cheaper than oak hardwood?

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Forum topic by Jokker78 posted 10-03-2013 02:32 PM 1599 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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136 posts in 786 days

10-03-2013 02:32 PM

What hardwood is cheaper than oak that is smooth grain. I am looking to find a new love

Popular is out I’m not crazy about the green tint that it has.

I’m a newbie to woodworking. I have found a place. That carries other woods. But a pain to deal with .

-- Measure once, cut , measure again, cut and damn its still to short

25 replies so far

View Quanter50's profile


242 posts in 1384 days

#1 posted 10-03-2013 02:42 PM


View crank49's profile


3898 posts in 2059 days

#2 posted 10-03-2013 03:01 PM

Soft Maple (it’s still hard)

Depends on the source for affordability for any of these.

Cherry is great to work with and is beautiful when finished, plus it makes the shop smell great. I got 500 BF directly from a sawer for $1/BF

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 1773 days

#3 posted 10-03-2013 03:17 PM

If you are going to stain it, that green streak in poplar disappears and produces a very pretty contrasting grain color. I trimmed out much of the house with it and like the look. It’s pretty soft stuff though (dents and stuff) but very easy to work with.

View Purrmaster's profile


899 posts in 1181 days

#4 posted 10-03-2013 03:22 PM

Over time the green in poplar fades to brown.

What woods will be cheap will depend on your area. There are places where the woods that are expensive here are cheap elsewhere. My suggestions:

Maybe birch

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 1127 days

#5 posted 10-03-2013 03:27 PM

If you tell us where you are (we promise not to show up unannounced and laugh at your little workshop) we might be able to provide more than just generic information.

Are you in the northern part of South America? I hear Ipe is rather cheap there.
Anywhere near Nigeria? Wenge is great to work with.
Even just assuming you’re in the USA isn’t enough to go on as lumber gets cheaper the closer you are to the source.

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136 posts in 786 days

#6 posted 10-03-2013 03:28 PM

Oh thank y’all.

Sometimes I use oak because you can get plywood to match it.

-- Measure once, cut , measure again, cut and damn its still to short

View pintodeluxe's profile


4185 posts in 1901 days

#7 posted 10-03-2013 04:19 PM

Alder can have some lovely even grain patterns if it is from a large tree. Smaller trees yield rustic knotty lumber. It is a softer hardwood, perhaps between poplar and cherry in density.

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

View DS's profile


2141 posts in 1509 days

#8 posted 10-05-2013 02:48 PM

I wouldn’t shy away from Poplar. It takes stain very well and the green color becomes inconsequential.

BTW, the color Brown is composed of Green and Red. (e.g. Green tint + Red tint = Brown)
So it is a natural component that isn’t a factor if you are staining.

Some people call Poplar the poor man’s Cherry wood.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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555 posts in 1162 days

#9 posted 10-05-2013 03:38 PM

‘nuther for Ash

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

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4654 posts in 2456 days

#10 posted 10-05-2013 05:07 PM

Poplar can be very beautiful even with just poly on it!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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6 posts in 785 days

#11 posted 10-05-2013 05:48 PM


View Jokker78's profile


136 posts in 786 days

#12 posted 10-05-2013 06:55 PM

my local mill 25 miles away has some cherry some maple and some other stuff for 3,50 a bf. I will go check him out Wednesday

-- Measure once, cut , measure again, cut and damn its still to short

View CharlesA's profile


2651 posts in 886 days

#13 posted 10-05-2013 10:20 PM

At my local sawmill Cherry is more expensive that Red Oak, about the same as White. Wood cheaper than Red?
Ash, Aspen, Beech, Ceder, Elm, Gum, Hackberry, Honey Locust, Sassafras, and Sycamore.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View RogerM's profile


657 posts in 1487 days

#14 posted 10-05-2013 11:55 PM

Not sure where you are located so it is hard to advise. Soft maple is generally a good hardwood at a reasonable price. Elm is very hard and can usually be found at a reasonable price but it is hard to work with. Aspen is cheap and soft but is very weak and doesn’t stain real well. The mill I buy from sells soft maple, walnut, and cherry at around $2.00 Bd. Ft. but I have to dry it for about one year. Hope this helps a bit.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View UpstateNYdude's profile


554 posts in 1071 days

#15 posted 10-06-2013 12:44 AM

I’ve never seen cherry or maple cheaper then oak the people claiming that got a hell of a damn good deal or bought from someone special (window licker special not someone close to their heart), either that or just everywhere else except NY has cheap hardwood prices.

RogerM – I want to live where you are, buying walnut for $2 bd ft., hell the cheapest I can find near me is $5.50 and that’s like 4” wide stuff with big checks all over the ends…GOD I HATE NY!!!

-- Nick, "Choking to death on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover." - JG

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