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What is your favorite wood and why?

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Forum topic by Tedster posted 767 days ago 1069 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tedster

2270 posts in 817 days


767 days ago

In my effort to learn more about wood, I’d like to know some of your favorite woods and why you like it. Workability, availability, price, how it looks, if it suits a particular need… whatever you would like to add.

I like grainy wood with lots of character, like Wenge, Bubinga, Kingwood, Zebra and Snakewood. I’m not real big on the lighter color woods, like maple and oak, but I’m beginning to see a lot of it here at LJ that is giving me a new perspective – especially dyed curly maple that I’ve seen on some boxes and turnings. I’ve always tended to feel the wood should speak for itself, with little else than a clear finish. Since stumbling into LumberJocks about a month ago, I’ve been seeing a lot more ways to color wood besides sloshing it with penetrating stain.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th


25 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2709 posts in 1182 days


#1 posted 767 days ago

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

rockindavan

283 posts in 1241 days


#2 posted 767 days ago

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…

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Tedster

2270 posts in 817 days


#3 posted 767 days ago

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.

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11099 posts in 1711 days


#4 posted 767 days ago

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

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

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 982 days


#5 posted 767 days ago

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

Blackie_

3293 posts in 1118 days


#6 posted 767 days ago

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 http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2254 days


#7 posted 767 days ago

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

LukieB

921 posts in 935 days


#8 posted 767 days ago

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 http://www.melbrownfarmsupply.com"

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knotscott

5374 posts in 1981 days


#9 posted 767 days ago

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 1377 days


#10 posted 767 days ago

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.

-jeremy

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View OldMarine's profile

OldMarine

70 posts in 878 days


#11 posted 767 days ago

Myrtlewood. Beautiful colors, patterns, and finishes well.

-- Jim, Southern Oregon

View Tedster's profile

Tedster

2270 posts in 817 days


#12 posted 767 days ago

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…

http://www.google.com/search?q=myrtlewood&hl=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=_o3oT-KPNcjA2gXiuonaCQ&ved=0CGwQ_AUoAQ&biw=1122&bih=737

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. :)

-- I support the 28th Amendment. http://www.wolf-pac.com/28th

View Dave's profile

Dave

11142 posts in 1445 days


#13 posted 766 days ago

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

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1591 days


#14 posted 766 days ago

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

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10604 posts in 1295 days


#15 posted 766 days ago

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

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

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