Wood you like to work with the most?

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Forum topic by Whitewalls posted 575 days ago 1025 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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54 posts in 575 days

575 days ago

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

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1294 posts in 785 days

#1 posted 575 days ago

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


735 posts in 1586 days

#2 posted 575 days ago

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

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331 posts in 835 days

#3 posted 574 days ago

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 615 days

#4 posted 574 days ago

Honey mesquite and maple.

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

View madts's profile


1236 posts in 941 days

#5 posted 574 days ago

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 613 days

#6 posted 574 days ago

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


414 posts in 1438 days

#7 posted 574 days ago

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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2709 posts in 1178 days

#8 posted 574 days ago

Cherry, maple and walnut.

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

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7257 posts in 2249 days

#9 posted 574 days ago

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


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774 posts in 694 days

#10 posted 572 days ago

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


1063 posts in 1395 days

#11 posted 572 days ago

And welcome to LJ’s.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View pintodeluxe's profile


3272 posts in 1415 days

#12 posted 572 days ago


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

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 844 days

#13 posted 572 days ago

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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2446 posts in 953 days

#14 posted 571 days ago

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

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4666 posts in 2495 days

#15 posted 571 days ago

Cucumber Magnolia

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

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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