Hardwood for shop projects

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Forum topic by nogeel posted 08-19-2015 03:37 PM 634 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 493 days

08-19-2015 03:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hardwood router tablesaw jig popular

I am a new woodworker starting to set up my shop. In the process I have bought a few plans from stumpy numbs (more to support the show) and a couple of the small shop books from Woodsmith.

All of these plans mention using hardwood for certain (what seems to me) critical parts. For example, I am wanting to build a router extension for my table saw that is in the Complete Small Shop from Woodsmith. The frame for the extension that attaches to the saw they recommend hardwood (kind of like the rails in the home built table saw fence on Stumpy nubs).

Are there particular hardwoods I should use or avoid for what to me are critical points in the tool that are less prone to wood movement? Or am I overthinking it? Maybe Popular because it is cheap? Or do I need to accept the fact that each season I may have to do something to it.

Thanks in advance.


-- Jeff, Tennessee

3 replies so far

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2241 days

#1 posted 08-19-2015 04:07 PM

If they’re recommending hardwood it’s because the parts need the extra strength, obviously. I wouldn’t use poplar for those pieces – if poplar was strong enough, then Southern Yellow Pine would work fine. If it needs hardwood you should go for a stronger species, depending on what you can get locally. Sugar maple is always a good choice, but oak, ash, hickory would work too. If those are too expensive, use SYP instead of poplar.
If you orient the wood so that the growth rings are parallel to the dimension that you don’t want to see expand and contract you’ll get less movement than if the rings are perpendicular.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View MrRon's profile


3898 posts in 2667 days

#2 posted 08-19-2015 04:41 PM This handbook will tell you everything you need about wood of all kinds.

View nogeel's profile


66 posts in 493 days

#3 posted 08-19-2015 06:38 PM

I picked up 9 feet 4/4 S3S piece of Ash during lunch. How long should I wait to work on it? Does it make sense to go ahead and rough cut the lengths I need?

-- Jeff, Tennessee

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