes
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What would be the UK equivalent of the common US 2 by 4 (not just by size)

Does the UK have a piece of wood that is universally commonly used for hobby / domestic projects that it is simple referred to by a common name and is this typically a suitable substitute for the US 2 ...
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  • 12.1k
7 votes

Cost-effective wood selection for outdoor craft project

Exterior grade MDF is available here in Europe, but in US I don't know about cost or availability. It is very durable with finish applied, but cost is high. Exterior grades of plywood should be ...
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  • 1,984
6 votes
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What minimum level of hardness (on the Janka scale) is appropriate for a desk top?

I was going to agree with OSU55 but then I looked and saw Douglas Fir at 660 and people use it as 'hardwood' flooring, granted you put a nice hard finish on it but you don't have to go all the way to ...
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  • 15.1k
6 votes

What woods are soft enough for glazier points?

If you're looking for a method to secure the contents of the frame and aren't particularly attached to glazier points, you could try something like a turn button. You can pilot the screw holes to ...
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  • 4,328
6 votes

Similar wood to Koa

Pau Ferro looks like it is similar to Koa, but I think it will be tough to find a wood that looks exactly like Koa. Also, Pau Ferro is from South America, so it is possible that it would be even ...
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