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Woodworking: The Best Wood For Beginners
Woodworking: Know Your Wood
Wood is made of cellulose fibers, held together with a property called lignin, and is classified as hardwood or softwood, depending on the type of tree from which it comes. In addition, sapwood or new growth wood on a tree is still alive, while heartwood refers to the part of the tree that is no longer functioning. These two stages of wood also have different properties and uses. Knowing something about the different woods can help you determine which to use, how to work it, what problems to watch for, and how to care for the finished product.
There are hundreds of different types of trees and wood, with a wide range of colors, density, grain, figure, and other characteristics that affect its workability and application to different types of uses. The following is an alphabetical listing and description of some of the more popular woods used in woodworking. Types such as ebony and ironwood are not listed here, as they are not typically used in woodworking, at least not by beginners. The focus is on woods that work well and are common in woodworking.
The following legend provides a guide for symbols included with each type of wood.
Ash, white $, M
Balsa $$, E
Basswood $, E
Birch $, E
Butternut $$, M
Cedar, aromatic $, M
Cherry, black $$, E
Cottonwood $, E
Cypress $, E-M
Elm, white $$, M
Mahogany $$, E
Maple, white $$, M-D
Oak $$, E-M
Pine: Ponderosa, white, yellow $, E
Redwood $$$, E
Walnut, black $$, E
Willow $$, E
Yellow poplar $, E
Copyright © 2005 by Ferhat Gul. All rights reserved. You may redistribute this article in its unedited entirety, including this resource box, with all hyperlinked URLs kept intact. Ferhat Gul is the publisher of the brand-new "Woodworking Beginner's Guide - Tips From Experienced Woodworkers to Help You Get Started", made just for people who love woodworking. This comprehensive, yet compact woodworking introduction for beginners is easy to read and helps to save time, money and effort.
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