What is the most stable wood?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 11-21-2012 12:16 AM 6497 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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898 posts in 1092 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

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3524 posts in 1487 days

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

Plywood. Masonite.

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

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17341 posts in 1674 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 1233 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


1286 posts in 1072 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?

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4929 posts in 2893 days

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

quarter sawn

white oak

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

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1211 posts in 1316 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


13545 posts in 1689 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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442 posts in 2130 days

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

I have never had an issue with QS white oak.

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

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1757 posts in 1563 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

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113621 posts in 2576 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.

-- Custom furniture

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1821 posts in 1256 days

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

+1 for quarter sawn white oak

-- Art

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1057 posts in 1276 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!

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2202 posts in 2158 days

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

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

-- jay,

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1757 posts in 1563 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

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898 posts in 1092 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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