Different Types of Wood – Whats the difference?

Wood can be classified as either hardwood or softwood, but it depends on its makeup and physical structure. To put it simply, hardwood is solid and durable, while softwood is workable and soft. If you’re looking to make high-quality furniture, decks, flooring, and other projects that are meant to last, hardwood is the ideal type. That makes hardwood obviously more expensive than softwood.

Softwood Varieties

Most timber comes from softwood, and it has a lot of project applications. One of those applications is in making building components such as windows and doors, furniture, and medium density fibreboard (MDF). When working with softwood, it’s important to remember that it needs to adjust to the environment where the finished product will ultimately be placed.


One of the most durable varieties of softwood is the cedar. This is a popular choice in woodworking thanks to its resistance to fungi, bacteria, and bugs. Its distinctive scent drives insects and bugs away, but it is very pleasing to people. Cedar is ideal for making furniture, storage closets, and roofing material.


Redwood has a very long lifespan, with some even lasting for thousands of years. This wood is primarily used in construction as well as in creating organ pipes, sculptures, fiber boards, veneers, and furniture.


This type of softwood is weak and is not deemed appropriate for general timber applications. Fir is highly prone rotting as well as insect attacks. However, it is ideal for use in indoor projects such as paneling and light frame construction.


Pine is great for indoor use and it’s well-known for its long life. Depending on the variety of pine, it offers different levels of utility. Longleaf pine, as well as other stable varieties, are often used for intricate pieces of furniture.

Hardwood Varieties


Ash is known for its open pores, straight grain patterns, and rough texture. This hardwood works well with stains and dyes, and it’s generally convenient to work with. It has hues of light brown and creamy white that can help make your finished product better looking.


Being one of the cheapest timber materials used in the construction industry, birch makes great veneers, plywood, flooring, and cabinets. Another interesting use of this hardwood is in making wooden stoves since this type burns slowly and is highly dense.


An effective wood for furniture projects, mahogany has varieties including Cuban, Honduras, and African. If you intend on using mahogany for a particular project, make sure to choose the variety that will work best.


Oak comes in several varieties and has a unique appearance. Although it’s a favorite material in the furniture-making industry, it can sometimes be difficult to work with. However, there are some specific guidelines for working with oak that can help guarantee the successful completion of a project especially when followed completely.


This type is of wood is popular for projects that require painting. Although it’s possible to stain poplar, the finished product would look less impressive than when painted since there will be some visible brown or gray areas. Poplar is often used as a structured wood material for boxes of drawers and other similar projects.

Selecting the Right Wood to Use for Your Projects

Choosing the right wood mainly depends on the type of project you plan to work on. The success of your project relies on the type of wood you choose as your main material, whether you need it for flooring and indoor furnitures like cabinets and other painted projects, or for crafting fine furniture. Apart from this, your budget is also another factor to consider.

Giving Your Projects a Personal Touch

Giving your projects some personal touch can be greatly gratifying as it can make you feel that the finished products are truly creations of your own.

Here are some tips on how you can add a personal touch to your projects.

Add dimension to your projects professionally through branding. You can also keep a record of where you did the work in this manner.

Using a branding iron or a simple rubber stamp is a great trick to personalize and brand your project. If you need more flexibility in customizing your message or logo, you can try warming up the toner before transferring it to wood instead of paper which is normally done in laser printing.

Another good idea for your own mark would be a combination of traditional and contemporary designs that you can use for all your woodworking projects. If you need more ideas, take inspiration from automatic letter stamps, personalized shop signs, branding irons, and signature medallions which you can find and purchase online.

Woodworking Tips

Cutting Guide Stair Gauge

wood working techniques

Stair gauges are typically used to lay out stair jacks. They are fastened to a carpenter’s square to match the rise and run of the stair jack while notches are marked. This serves as an ideal crosscut guide, particularly for circular saws when both are placed on a single tongue.

How to Avoid Glue Stains

Glue can sometimes overflow on the joints which can result in staining.  To avoid this, clamp the pieces of wood together first without any glue. Place some tape over the joint and then cut along it using a sharp blade. Once you have separated the pieces, apply some glue and clamp the pieces together again. Doing this will allow the glue to ooze on the tape instead of the wood. Make sure to peel the tape off before the glue dries up.

Reusable Sanding Blocks

To do this, get a piece of scrap plywood that measures ¾” and cut 6 blocks (4 ¾” and 2 ½”) for the sandpaper. Spray some adhesive on the cork tile and block and then stick them. Use a utility knife to cut the cork flush and then stick the sandpaper on each side of the block by spraying some adhesive. Cut the sandpaper flush while keeping the cork intact and then label the blocks.

Forward Facing Teeth

Try to install the blade on a hacksaw to obtain forward facing teeth. A saw is generally designed in such a way that it will cut when you apply forward strokes to the blade. Blades must be installed in such a manner that they would remain snug in the saw and won’t bend. It’s also important to note that excessive cutting may cause the blade to heat up and subsequently expand. To avoid this, make sure to tighten the blade every time it starts to bend.

Different Types of Wood
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Different Types of Wood
Wood can be classified as either hardwood or softwood, but it depends on its makeup and physical structure. To put it simply, hardwood is solid and durable, while softwood is workable and soft. If you’re looking to make high-quality furniture, decks, flooring, and other projects that are meant to last, hardwood is the ideal type.
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Jack Noelsson
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