Primary vs Secondary Wood

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Forum topic by AKSteve posted 555 days ago 708 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 929 days

555 days ago

I am about to embark on a new project soon. I Want to make the primary Wood Black Walnut, but I am at a loss as what to use for secondary wood. most of it will be internal but some will be showing like the Drawer sides. Or should I just go with all Walnut. it wouldn’t be that much of a cost difference since most of the secondary wood will just be internal stuff.

any suggestions?

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

7 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


3320 posts in 1439 days

#1 posted 555 days ago

I like poplar for drawer boxes – especially when the primary wood is dark.
For web frames and internal parts I use lower grade hardwood lumber. On some dressers recently, I used red oak as my primary wood, poplar on the drawers, aromatic cedar drawer bottoms, and white oak web frames.
The white oak was kicking around the shop, and had already been picked over.
I wouldn’t change a thing, and it worked out well.

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

View Marcus's profile


1041 posts in 645 days

#2 posted 555 days ago

Can’t go wrong w/ walnut and maple in my opinion.

View Chiefwoodworker's profile


149 posts in 2004 days

#3 posted 555 days ago

Poplar is a good choice in that the cost is reasonable. it sands and finishes well and if you are doing hand dovetails is reasonable to cut and chisel. I also like birch.

-- Joe.....

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 827 days

#4 posted 555 days ago

the Poplar is a great choice for the interior wood that doesnt show, and also for the drawer boxes, when I made my drop front secretary out of Black walnut, I used Cherry for the secondary that showed, my wife and I both thought it came out really well.. As you said, there isnt much difference between the cost of one over the other.. just my two cents.. cant wait to see finished project.. Papa


View bondogaposis's profile


2480 posts in 977 days

#5 posted 555 days ago

I like poplar too for that application.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View huff's profile


2795 posts in 1911 days

#6 posted 555 days ago

I’ve always liked Maple for my drawer boxes. It’s a good hard wood that finishes excellent. (especially if you can get a little Curl mixed with it) and contrast nicely with almost any other wood. As far as the interiors pieces, even though they don’t show, I still usually build with the same wood.

-- John @

View WDHLT15's profile


1093 posts in 1102 days

#7 posted 555 days ago

Soft maple or yellow poplar. Goes very well with walnut, and a lot cheaper.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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