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Last updateTue, 24 May 2022 10am

How to choose the right timber for your project

Woodworking is now a big industry in the UK, worth about £3.8 billion. Many people are turning to woodworking because it is a way to relieve stress and increase productivity. You can now see many exquisite and stunning woodwork projects, some of which are award winners. 

Furthermore, it is a skill that you can learn. Naturally, a beginner may think that wood types are similar. However, in woodworking, you should always start with the correct foundation. The right material will make a difference in the project's durability, strength, and visual appeal. 

So, how do you choose the appropriate wood for a project?

Specify your project

The first thing to do is determine the project you want to start. What will you create? Will you use it indoors or outdoors? The type of wood you use depends on the project. Different types of wood have different properties. Hardwoods, for example, are durable and will not rot quickly. You can expose hardwoods to the elements for several years. Softwoods are also resilient, and you can expose them to the elements, although they are not as resilient against harsh weather conditions. Softwoods also need regular treatment so they will last longer. Your budget is another factor to consider. 

Different wood grains

When choosing the appropriate wood to use, you should consider the wood grains. The two types are open grain and closed grain. Wood grains affect the visual appeal of the project, whereas open grain wood has visible and larger pores on the surface. Open grains also appear rugged and distinct. Wood with closed grains gives a smooth finish. Closed grain wood will take fewer coats of paint, varnish, or wood stain. 

Types of wood density

Wood density defines whether the timber is softwood or hardwood. The difference is that hardwood is easier to maintain. It is easier to clean, and you can quickly fix dents and scratches. They are also available in a range of colours. However, the price of hardwood is higher because the trees grow slower. Hardwood is also denser, and a beginner might find it difficult to handle.

On the other hand, softwood is easier to work with and more adaptable. Moreover, softwood trees grow faster, so their cost is lower. However, softwood is also less durable and needs treatment to last longer. 

If you are looking for a good source of timber for your projects, visit www.greenbarntimbers.co.uk, where you will find in their reclaimed timber yard various types of beautiful hardwood and softwood. 

Popular timber for woodworking projects

If you need hardwood, the most popular ones with closed grains are maple, oak, and cherry. Maple is perfect for furniture. Oak darkens when continuously exposed to sunlight, while cherry, although hardy, will warp if the wood dries out. For softwoods, the most popular are pine, redwood, and cedar. The last two have a beautiful red hue that you should allow to shine using a water-repellant coating instead of a wood stain. 

Whatever type of woodworking project you intend to do, remember to choose the right kind of wood, and ensure that you make test cuts. Also, ensure that your measurements are exact, your tools are sharp, and that you sand with — not against — the grain.