Primary vs Secondary Wood

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Forum topic by AKSteve posted 02-12-2013 07:56 PM 1412 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 2300 days

02-12-2013 07:56 PM

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


5657 posts in 2810 days

#1 posted 02-12-2013 07:58 PM

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


1163 posts in 2016 days

#2 posted 02-12-2013 08:03 PM

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

View Chiefwoodworker's profile


149 posts in 3375 days

#3 posted 02-12-2013 08:18 PM

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 2198 days

#4 posted 02-13-2013 01:08 AM

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

-- Papa...

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2348 days

#5 posted 02-13-2013 01:22 AM

I like poplar too for that application.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3282 days

#6 posted 02-13-2013 01:22 AM

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


1741 posts in 2473 days

#7 posted 02-13-2013 03:32 AM

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

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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