How to choose the best wood type

How to choose the best wood type to suit your unique needs

The effect a great piece of wood can have on a room is unparalleled by any other material. Whether it’s a piece of furniture, wooden ceilings, floorboards or even a set of custom turned bowls; wood provides a natural ambience in any environment.

But deciding on the right wood for what you want to do, can often be difficult if you don’t know much about the various wood types and their unique characteristics.

Outdoor wood that can weather the storm

If you’re looking to buy outdoor furniture, it’s important to use a weather resistant wood type. Wood that doesn’t cope well with moisture will begin to rot from the very first time it’s exposed to water.

Your best options when it comes to wood that can endure the elements are:

  • Cedar – Relatively soft, straight grained, reddish colored, slightly aromatic, moderately priced and Cedar is easily accessible in Atlanta
  • Redwood – Fairly soft but a little harder than Cedar, also straight grained, reddish colored, moderately price and easily accessible
  • White oak – Strong, hardwood, great for flooring, ‘ray flake’ patterned grain, hard to find and so will be a quite pricey
  • Teak – Probably your best bet for outdoor furniture if you can find it, oily textured, golden brown colored, relatively hard, quite expensive and not easily acquired

Construction wood that’ll stay solid for decades

While you’d expect the construction industry to be ruled by hardwoods, western red cedar wood is in fact one of the most common woods used for building exteriors. This is most likely because it handles moisture so well. It’s also well priced and easily available.

The other wood that’s great for building and often used in construction is fir. Fir is a reasonably strong wood that falls into the softwood category. It’s often referred to as Douglas Fir and is very common and well-priced.

Wood for turning, sculpture and artwork

There are a few factors that contribute to the artistic appeal of wood. The most obvious are perhaps the grain and color. But other variables like the aroma can have a huge impact on the natural beauty of a custom turned bowl, handmade sculpture or even picture frame.

Some of the most aesthetically awesome wood types include:

  • Birch – Comes in yellow and white, is a strong hardwood, less expensive than most hardwoods, beautiful looking, great for fine furniture and sculpting
  • Oak – commonly used for furniture, comes in red and white, beautiful “ray flake” grain
  • Walnut – Pretty strong hardwood, rich brown color, quite expensive, but you’ll get better results from an sculptor as this wood is quite easy to work with

If you’d like to get a custom turned bowl or piece of hand crafted furniture made by one of the best artisans in the business, contact Mike at The Bowl Factory to discuss details today.

Mike is a veteran turner with over 20 years of experience. Having worked with most wood types, Mike will always be able to guide you on the best wood for the project you have in mind. Get in touch to commission your very own hand made piece today.




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