Choosing the right type of wood for your project
1st August 2023
When planning a DIY project involving woodworking one of the most important decisions you will have to make is choosing the right type of wood for your project. This will mainly depend on the functionality of your project whether it will be a piece of furniture, decoration or a functional piece. The type of wood you choose will determine the quality and the finish look of the product. Here are some things to consider when choosing the type of wood.
Wood can extremely vary in its price, some types of wood can cost more than others. For instance wood like walnut, oak or maple has a beautiful finish look and unmatchable quality but can set you back financially while pine and birch are a lot more cost friendly woods but don’t always match the look you’re shopping for. It’s important to shop around and compare prices of different vendors before making a purchase.
Location and purpose
The location and purpose of your end product will mainly determine the wood you will require. Different types of wood react differently to outside elements like moisture and sun as well as wear and tear. For example, if you’re working on a piece of furniture that will be exposed to the outdoors elements like a garden bench you are going to need wood that is durable and resistant to rot and decay such as mahogany or oak.
On the other hand, if you’re building an inside piece, you could get away with cheaper and softer wood like pine or ash. These woods are more prone to rot but if kept inside and if the structure is strong enough there should be no issues.
Weight and density
This brings us to density and weight, which can be important depending on the purpose of your project. Denser woods are more resistant to scratches and dents which is key if you’re making a piece that will see a lot of use. However softer and lighter woods have the benefit of easier handling and transport.
The level of difficulty of the project as well as level of your experience with woodworking should be taken into account when picking your wood. For beginner woodworkers it is recommended to use softer woods that are easier to work with like poplar or pine as they tend to be more forgiving and easier to cut and shape. However, experienced woodworkers might choose a denser, harder wood like maple.
Finish and colour
This purely concerns the look and personal taste. There are so many different looking woods that vary from colour to grain patterns and can really make a difference in the space the product will be placed. Some types of wood have a natural finish and colour that is highly praised by woodworkers, but there are also others that can be shaped and stained into the look you require.
Make sure to check the wood’s finished colour after it is varnished or received any other treatment that you have chosen to confirm the wood will achieve the look you want.
Wood is a natural product that has its own characteristics and behaviours when treated in specific ways. There are woods that easily warp or split, others more resistant to insect damage or rot. All of these things are important when selecting the right kind of wood for your project.
Availability & Sustainability
Last but not least, consider the availability of your chosen wood. Some of them will be easier to come by, while others, more exotic hardwoods, might be harder to locate and will be more expensive. This will also mainly show the environmental impact of the wood you’re using. When possible, look for woods that are sustainably harvested.
There are hundreds of different wood types and we suggest you research and compare based on these factors to ensure you are investing in the wood most suitable for your project. Most likely, your end product will be with you for years so it’s incredibly important to make an informed decision to end up with something you will be proud to showcase in your home.
At Expert Hardware we have generations of knowledge and experience, so when in doubt – come in to your local Expert Hardware. You will not only find all your wood finishing essentials, but will also receive and expert advice!