Favorite woods

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Ben Nawrath Ben Nawrath 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #7660
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Daryl Rosenblatt
    Participant

    Joe B made a point in the How you doin’ post that walnut is his favorite wood, so let’s add to his thread and do this as well: What are your favorite woods to work and why? And what are your least favorite.

    My favorite is cherry. It doesn’t need to have its pores filled, it’s great to work, and I love how it looks when it’s finished.

    My least favorite is red oak (I like white oak). It’s got all the oak characterstics that white oak has but less so in that it’s hard, so tough to work. But not as pretty as white oak, and not at all water resistant. So really, to me it’s an uglier less useful version of white oak.

    Walnut is great when you need something to steam bend; I made a chair out of walnut and it’s really pretty and nice to touch (it’s an oil finish). I just like cherry more.

  • #7668
    Michael Luciano
    Michael Luciano
    Participant

    Sapele is my favorite. Poor mans mahogany. Works well and finishes very nicely. It is open grained which can be a problem. Sapele is available in many thicknesses.

  • #7669
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    Cherry, the patina that develops makes you want to reach out and touch it..Burns easily but you learn to speed it up a bit when it’s going through the saw…

  • #7670
    CT
    CT
    Participant

    I would say for me I have a few favorites:

    Maple because of its hardness and clean, bright look. It also can be stained just about any color

    Cherry because of how it ages like a fine wine and easy to work with both power and hand tools

    Walnut because I’ve never seen a disappointed pieces of walnut. Putting a natural finish (Rubio Monocoat) on top brings the wood to life

    White oak, specifically quartersawn white oak because I always had an appreciation for Stickley furniture and how the rays pop when stained

    White Ash because it makes the perfect workbench material as its cheaper and super strong. Plus it looks great with any stain or wire wheeeled

  • #7675
    Joe Bottigliere
    Joe Bottigliere
    Participant

    First off, what do you know about wine, Corey; are you old enough to drink? 🙂

    I mentioned walnut already. It works great with hand or power tools and carves nicely. When you get air dried stock, the colors are like a chocolate rainbow. And it looks fantastic with an oil (Watco) finish, wet sanded and waxed.

    My next favorites would be curly/quilted/figured maple. Under a dye with some shellac, it pops like a firecracker. The chatoyance is mesmerizing.

    Pine. What can I say? It’s traditional and ages to a warm patina like cherry does. And who can complain about its workability?

    Finally, I have to say I like poplar. Go ahead and snicker. I like the color – especially the dark greens. But I love the way it works under a plane. It can get fuzzy, but you can fix that. You can stain it, you can paint it or you can appreciate it for what it is. I’m also glad most people don’t like enough. It’s cheap.

  • #7684
    Avatar
    Charlie James
    Participant

    Joe, I really like Poplar as well. There’s nothing wrong with it and yet most people stay away from it. I made most of the moldings in my house from Poplar. It takes paint really well and I often use it as a secondary wood in my furniture.

  • #7772
    Ben Nawrath
    Ben Nawrath
    Participant

    Sapele is beautiful, but I’ve had it splinter on me. Lately walnut has been grabbing me more and more… always astounded by the grain when finished! My favorites seem to change with the project… I use poplar whenever I’m going to paint something. It works wonderfully and is a great balance of weight and strength.

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