|There are several factors to take into
consideration when trying to decide the type of wood to use
when building furniture.
#1. Is this furniture for the inside or the
#2. Is it going to be stained or
painted or no protective coating?
#3. What type of wood is available in
#4. The cost of the wood?
#5. How easy is the wood to work with?
hundreds of wood types, and Different woods have different hues or
ranges of color in their natural state. Any color stain, which is
applied to wood will mix with the natural color of the wood to
produce a modified hue from the original stain. All wood darkens
with age over time. Sometimes, one type of wood is stained to
resemble another. For example, Birch, while often finished
natural, is sometimes stained to resemble mahogany, walnut, or
All wood species are made of
60% cellulose and 28% lignin that are responsible for making up
the fibrous and woody cell walls of plants and trees. These
substances are held together by cementing properties. The wood
species are distinct from each other on the basis of their
individual consistencies and color variations that comprise of
remaining 12%. Still other variances are the result of the
different ways in which the wood is sawed and cured.
Below is a list of popular woods...
Alder is a tight-grained hardwood that is used in fine furniture
and noted for its ability to be painted. It is prized for its
durability and strength, and it is relatively stable during
moisture variations. It ranks third behind oak and pine as the
wood most commonly used for ready-to-finish furniture. Alder gives
the look of many fine hardwoods at a reasonable price.
Cedar (Western Red Cedar)
Western Red Cedar is a fine-grain, dimensionally stable wood that
is naturally weather resistant. With minimal care, our Cedar
pieces will provide a lifetime of service and charm. Western Red
Cedar contains natural oils that act as preservatives to help the
wood resist insect attack and decay. Properly finished and
maintained, Western Red Cedar ages gracefully and endures for many
The wood is uniform red to brown in color but fades to a silver
gray when used externally. It is relatively soft wood which can be
easily marked and has a distinctive aroma. The grain is usually
straight and displays prominent growth rings. Cedar needs to be
re-stained every season in order to avoid fading to silver gray.
Western Red Cedar is, above all, a wood of exceptional beauty. In
its natural, unfinished state, it has a richly textured, tactile
grain combined with a palette of warm, mellow tones ranging from
light amber to deep honey brown. No man-made material can
duplicate the depth of cedar's natural luster. It also remains
subtly aromatic, and the characteristic fragrance of cedar adds
another dimension to its universal appeal.
Beauty aside, the purely practical, dollars-and-cents value of
cedar offers other benefits:
- It is a light weight wood that is easy to
- Indoors, cedar's dimensional stability
makes it perfectly suited to a variety of uses in high moisture
areas such as cottages, sun rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, saunas,
- It is free of pitch and resin and it
finishes to a richly glowing surface that can be enhanced with
transparent or full-bodied stains or with paint. Cedar is the
preferred material for all outdoor garden applications that seek
visual harmony with the landscape.
Cypress is a beautiful, distinctive and durable wood that assures
years of trouble-free satisfaction and its uses reflect that. In
addition to rugged outdoor furniture, cypress is regularly used in
building construction, posts, beams, decks, docks, porch flooring,
greenhouses and siding. Because of its durability, cypress can be
used in many of the same products as cedar and redwood. The reason
for this durability is natural preservative oil known as "cypress"
which gives the wood resistance to insect attack and rot.
Cypress is all but indestructible. It is a close grain wood that
resists checking and warping and it is long-lasting as well as
weather resistant. Cypress can be easily painted and holds paint
longer than other wood. If you choose to paint this product, you
should use an exterior oil-based primer (white or gray) followed
by an exterior oil or latex paint of your choice. If you choose to
have the product remain natural, you should apply a natural
oil-based stain or preservative annually or as needed. Note:
Cypress is a dense wood and the drying process may take several
days depending on humidity and temperature. Small cracks called
weather checking may appear in the wood. This is a natural process
and will not affect the useful life of this product.
Mahogany is a fine-grain, tropical hardwood that is easily
maintained and is insect, fungus and rot resistant. It is a hard
and strong wood comparable in strength to Oak and Teak, and is
much more scratch resistant than Cedar or Pine. With the best
regards for our environment we take every effort to ensure that
our Mahogany is sourced from well-managed permanent forests that
Mahogany is selected for durability and decay resistance to
maintain their natural beauty even under the varying weather
conditions. Mahogany furniture seasons/weathers well with minimal
shrinkage and checking. In Malaysian government tests, this wood
was found to last up to 30 years when stakes of Meranti were
driven into the ground. As a hardwood it holds fasteners well and
it is environmentally nontoxic.
Mahogany can be painted, oiled, or leave natural. When left
untreated it weathers to a soft gray. If treated, it should be
treated with finish products meant for softer woods because
Mahogany is a dense wood. A yearly application is recommended, or
as weather conditions dictate.
Pine is a soft wood that comes in many varieties from various
parts of the world. In the U.S., Eastern white pine, ponderosa
pine and sugar pine are some of the varieties used to make
- All have yellow coloring with brown knots
and are excellent for staining.
- Staining and protective finish is
- Pine is also generally light in weight.
- Suitable for outdoor use and resistant to
rot, decay, and destructive insects.
Being light in weight, Redwood is durable and easy to work with.
It has a natural resistance to decay and is good for making
outdoor furniture, fencing, house siding, interior finishing,
veneering and paneling.
Teak is a hard and moisture- resistant wood variety. It resists
warping, cracking and decay and is best used in fine furniture,
paneling, shipbuilding, doors, window framing, flooring and
general construction. Teak is considered to be the premier
wood used for garden furniture because it is heavy, durable,
rot-resistant, maintenance-free, and does not splinter. It does
not have to be sealed, stained, or finished. It can be left
outdoors untreated and withstand the elements for years. After a
couple of seasons in the sun, teak weathers from a warm honey
brown to an attractive silvery gray.
An exclusive variety of hardwood, Oak possesses good bending
qualities in addition to its durability. It finishes well and
resists moisture absorption. The hardwood is good for furniture,
trimming, boat framing, desks and flooring.
Maple is a finely textured wood variety with immense strength and
hardness. With moderate shrinkage, this lumber machines well and
is best used in flooring, fine furniture and woodenware such as
Being close-grained, this type of hardwood resists warping and
shrinking. The wood has a distinct feature of reddening, when
exposed to sunlight. It ages well and is extensively used in
cabinet making, boat trim, novelties and solid furniture handles.