What is the most stable wood?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 11-21-2012 12:16 AM 14759 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2092 days

11-21-2012 12:16 AM

I was curious and thought I’d ask for some expert opinions.

What is the most stable wood? I.e least likely to warp. Of the more common hard woods we work with which are the most stable?


15 replies so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2486 days

#1 posted 11-21-2012 12:23 AM

Plywood. Masonite.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2674 days

#2 posted 11-21-2012 12:24 AM


-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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333 posts in 2232 days

#3 posted 11-21-2012 12:31 AM

True mahogany is quite stable. Moves less than Cocobolo.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2071 days

#4 posted 11-21-2012 12:52 AM

There will be a lot of debate, But It will likely be a properly dried, quartersawn, hardwood.

-- Who is John Galt?

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3892 days

#5 posted 11-21-2012 01:07 AM

quarter sawn

white oak

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View JAAune's profile


1799 posts in 2316 days

#6 posted 11-21-2012 02:13 AM

Poplar and Honduran mahogany are both excellent in terms of stability. Cherry is also pretty good.

Quarter sawn boards are more stable than flat sawn.

I’d recommend reading Hoadley’s Understanding Wood for in depth information. It has charts giving shrinkage rates for many wood species.

-- See my work at and

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#7 posted 11-21-2012 02:39 AM

I don’t know that it’s THE most stable wood, but I have never had Jatoba warp, bow, or exhibit appreciable movement.

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

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444 posts in 3129 days

#8 posted 11-21-2012 02:48 AM

I have never had an issue with QS white oak.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2563 days

#9 posted 11-21-2012 02:56 AM

not common for most people i suppose but when I was in Louisiana we used a lot of cypress which is very stable

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

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#10 posted 11-21-2012 02:59 AM

I would agree that dry 1/4 sawn wood is the most stable, I also agree that Bruce Hoadley’s book gives lot of good information about the properties of wood.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2256 days

#11 posted 11-21-2012 02:59 AM

+1 for quarter sawn white oak

-- Art

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1057 posts in 2275 days

#12 posted 11-21-2012 03:04 AM

For shop projects, MDF is the way to go. It stays flat, and is pretty cheap. For furniture and other projects, white oak is the best I think. Really really strong, and very nice wood too.

Hope this helped you!

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3157 days

#13 posted 11-21-2012 03:13 AM

Mahogany and Spanish cedar…which is why they are the prime woods in humidors.

-- jay,

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2563 days

#14 posted 11-21-2012 03:26 AM

ah yes spanish cedar…we used that a lot as well since there are some ecological issues that make using cypress less desirable.

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

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2092 days

#15 posted 11-21-2012 10:22 AM

Lots of votes for quarter sawn white oak. Not quarter sawn red oak?

I don’t know about poplar. I’ve had it move on me quite a bit.

That sounds like an interesting book. I’ll have to pick it up.

Anyone know how much purple heart moves?

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