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Forum topic by Bill Christian posted 09-09-2007 01:46 AM 1314 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill Christian

2 posts in 4037 days


09-09-2007 01:46 AM

I am a newbie to this sight and woodworking. I have dabled in it for years but now I’m serious about designing and producing indoor and outdoor furniture. Is there a sight I can go to that will explain which wood is best used for a certain project? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

-- Bill in the Northwoods


9 replies so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18616 posts in 4282 days


#1 posted 09-09-2007 01:49 AM

what projects will you be doing?? Seating? Tables? Sculptures?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribele, Young Living Wellness )

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4084 days


#2 posted 09-09-2007 01:54 AM

Bill, I think you will need to hit the library. There are a lot of good books on the subject. A subscription to Fine Wood Working and Popular Woodworking are in order. You don’t say where you live but there must be local woods available. Good Luck.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MattD's profile

MattD

150 posts in 4066 days


#3 posted 09-09-2007 05:09 AM

Bill,

I’m afraid to admit it, but the local librarians know me by name. I almost always have at least 5 books or videos out on subjects like wood, sharpening, finishing, shop setup, furniture designs/history and techniques. You might see if your county library system has online search and reservation which saves a ton of time. Where I live, I can reserve books online from any library in the county and they deliver to my local library for me to pick up in a few days.

One of my favorite books on the properties of wood is, simply enough, Understanding Wood by Bruce Hoadley.

I also found a decent link on the typcal uses of different woods here

Good luck! Hope to see some of your projects on here soon.

-- Matt - Syracuse, NY

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4027 posts in 4186 days


#4 posted 09-09-2007 05:10 PM

Also try FWW.com and search Jon Arno. Jon was a lumber expert and habitue of the Knots forum, now greatly missed.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1064 posts in 4190 days


#5 posted 09-09-2007 11:15 PM

This is a broad question and most will ask you what you’re designing. Personally, I like working with Walnut. I think it looks great naturally as well as stained. I haven’t made a large piece out of it though. Little Costly. I’ve made a few jewelry boxes, poker chip cases, and other knick knacks from it and have been pleased. It’s not too hard to work with. Like any other wood with fairly open pores, you’ll have to seal them before finishing. I typically use fine wet sandpaper with the first coast of finish and let the “slush” (I think our friend Marc Spag. coined that term) fill the voids.

I like cherry, but as a rookie, I still allow it to blotch on larger pieces.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Tony's profile

Tony

986 posts in 4152 days


#6 posted 09-10-2007 11:59 AM

All wood can be used for all projects – some woods are better than others at doing the job. There is no right or wrong answer.

As for a web site that will steer you in the correct direction – you have found it and are a member of it. There is thousands and thousands of years of knowlege and experience on this site, proffessional, and amatuer – they all have something to offer each other.

Select a project – post the idea and see what feedback you get – as a beginner, I would suggest that you start with the cheeper woods just to get some practice in – before you move onto the 20$/bf materials.

What ever you do have fun and remember you are not alone,

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View Bill Christian's profile

Bill Christian

2 posts in 4037 days


#7 posted 09-10-2007 05:14 PM

I plan on making Adirondack furniture, planters, tables and chairs for outdoor use. I think my indoor projects would be limitless in my choice of wood. Is this a correct assumption on my part?

-- Bill in the Northwoods

View USCJeff's profile

USCJeff

1064 posts in 4190 days


#8 posted 09-10-2007 08:40 PM

That is pretty much true. As for indoor woods, other than aesthetics, you’ll need to think of how it will be used. For a large part, the finish will play a bigger role as far as durability, cleaning technique, and repairing. Some woods move more than others, but your home is likely to not have drastic changes in temp over short periods.

Outdoors, there is a large difference in some species as far as how it reacts to climate. Easy choices wood be any of the species that are commercially made as fencing or decking as these obviously wood have a great chance of lasting. I think Teak is my favorite outdoor wood, but it is rather expensive. I like to let it weather without finish so that it gets the “greyish” look to it.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4084 days


#9 posted 09-10-2007 08:54 PM

for outdoor furniture I suggest Redwood, Cypress or Teak. You can build from Spruce, Fir, Pine or Tamarack as well. You just have to finish them more throughly and carefully. Learn on re-claimed wood or the cheapest thing that is flat and straight.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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