"Shop Notes" Hardwoods of choice???

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Yupa4242 posted 05-04-2011 02:31 AM 1429 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Yupa4242's profile


116 posts in 2805 days

05-04-2011 02:31 AM

Okay noob green horn woodworker Is gonna ask what prolly has been asked so many times there should be a FAQ page set up.

I’m been getting ready to build the Shop Notes “The Ultimate Router Table” and went to buy the woods last weekend and went bloody nutz trying to decide what hardwood to use?

What is the wood of choice for most of the Shop Notes jigs,and workshop projects? Since I ‘m still waiting for a table saw I thought I would get some ready to go wood and just cut it down on the RAS. I was shocked that Oak is currently cheaper than Maple but “I’m not painted over oak” reguadless if its cheaper..sigh..

So Lumberjocks what are your preferred hardwoods for In shop tools and projects?

Thanks so much :)

-- "If the Universe is Infinite, Then all dreams are real."

9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3781 days

#1 posted 05-04-2011 02:50 AM

I think the most used woods in the USA are the most common woods. Red oak,white oak,cherry,walnut,maple hard and soft, poplar,sugar pine,southern yellow pine, vertical grain fir, apple, pear,birch,aspen.alder,ash,beech,basswood,butternut,elm,cedar,hickory ,osage orange. sycamore, and maybe a dozen more.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3384 days

#2 posted 05-04-2011 03:09 AM

No problems with oak but you’ll notice it has some pretty large pores in the grain. I really like maple if it’s going to be a part that gets a lot of use. Don’t discount MDF for other faces. It’s dead flat and will hold up well as long as you’re not working in a sauna. I have also used Poplar which I consider a medium wood (not hard not soft) from the big box store. If it’s a small amount of hard wood for the fence and such pieces why not “splurge” on some hard maple and end up with something that’ll last forever.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Yupa4242's profile


116 posts in 2805 days

#3 posted 05-04-2011 03:59 AM

Thank you for all that replied I tend to overthink a ton of things when I start new projects , nice to have folks that can steer me in the right direction. :)

-- "If the Universe is Infinite, Then all dreams are real."

View danr's profile


154 posts in 3389 days

#4 posted 05-04-2011 04:32 AM

Here is my 2 cents.

I have made a few of the shop notes jigs over the years and have really enjoyed doing so (and using them). Generally speaking I have used a combination of MDF, Baltic Birtch plywood, and White Oak (because I always have White Oak around the shop). Hard Maple would always be a great choice also.

I also make sure to give all surfaces a few coats of poly. If you realy think that you will get a lot of use out of a jig it really pays to take your time, be as precise as possible, and use good/stable material. For “one-off” jigs don’t waste the time and money.

Enjoy your project.

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3288 days

#5 posted 05-04-2011 05:13 AM

I like using Baltic Birch, MDF, MDO,Poplar or Maple. I do like using corian fall offs, just about any synthetic left over.

As to building anything, my favorite hardwood is anything new I haven’t used yet. I like discovering how a new wood works.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 3085 days

#6 posted 05-04-2011 06:45 PM

For jigs that will see a lot of use I will usually use a nicer hardwood like Maple, Cherry or Walnut. I often use these with MDF. Jigs that wont see much use or ones I need to make up quickly I will just grab what ever scrap piece of wood that I have.

If the jig is going to see a lot of abuse like a bench hook for example, then the harder the wood the better.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3127 days

#7 posted 05-04-2011 06:51 PM

Yupa—as a side note there isn’t anything wrong with a little over thinking. At upwards of $6.50(or more!) per b/f a little forethought can save you a lot of $$$.
Have a great day.

-- Life is good.

View Yupa4242's profile


116 posts in 2805 days

#8 posted 05-18-2011 08:36 AM

Again thanks for all the support I hope to start actuall wood working this coming weekend. There’s a gal that offered to let me have her wood if I haul it out of here basement. It’s alot of shorts but on my last visit i noticed quite a bit of basswood and walnut which I may just keep the hards and toss the softs into the weekend firepit :P I may be able to resell the basswood??

-- "If the Universe is Infinite, Then all dreams are real."

View McKinneyMike's profile


80 posts in 2865 days

#9 posted 05-18-2011 12:49 PM

Free wood is great! It will allow you to experiment and not have regrets :) Focus on technique and always be vigilant! Spinning tools are very dangerous. Focus, patience and honing repeatable techniques will make the hobby more enjoyable :) Best of luck to you. We need more woodworkers of a younger age.

-- McKinney Hardwood Lumber --Specializing in exotic and figured hardwood lumber -McKinney, TX

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics