Router Forums banner

Choosing Types of Wood

6611 Views 31 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Frank Kerman
The type of wood you choose determines the beauty and strength of the finished piece. Many types of wood are available, from Oxford Wood Recycling, and each has its own properties. Here we’ve tried to explain the wood product making and buying process and what you can expect from some common types of species.

The way that the original log has been cut at the saw mill determines the strength and use of the final product. The main 3 types of milling processes are Plain , Quarter and Rift sawn.

Hardwoods are usually Plain or Quarter sawn and construction softwoods are generally Rift sawn. In a modern computer driven saw mill a softwood log will be processed in many different ways to maximise the yield from the log.

Plain sawn is for the large wide slabs that can be used for tables and furniture and flooring. Quarter sawn is the daddy of milling techniques and is expensive therefore usually used for furniture.

Quarter Sawn hardwood timber is the most stable and has attractive patterning. the growth rings are generally at 60 to 90 degrees to the face of the board.

Rift sawn softwood is used in construction for decks, framing, posts, flooring, fencing, beams , landscaping and barn timbers. The linear grain pattern is achieved by milling perpendicular to the logs growth rings on angles between 45 and 75 deg.

Construction softwood is mainly sourced from cold countries such as Canada, Nordics, Baltics and Russia, to keep the growth rings tight for strength and stability. Several other species of tree such as spruce and hemlock are also used but rarer. It this wood is intended for first fix use i.e. domestic woodwork that will not be seen when the project is complete such as timber frames and stud work. Scaffold boards and the majority of pallets are also made from whitewood. It may have some splits & stains and some warp.

The big DIY sheds sell a lot of whitewood that has been planed all round (PAR) so it is uniform and graded therefore being easy to transport, minimal splinters and gentle to the eye when buying.

Timber is still widely bought in imperial sizes, while being sold in metric. For example 4×2 means 4 inches by 2 inches. Retailers will supply 48mmx90mm, which is near enough identical. Metric sizes are also sold that don’t correspond to the popular imperial sizes but close enough!

In DIY sheds timber is sold in various lengths, common are 1.8m, 2.4m & 3m (apx 6′, 8′ & 10′). At OWR we stock a wider range of lengths including very short pieces. Please come and see us as we can cut to length and match your cutting list more accurately than a high st retailer.

Grading is an assessment of the structural strength of the timber. Key features assessed in grading are splits and knots, especially large knots at the edge of the wood. Graded wood is stamped with the grading details. For new floor joists and roofing requires use of graded timber To comply with building control. For most diy shed, decking planters etc there is no need to use graded timber.
See less See more
1 - 9 of 32 Posts
The type of wood you choose determines the beauty and strength of the finished piece. Many types of wood are available, from Oxford Wood Recycling, and each has its own properties.
The only woods I buy any more are wood that grows in my state. This includes plywood. My preference. However, I also use all the free wood I can get, and I don't care where it was grown, the point is it is FREE. And the type of wood I use is determined by what I will make from it. Right now I have a banjo in progress using pallet wood (unknown type), plywood, and several other types of wood.

And where might Oxford Wood Recycling be located? I'm thinking the shipping cost would not be worth buying from there for most of us.

Oxford Wood Recycling
Unit 4, Suffolk Way,
Abingdon OX14 5JX
01235 861228
[email protected]

It's "just" over the pond!!
And likely shipping would be killing. If you are in the US, why post a wood recycler in the UK? They do have them here, so why not an address or two here?
Sorry if I offended anyone.
Didn't offend me, just made me curious as Hell.
The only woods I buy any more are wood that grows in my state. This includes plywood. .

Just curious, Theo, what does a plywood tree look like?
Not sure, never been on a plywood tree plantation, but as far as I can determine, they look similar to pallet trees. Not seen one of those either. I don't know if there are any pallet tree plantations in the US, or not.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
I have been looking at the Ford Explorer as a change of vehicle because I am often in remote areas and gravel roads. Anybody have one ? looking for some feedback.
I haven't, but my older son did once. Dunno if it means anything, but right now he is driving a Chevy Suburban, 4X4.

Where I live you would never think there are sawmills in the area. But I have found out that there are at least 7 within 10 or 12 miles of my house. Most of them you can pass by and never known there is one there. There are at least 2 within the city limits of the county seat, but the only indication of them are a small, very small, sign at the entrance.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I had read somewhere that pallet tree plantations were becoming fewer and fewer. The last remaining are just hanging on by their nails. The workers are board.
Shame to hear. They must be sending most of them to North Carolina then, because there has been no shortage of free pallets. I think I will start using more of them, because there is some really nice wood in a lot of them, and that would provide a source of free wood, that was not grown in this state. Means I would have to make several changes in my cane designs, but I think with the different varieties of wood put together, I could make some fantastic looking canes.

So, thanks for the tip, I'll start stockpiling pallets, just in case. By the way, I have a bit of very nice Spanish Cedar saved for a project not yet determined. Got it from a free pallet. And if you wonder what type of wood is in pallets, free wood is always popular.

It just hit me. Right now I use 4 masters to make my canes. If I add pallet wood to the line it means I will have to drop 1 master, and make 2-3 more to take it's place, for a total of 5-6 masters. The building process/time will increase accordingly. Should make for some very nice canes tho. This means I will have to crank up my CNC - Coffee 'N Contemplation. I do love my CNC.

Actually, I do use only 4 masters to make a cane, but I have a lot of different shape cane handle designs, so swap the handle designs out as desired, to make different versions.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I am also looking at the Hyundai Sante Fe.
My younger son has a Hyundai. A week or so ago the serpentine belt broke. It is a V6, with overhead cams. And now all the valves are bent. Gonna cost whether he gets the heads repaired/replaced, or another engine. So, he got a VW with a Diesel. I'm thinking the new Chevy SUVs have V6s, but being as I'm not in the market, don't know for sure.
"...he has to use premium gas at a much higher cost"
If you mean my son's Suburban, it uses regular.
Nope; I was quoting from Quebec Dan's comment.
Ah, missed that one. In your position I don't know if I would want to go with a full size SUV, or a medium size. I'm guessing you could be a choice of V6s in the mediums. Medium should get better gas mileage, even if the same size engine. I'm with you on no benefit for premium, if you can get something uses regular instead. You seem to want 4 wheel drive, which is a wise move. Personally I'd be willing to settle for a medium, or even smallish 4 wheel drive pickup, with a camper shell, preferable one I could stand up in. But either way I would stock up the back section with a propane or cataletic heater (crack a window), a cot or pad, sleeping bag or blankets, some drinking water, and a stove to heat up food (possibly MREsiI) and water for tea or coffee. I'd toss in a composting toilet too. All this for just in case you got snowed in for a few days. I read once about a hunter that got snowed in while hunting way down a dirt track. He would get up, eat, then shovel snow, move truck, repeat until noon, noon meal, then shovel, then supper, relax a bit, then sleep. Repeated this for I can't recall how many days, but do recall over a week. They had given him up for dead, then he showed up. Which reminds me, might want a shovel too. You've likely already thought of all this, but I'm a firm believer in just in case, so told you, just in case.
See less See more
1 - 9 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.