When we talk of furniture, more often than not, the first thing that comes to our mind is wood. Whether you are constructing a small dog house or a sizable garden tent, choosing the best quality wood is very essential for obtaining great results. A mind-boggling variety of wood exists and the responsibility of choosing the right wood in terms of quality and suitability falls on the woodworker. This can be a big ask and often requires several trips to the internet but this piece is intended to save you all that stress. To begin with, let’s start off with the types of wood available for wood construction projects.
Types of Wood
The types of wood products commonly used for construction products are quite diverse. These woods are broadly categorised into three groups and these are; hardwood, softwood and manufactured or processed wood. Hardwood is made from timber of hardwood tree varieties like suar wood, teak wood, mahogany and so much more. It is commonly used for both structural and aesthetic purposes. It offers a great visual appeal and charm that last a very long time. There are lots of grain types, colour, profile and textures to select from so there is a perfect fit for just any project at all.
Softwood bears some resemblance with hardwood but just as the name implies, it is gotten from softer timber like cedar and pine. Though not as durable as hardwood, softwood is also resistant to damage and offers a natural and attractive look that can add warmth and comfort to your home. Manufactured wood such as particleboard, MDF and plywood, on the other hand, are constructed by joining wood pieces together using special types of adhesives. Manufactured wood has certain disadvantages. It lacks grains and has a significantly higher weight per inch than natural wood products. However, manufactured wood is a cheaper alternative for hardwoods and softwood and is commonly used in constructing the non-visible parts and frames of wood furniture.
Now that you are more informed about the types of wood that are available to you, next is to know how to choose the right type for your project.
Consider the type of project
Just as we’ve hinted above, different types of wood are suitable for different types of project. If the project in question is a simple, unembellished side table, then most low-priced wood would do, but if you want to construct something more sophisticated, then you’d need a high quality wood to bring out the splendor of the design even more.
Determine the exact type of wood you need.
It is very common for more than one type of wood to be suitable for a particular construction project. This can make things quite difficult especially for a beginner or non-professional DIY home makeover lovers. An easy way to overcome this challenge is to determine the more common type of such woods in your vicinity since they would be much easier to procure. There are instances where a certain type of softwood can be used as a substitute for hardwood since both types of wood share some similarities.
Consider the wood grade.
Once you’ve selected a specific wood type, you can then consider the grade of wood you need. The grade of the wood you use for a project has a huge say in projects where quality is the main highlight. Wood products are graded as follows, No. 1 commons, No. 2B Commons, No. 2A Commons, No. 3A commons, No. 3B Commons, FAS 1-Face FIF, Selects, and FAS. FAS is the highest wood grade and woods in this category are commonly used for the finest construction projects. The grade of any wood sample is usually specified in lumberyards and wood specialist like us. For simplicity, we grade it as Grade B, Grade A and Grade S.
Consider the wood condition and check for defects.
Never be in a hurry to judge a wood by its look from afar. A piece of wood that seemed perfect might turn out to be very difficult to work with during construction. Ensure you inspect wood boards carefully to make sure they are straight and free from all kinds of wood defects. Common types wood defects include; bow, crook, cup, twist, wood knot, check, wane, and split. We would define each one of these defects but this piece has gone longer than we expected so that should be a topic for another day. All of these defects can affect the structure and workability of such woods. But they don’t render a piece of wood useless, for example, a woodworker can trim off a knot defect on a wood and still incorporate the rest of the wood into the project.
Choosing the best quality wood for a project is not rocket science. Knowing and implementing these tips will save you a lot of time and materials when it comes to choosing the best wood for your next project.