While just about any kind of wood can be used to construct furniture, there will always be favorites based on their durability, flexibility, and visual appeal. Before the 1900s, most wooden furniture was constructed using oak, walnut, rosewood, fruitwoods, and mahogany. As the woods used in the 1900s became less and less available, craftsman and furniture manufacturers had to turn to more abundant sources such as pine, ash, and fir. If you are thinking about having wooden furniture custom made, it is beneficial to learn a little more about the options you have.
Ash wood is a popular choice for furniture because it is durable, versatile, and resistant to damage. This type of hardwood is popular in woodworking because of its incredible bending abilities. Ash wood varies in colors from a creamy white to a dark brown with a red tint.
Basswood is a hardwood used frequently in combination with mahogany and walnut. The colors of basswood vary from a creamy white to a creamy brown or red. The grain of basswood is straight and even. This type of wood often has dark streaks with a close grain and small pores.
Sweet and yellow are the two most common species of birch wood. The yellow tones of birch make it an ideal cheap alternative to maple. However, the variation in color makes it obvious that it is birch and not maple. Birch is very commonly used as plywood to construct panels and cabinets. The strength of birch is ideal for holding in screws and bracing various structures.
Cedar is a popular and durable wood that is more commonly used to construct outdoor furniture. Cedar is known for being naturally resistant to bugs, decay, and water. It is a wood that ages gracefully and is extremely stable. Cedar furniture is appealing because it requires minimal maintenance. In addition to being more affordable than other types of wood, cedar is also relatively heavy which makes it harder for strong winds to knock it over.
Redwood is a soft wood primarily used to construct outdoor furniture. The price varies pretty greatly depending on where you live. Redwood is a popular choice for DIY furniture building projects as it is easy to work with hand tools on. By comparison, other woods such as pecan or rosewood are not ideal for DIY furniture projects as they are difficult to use hand tools on.
As you can see, you have a lot of options to consider as you are trying to decide what type of wood you want your furniture to be made out of.
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