Selecting the right wood for the project.

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Forum topic by Josh posted 01-03-2015 04:40 PM 1017 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1238 days

01-03-2015 04:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question


I beginning the work on a bedroom set based on a collection from Restoration Hardware ($$$$) here is the link

Here is my sticking point. What species of lumber should I use? I would want something that is a durable hardwood, but moderately inexpensive. Also one that I can get as rough cut, sheet good (panels) and mouldings. I’m not always keen on mixing woods when i comes time to finish.

I do have the ability to spray all the finishes. We would like the finished pieces to be really dark.

Any suggestion?


6 replies so far

View Scott's profile


153 posts in 2966 days

#1 posted 01-03-2015 07:10 PM

I’d say maybe poplar, ash, or red oak depending on what is available near you.
Are you ordering the mouldings from somewhere?
You say you want something available as rough but that could vary a lot based on location.
A lot of unknowns in your situation but good luck no matter what you decide.

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4718 posts in 2345 days

#2 posted 01-03-2015 07:43 PM


-- Bondo Gaposis

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2280 days

#3 posted 01-03-2015 08:39 PM

A lower cost alternative to walnut is pecan. Both are hard on tools.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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1062 posts in 2843 days

#4 posted 01-03-2015 09:03 PM

for rough, panel & finished trim, you’re not really going to find much that is not expensive. If you’re going “Really dark” I think your best bet will be to work with dye to get to your color and use a consistant species. I’ve got a few pieces in the finished basment that I used a water based dye on and the poly after with good results, doug fir, poplar and cab ply all took dye pretty consistantly. It could be worthwhile to buy a smal pit of what you’ll need and then experiment with the dyes to see if you can use the common stock from the BORG

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2280 days

#5 posted 01-03-2015 09:12 PM

I agree with chefHDAN. If you use a hardwood, then you have a couple choices for stain. Hardwood is not easy to get dark because nothing seems to penetrate deep enough, and I hate laying a finish on top of the wood…might as well go buy something from a furniture store if you do that. The dye penetrates well, but can blotch really bad on some woods like cherry. However if you use a pre color conditioner it will make any stain take lighter. Best advice is to do some experimentation on scraps of the same type wood. Some gel stains work well too, but may take several coats to get it dark. Dyes will penetrate but again, be careful of the blotch, it can ruin your project.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Woodknack's profile


11601 posts in 2374 days

#6 posted 01-03-2015 11:15 PM

Walnut. Hard enough for furniture, soft enough to not work you to death. It also takes dyes and stains well without blotching.

-- Rick M,

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