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Choosing Hardwood or Softwood

Different project require different types of wood but when you are starting a project that is one of the first things that you have to choose.  Good quality woods don’t come cheap but they will give you the best results.  A handmade wood project can last for years which is one of the reasons wood can be so expensive.  If you are building a piece for a client then you both need to decide what wood suits your project best, choosing hardwood or softwood, dark or light will all be part of the project.  Let’s look at the different types of wood you can choose from.


Softwoods come from trees like pine, cedar, spruce, juniper, redwood, cypress and larch trees.  Mostly you will see this type of wood in furniture and a variety of other woodworking projects.  This type of wood tends to be cheaper than most hardwoods and it is readily available at any lumber or craft store.  Some woods like pine are really soft and can be a little delicate for some projects.  If you are working with a client have them look at the different softwoods available before they make their choice.


Hardwood is another material that can be used in your projects.  You get hardwood from trees like oak, walnut, cherry, oak, maple, teak, beech, holly and ash.  Hardwoods are much more durable and sturdy than any softwoods, but not all of them.  Be careful what type of wood that you choose, ideally you want the best wood suited to your project.  Hardwood is not going to be cheap, so make sure you are ready to work with this type of material.  You do not want to waste expensive wood because of mistake.  You will find hardwoods used a lot in furniture particularly kitchen tables or anything that needs a durable wood.

How Much Wood do You Need

Check your project plans to see how much wood that you are going to need.  Always measure the timber before you whip out your credit card you don’t want to buy a piece that is too short.  Check with the sales staff and find out if the wood has been dried or not, ideally you want dried wood.  They type of wood you end up choosing is going to be based on taste, need and of course the price.  Select your wood carefully and enjoy the fruits of your labor.