Favorite Wood Species

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Forum topic by Curtis S. posted 03-25-2012 12:04 AM 1310 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Curtis S.

6 posts in 1673 days

03-25-2012 12:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: alder ash cherry maple pine mahogany oak walnut

So here is a pretty broad question due to the many factors at hand(look, workability, price, ect.), but what are y’alls favorite species of wood? When I started out I stuck to pine due to the low cost and frequency of my mistakes, but now a days pine is the last species of wood I go to. I am currently on a big alder kick, due to the color, way it takes stain, workability and character of the wood(knotty alder in particular). Ash is a close second, cherry and mahogany are up there, and poplar is on the rise thanks to the wide range of colors I have seen it bear(the light green of course, all the way to bright purple). So what do y’all consider your favorite species to be?

-- Curtis, Texas Woodworker and wood lover.

17 replies so far

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 2450 days

#1 posted 03-25-2012 12:12 AM

Cherry is my favorite for turning…right after green mesquite. As for flat work, white ash is the best…. don’t fool with many exotics, so no opinion there.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View bhog's profile


2234 posts in 2109 days

#2 posted 03-25-2012 01:18 AM

Quilted maple,black walnut & cherry.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View chrisstef's profile


15458 posts in 2425 days

#3 posted 03-25-2012 01:23 AM

Cheap, free, and reclaimed are my faves.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View AandCstyle's profile


2537 posts in 1676 days

#4 posted 03-25-2012 01:44 AM

I use quarter sawn white oak for my furniture projects. Just started doing cutting boards and so far like cherry, maple, black walnut, purple heart (for the color) and white oak.

-- Art

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 2487 days

#5 posted 03-25-2012 02:13 AM

During the past 3-4 yearw, I’ve done quite a few projects in beech and really like it. Visible grain but not as overwhelming as oak. Not as brittle as maple. Mills very nicely

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Manitario's profile


2393 posts in 2301 days

#6 posted 03-25-2012 02:27 AM

Walnut. I love the way it smells and its rich grain.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1705 days

#7 posted 03-25-2012 02:38 AM

My go-to hardwood is maple… it’s reasonably priced where I’m at and I enjoy working with it. Black walnut is another favorite but costs me about double what maple does.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2269 days

#8 posted 03-25-2012 02:41 AM

Were I stuck on the proverbial desert island with one species of tree, it would be ash. It’s the aroma, the interesting but subtle grain, the workability and the sheen from a sharp cutting edge. Oh, I’d also like a grove of Titebond bushes as well, thank you very much.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1995 days

#9 posted 03-25-2012 02:41 AM

My current faves:
1. Tiger Maple
2. Walnut
3. Cherry
4. Maple

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

View danr's profile


154 posts in 2603 days

#10 posted 03-25-2012 02:50 AM

Interesting question.

Most everything I have made is from White Oak (quarter sawn and flat sawn). I have also enjoyed a few projects using Pecan/Hickory, Mahogany, and Walnut. I have yet to use Cherry but it is on the short list. Mesquite is on the short list also. Thanks for posting the question.

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2960 days

#11 posted 03-25-2012 02:54 AM

Cherry, anything Maple, Pine..White & SYP (Yellow),Arkansas, Heart, Popular, Walnut, Cypress, Sapele, Spanish Cedar
Oak dust makes my hands stiff and hurt so I try not to use it. Never use Exotics for the same reason as Oak.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View wee3's profile


76 posts in 1690 days

#12 posted 03-25-2012 03:11 AM

Poplar has some cool green to dark purplish figure,rainbow,thru em.havent found a stain,or the rite hue to me,ive tried both water@oil?that be a good ?

-- BiLL @wee3

View lizardhead's profile


609 posts in 2260 days

#13 posted 03-25-2012 03:21 AM

Curly Maple & Ebony, despite the warnings on working with Ebony—I find it fairly workable

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View pbyrne's profile


80 posts in 2110 days

#14 posted 03-25-2012 03:28 AM

Cherry, Maple, Black Walnut and I agree with you on the alder, it is easily available where I live so I have boatloads of it. It cuts, carves and takes finish well. In addition it is hard enough for most of my needs.


View canadianchips's profile


2307 posts in 2416 days

#15 posted 03-25-2012 03:29 AM

Mahogany was and still is my favorite. Black Walnut is my new kick. I still use pine, I do like Oak, Ash is good, Good old Fir (hard to get here) ‘Well I guess ALL woods are fun…..
Not really into exotics. My feeling is if I cannot pronounce it…...I shall not use it.
MDF is the “RAP” of wood.
Dust is Dust is DUST !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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