All Replies on What is your favorite wood and why?

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View Ted's profile

What is your favorite wood and why?

by Ted
posted 06-25-2012 05:07 AM

25 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2606 days

#1 posted 06-25-2012 05:20 AM

Walnut I love for the color, cherry for the smell and workability, and it looks beautiful once finished, tiger maple for the figure, quilted maple for the figure.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2665 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 06:14 AM

I like a bunch of different wood, hard maple, curly maple, cheery, walnut, wenge, qtr white oak, barn beam white oak….the list goes on. I guess the better question is what woods don’t you like. Padauk makes me sneeze like crazy, not to mention the cheeto fingers…

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2240 days

#3 posted 06-25-2012 06:41 AM

I was cutting Padauk the other day for the first time and I thought I was going to choke to death. Definitely something in that wood I’m sure is not healthy to breath. Well, no saw dust is healthy to breath, but some worse than others. It was a reminder to always wear my dust mask. Of course, getting some proper dust containment in my makeshift shop would help too.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20603 posts in 3135 days

#4 posted 06-25-2012 11:21 AM

Hi Ted. It depends on what I’m making. for furniture and cabinets I like red or whit oak or walnut, they work well , finish fine and are reasonably priced and look good in the final product.

For turning, it is hard to pick, except to say I would not use oak because of its open grain. There it would have to be maple for a favorite- green or dry!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2406 days

#5 posted 06-25-2012 12:55 PM

My favorite wood is a secret between me and my wife and i’m not telling you. lol

Always loved walnut and hickory for color and grain.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2542 days

#6 posted 06-25-2012 01:34 PM

I’ve not dabbed to deep into the many different woods out there but in time I will, so far I’ve worked with Walnut, Mahognay, Zebra, Maple (curley, white, soft and brown), Knotty Alder, American Elm, Eastern and Westren cedar, ash, red bud and spalted hackberry, so I have to say any wood that I’m able to cut with my chain saw with no over head then that’s my fav :)

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3678 days

#7 posted 06-25-2012 01:40 PM

I love FREE wood ;)

probably not what you wanted to hear – but still applies

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View LukieB's profile


966 posts in 2359 days

#8 posted 06-25-2012 01:43 PM

Heh heh, wouldn’t that be her favorite wood?

I love Birdseye Maple, and Culrly/Tiger Maple, and Quilted Maple….and Walnut…and Cherry

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View knotscott's profile


8057 posts in 3405 days

#9 posted 06-25-2012 01:44 PM

My favorite is usually whatever new species I’m working with that I’ve never used before. It’s really hard to pick just one….red elm has the most incredible grain but is a PITA to work, cherry and walnut work and look great but are pretty common around here, red oak is fine but is found in just about every dwelling in North America, QSWO is always fun, as is curly maple but that can also be a PITA to work. Mahogany is fun too. Exotics like lacewood, zebra wood, and padauk make for an interesting compliment to a piece but I sure wouldn’t want an entire piece of furniture made from the stuff.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2801 days

#10 posted 06-25-2012 01:46 PM

Maple is my favorite. I like it because it’s doesn’t have the pours like oak or ash has, and I like the very light amber color it gets when finished. It also goes well with some other woods I like (walnut, purpleheart and cherry)

I haven’t done much with any of the maple variants yet (tiger, birds eye .. or even soft maple) I want to try some soft maple to see if it looks the same but easier to work with.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View OldMarine's profile


70 posts in 2302 days

#11 posted 06-25-2012 01:48 PM

Myrtlewood. Beautiful colors, patterns, and finishes well.

-- Jim, Southern Oregon

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2240 days

#12 posted 06-25-2012 04:12 PM

Thanks for all the replies everybody. This is very insightful, helping me to understand what woods are commonly used by fellow LJs. There are no ‘wrong’ answers—free wood is certainly a favorite, considering I have reclaimed a few pieces myself.

Does anybody know what that website is, where the guy shares hundreds of photos of various woods? I ran accross it one day some time ago and cant find it again. The website is very basic and he states that the woods are not for sale. I think he does the site as a hobby or something. Also, he sells his turned bowls.

When I get some time I plan to go through all these posts and search google images for the woods I’m not familiar with. Myrtlewood, for instance, I’ve heard of but don’t know what it looks like, until now…

I also want to look up further information about these woods, where they grow, what the tree looks like, pieces made from the wood, etc… I guess it’s sort of a research project. :)

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2869 days

#13 posted 06-26-2012 01:01 AM

I cant pick. It depends on the project and the mood I am in.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3015 days

#14 posted 06-26-2012 01:18 AM

My favourite wood is one I am exploring for the first time… seriously, they’re all amazing.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2719 days

#15 posted 06-26-2012 02:05 AM

I have lots of “favorites” but mesquite and hedge are probably #1 and #2.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2593 days

#16 posted 06-26-2012 03:07 AM

wanna learn about wood? check out nick gibbs the real wood bible. Its quite good and useful

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2341 days

#17 posted 06-26-2012 03:34 AM

For turning- cherry. When sanding- sassafras. Whittling- some mahogany. Riving- green red oak. If I will be staining or dying it- white oak smells nice, and it will work just fine.

I am disappointed with purple heart. Sure, it looks great at first. But it changes color SO MUCH, I have stopped using it. And it gives terrible splinters.

But I like almost all other kinds of wood. Except the one that gave me a hell of a reaction- sneeze, eyes watered, at first, then 10 minutes later I had trouble breathing. And I can not identify it.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2240 days

#18 posted 06-26-2012 03:37 AM

Thanks Chubbs, I found it at

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View waho6o9's profile


8212 posts in 2606 days

#19 posted 06-26-2012 03:42 AM

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2240 days

#20 posted 06-26-2012 03:44 AM

Dan, if you are into bio-engineering maybe you could combine all those woods to make the ultimate perfect wood. :) I’ve heard that about purple heart losing it’s color and that it doesn’t take very long either.

I’ll watch out for that one that almost suffocated you. Would it be padauk by chance? That’s the one that choked me right out of the workshop a while back.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2240 days

#21 posted 06-26-2012 03:46 AM

Thanks Waho, ebay is definitely more cost effective. And cheaper too! :D

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View MrUnix's profile


6773 posts in 2228 days

#22 posted 06-26-2012 03:49 AM

What: White Oak
Why: I get it for free :)

If I can’t use oak then what I use depends on the project.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Everett1's profile


213 posts in 2563 days

#23 posted 06-26-2012 04:11 AM

I agree with a lot of people on here, my favorite is whatever i’m working at the time.

Just did a cutting board with some Padauk in it. Wow, it almost killed me to have to use it in a cutting board, but it’s a wedding present, and the clock was ticking. I mean, it was freakin awesome:

Also, same experience you had with Padauk; it doesn’t make shavings or chips, it literally explodes into a fine dust when you touch it with any blade.

Then, about 2 minutes later, my favorite changed, as I was cutting up some Yellow Heart for another board (lot of weddings this summer). Woo, in the Quater-sawn side, it had this crazy like hologram effect. I didn’t take a pic of that side though, but the cutting board is in my finished projects right now.

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

View dkg's profile


30 posts in 3115 days

#24 posted 06-26-2012 04:42 AM

I enjoy all rosewoods, I have a ton of Amazon Rosewood, Blue Mahoe, Koa, Milo, Monkey pod and of course walnut (love the smell). Hobbithouse has a pretty good pictorial inventory of wood from all over the world

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2591 days

#25 posted 06-26-2012 06:06 AM

Lev beat me to it….FREE WOOD

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

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