4 Best Wood Values for Woodworkers - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-12-2017, 09:19 PM
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I am fond of birch. I generally don't like highly figured wood. Maple is nice but dear around here. Don't care much for Oak and rarely use it. Poplar for face frames is my most common choice. Use a lot of pine. We have a lot of pine forests around here that have been thinned out due to fires in overgrown local forests. My projects are fairly simple and pine works quite well. I prefer kiln dried stuff. I only use baltic birch ply these days, and many of my projects involve BB ply more than hard wood construction. Tempted to make some furniture on occassion, but my house is full already. That kind of project calls for some really nice hardwood. I also like working with Ash, a really nice wood to me.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by hawkeye10 View Post
I bought the last steamed walnut from my supplier about six months ago. When I bought it I had cataracts and it was dark in the warehouse where it was stored. I didn't see how bad it was till I got home. All their other lumber is good. One thing I don't understand about that place is their rough lumber is priced higher than their straight run lumber. Figure that one out. I do need to call around Nashville and see if anyone sells unsteamed walnut.
I get my unsteamed Walnut directly from the sawmill and I often get to help him cut the logs that I'll come back later and buy when they're dry. If I go to the only real hardwood supplier in my area I can buy steamed Walnut for nearly double what I buy the unsteamed. Walnut is an awesome wood but steamed Walnut looks muddy to me so it's a win/win to buy the much more attractive unsteamed Walnut at a lower price.

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I am so lucky that I am able to use up to 100 different woods each year. One of the reasons I got into woodworking is because I like to use different species. I love collecting woods as well.

Because I can't and won't use stains on 95% of my work I always need to seek out wood that is the color I want or need it to be with nothing but a clear coat on it. It's fun! Sometimes not so cheap!
I rarely use stains. On my unsteamed Walnut I sometimes have to hide a small bit of bold white sapwood, depending on where it is, so I have a tiny can of dark Walnut stain. And like you, I get to work with many different woods including many exotics, but I don't get to see 100 different woods. That would be just fantastic! A lot of the work I do is as you mentioned - find the wood that suits the look and color I need but not if it has to be stained.

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Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
I am fond of birch. I generally don't like highly figured wood. Maple is nice but dear around here. Don't care much for Oak and rarely use it. Poplar for face frames is my most common choice. Use a lot of pine. We have a lot of pine forests around here that have been thinned out due to fires in overgrown local forests. My projects are fairly simple and pine works quite well. I prefer kiln dried stuff. I only use baltic birch ply these days, and many of my projects involve BB ply more than hard wood construction. Tempted to make some furniture on occasion, but my house is full already. That kind of project calls for some really nice hardwood. I also like working with Ash, a really nice wood to me.
For me, the more figure in the wood the better it is. But that suits the type of things I build and create. I also don't care for Oak unless it's quartersawn White Oak and I rarely have a piece of Pine in the shop.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 08:05 PM
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This afternoon, my next door neighbour asked me if I had any surplus W.R. Cedar boards in stock. "Sure !" says I. "6' 1x6 fence boards,nicely airdried. "There are a bunch of piles around the yard, stickered and covered with lumber wrap. How many do you need? I think it's all fence quality."
"Great!" says he, "Can I have 9 - 10pcs.?"
"Sure." I say again. "10 pcs. is 30 Bd. ft....say $.55/Bd Ft.? " "Done!"

So I unwrap the pile and it's all clear lumber... a deal is a deal.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 09:44 PM
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Back in the day, I made a bunch of storage beds like the one in the photo out of Baltic Birch plywood (sorry, some of my early attempts at scanning 35mm prints and I was scanning 3 per page). I even made a matched pair - the family had unexpected twins and needed the storage - that was two drawers high and needed a little ladder to climb up to the mattress. I also made a lot of laminate furniture (18mm luan plywood with laminate on both sides) - this was one I made for an office to store liquor, space for mini refrigerator in the bottom. The customer wanted the brushed aluminum trim around the center shelf and on the kick - I tried to buy strips, but they only sold it in 24" x 48" sheets so you can see that I didn't use much of it. So, 30 years later, I still have the rest of the sheet rolled up in the corner of the shop - my Scottish upbringing won't let me throw it away - and I keep telling myself I'll find a use for it someday. Just like the offcut of smoked brown plexiglass that I used for the door panels on a stereo cabinet and.............

Nowadays, mostly use oak or birch (stained or painted) although I have some mahogany tables I'm disassembling to use to make a sideboard for the dining room. And I've had pretty good luck lately using the Sande plywood sold by HD for shop cabinets - not really much cheaper than the birch that they sell, but the quality seems much more consistent.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-14-2017, 10:52 PM
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For cutting boards, my 4 favorite boards are Hard Maple (of course!), Jatoba, Purpleheart and Canarywood. One of my competitive advantages, I believe, is that I have ready access to 25 hardwood species, and am able to make unique pieces from them. Started today on a Jatoba table top and island top, for example.

I shop for wood. I'm a small commercial shop (I have them fooled!), so I do get some volume discounts & don't pay sales tax.

I'm in LA ... here are my very best prices per board foot for S2S SL1E. Black Walnut kills me ... and I used to pay double what's shown!

Species Size Rate
Ash 4/4 $3.07
Black Walnut 8/4 $9.14
Black Walnut 6/4 $7.35
Black Walnut 4/4 $6.90
Bloodwood 4/4 $14.00
Bubinga 8/4 $19.16
Bubinga 4/4 $19.75
Canarywood 4/4 $11.75
Caribbean Rosewood 4/4 $14.31
Cherry 8/4 $4.02
Cherry 6/4 $7.01 (clear)
Cherry 4/4 $3.10
Goncalo Alves 8/4 $14.00
Goncalo Alves 4/4 $17.67
Hard Maple 8/4 $4.66
Hard Maple 6/4 $4.05
Hard Maple 4/4 $7.25 (Birds Eye)
Hard Maple 4/4 $4.56 (Premium wide)
Hard Maple 4/4 $3.30
Hickory 8/4 $5.30
Hickory 6/4 $5.00
Hickory 4/4 $5.00
Honey Locust 4/4 $7.00 (mail order from Bell Forest)
Jarrah 4/4 $15.00
Jarrah 8/4 $15.00
Jatoba 8/4 $7.91
Jatoba 4/4 $6.21
Mahogany 4/4 $12.00
Morado 4/4 $25.35
Padauk 4/4 $6.50
Poplar 4/4 $1.95
Purpleheart 8/4 $9.14
Purpleheart 4/4 $6.90
Red Oak 8/4 $3.00
Red Oak 6/4 $3.00
Red Oak 4/4 $2.94
Sapele 4/4 $4.87
Teak 4/4 $22.95
White Oak 8/4 $5.30
White Oak 6/4 $5.07
White Oak 4/4 $4.75
Yellowheart 8/4 $9.00
Yellowheart 4/4 $8.04
MDF 1/2 $24.73
Ply, Maple 3/4 $52.57
Ply 1/4 $12.35
Baltic Birch, 3, 5x5 1/4 $17.98
Baltic Birch, 3, 5x5 1/2 $23.98

Henry
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www.MowryJournal.com
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