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Wood Species

Learn the special characteristics of popular wood types.

Wood Species Type Uses Weight Strength Grain/Texture
Alder, red Hard Inexpensive furniture, interior trim Light Moderate Indistinct, fine
Ash, black Hard Furniture, veneer Medium Strong Figured, coarse
Beech Hard Furniture, flooring Heavy Strong Uniform, very little figure, fine
Birch Hard Furniture, cabinets, plywood, doors, veneer Heavy Strong Uniform, fine
Cherry Hard Furniture, veneer, paneling Heavy Strong Delicate figuring, fine
African Mahogany Hard Furniture, cabinets, veneer Medium Moderate Figured, coarse
American Mahogany Hard Furniture, cabinets, veneer Medium Strong Figured, coarse
Philippine Mahogany Hard Plywood, furniture, cabinets, flooring Heavy Strong Figured, coarse
Maple Hard Flooring, furniture Heavy Strong Delicate figuring, fine
Oak,
red & white
Hard Flooring, furniture, millwork Heavy Strong Figured, especially when quarter-sawn, coarse
Pine, knotty Soft Construction Light Weak Straight, fine
Pine, ponderosa Soft Trim, doors Light Weak to moderate Uniform, fine
Pine, white Soft Pallet, trim Light Weak Uneven, fine
Poplar Hard Furniture, cabinets, siding Medium Moderate Delicate figuring, fine
Rosewood, Brazilian & Indian Hard Veneer, furniture Heavy Strong Figured, coarse
Teak Hard Veneer, furniture, flooring Heavy Strong Figured, coarse
Walnut Hard Furniture, cabinets, woodwork Heavy Strong Delicate, uniform figuring; fine
How-To

Before You Begin

Review the basics of wood preparation, finishing and care.