Wood you like to work with the most?

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Forum topic by Whitewalls posted 12-30-2012 09:33 PM 1979 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 2146 days

12-30-2012 09:33 PM

I know everyone is partial to working with one type of wood over another. I thought it would be interesting to see what everyone’s preferences are.

I’ve worked with Oak, Maple, Black Walnut and Cherry for the most part. All have been nice, but one wood in particular that I love working with is Makore. I am limited in the sizes that I have been able to use, because I got it for free off of a jobsite at the end of the job. It was used as millwork, so the thickest pieces I have are 5/8 but are anywhere from 3” to 8” in width with the lengths varying also.

I’ve found it cuts really nice on the planer and doesn’t want to tear out at all. It is a beautiful reddish color when it gets a finish on it. The only downside to it for me is the abrasiveness of it. It’s got a pretty high silica content, so it does where out the teeth on your saw if you are cutting a lot of it.

-- Jared, Northern IL

22 replies so far

View shampeon's profile


1858 posts in 2356 days

#1 posted 12-30-2012 10:29 PM

Walnut for me. Hard enough, machinable, cuts nicely, is beautiful when it’s plain, stunning when it has figure, and I love the richness of the color.

Any of the mahogany or mahogany-like woods would be second.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3158 days

#2 posted 12-30-2012 10:40 PM

I love the rosewoods, indian, bolivian, honduran, etc. Their characteristics vary widely, but I love the look. I also love walnut and it’s hard to beat the looks of figured maple, though in reality I don’t like the actual working of it much (finicky).

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2406 days

#3 posted 12-31-2012 12:08 AM

Ipe is a new favorite for me. Hard , dense and sands to a sheen without any finish. Wonderful dark rich grain. And it is supposed to last forever outdoors.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 2187 days

#4 posted 12-31-2012 12:35 AM

Honey mesquite and maple.

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

View madts's profile


1872 posts in 2512 days

#5 posted 12-31-2012 12:38 AM

White oak for me. If I can get the quarter sawn. I am in heaven.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Tyler's profile


52 posts in 2185 days

#6 posted 12-31-2012 01:27 AM

i work with a alot of poplar, i mainly do furniture like dressers and nightstands that are to be painted mostly….but i do like cherry.

-- You can get alot further with a kind word and a hand gun, than just a kind word alone

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3010 days

#7 posted 12-31-2012 02:14 AM

Cherry is my preference. It looks great with the variance in color. I know lots of folks don’t like sap wood, but I love it in cherry. It can tear out easily and the saw can burn it easier then any other wood I’ve worked with. But cabinet scrapers can remove the burn marks and because of cherry’s light and dark markings, it is very easy to fill in any flaws with melt sticks.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

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2738 posts in 2749 days

#8 posted 12-31-2012 04:47 AM

Cherry, maple and walnut.

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

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3821 days

#9 posted 12-31-2012 06:28 AM

Well, fine mahogany, but it’s costly and few clients will pay for it,

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2266 days

#10 posted 01-02-2013 05:49 AM

I haven’t worked with it a ton but I’d say Alder. It’s soft enough that it’s not a horrible pain to work. It looks nice and seems to stay (usually) pretty straight. The only downside is the grain is kind of boring.

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2966 days

#11 posted 01-02-2013 10:41 PM

And welcome to LJ’s.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2986 days

#12 posted 01-02-2013 10:48 PM


-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2416 days

#13 posted 01-02-2013 10:52 PM

Anything headed for the dumpster but especially old growth douglas fir. I cant believe how much good wood is abandoned. Thankfully, sites like Craigslist give folks the option of finding people like me who is glad to help clean out their garages.

There is something great about milling reclaimed wood. Crusty on the outside, and useable goodness on the inside.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

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5049 posts in 2524 days

#14 posted 01-03-2013 01:56 AM

I really like Honduran mahogany. It is straight and soft and has a beautiful patina. It machines beautifully, unfortunately it is it quite expensive so I don’t get to use it much.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4066 days

#15 posted 01-03-2013 02:15 AM

Cucumber Magnolia

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

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