What is the most stable wood?

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Forum topic by Purrmaster posted 11-21-2012 12:16 AM 14379 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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915 posts in 2027 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 2421 days

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

Plywood. Masonite.

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

View DIYaholic's profile


19581 posts in 2609 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 2168 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 2007 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 3828 days

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

quarter sawn

white oak

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

View JAAune's profile


1780 posts in 2251 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 2624 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 3064 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 2498 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


117032 posts in 3511 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 & classes

View AandCstyle's profile


3005 posts in 2191 days

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

+1 for quarter sawn white oak

-- Art

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1057 posts in 2211 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 3093 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 2498 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 2027 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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