Favorite Type of Wood?

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2,369
I was just curious what your favorite type of wood is? It does not matter if it is domestic or imported, wild grained or tame. The only thing is, you have to say why you like it.

For instance is it because its easy to machine? Or because its readily available at lumber yards? Or is it just the color of the wood?

I guess I will start...

My favorite wood has to be Ash. I like the look, the grain and with plenty of big Ash trees on our property, I can get some clear, wide boards with little effort. Its kind of a pain to finish, and the smell is pretty bad when you are sawing it up, but I still think this wood is my favorite.

Now its your turn, what's your favorite wood?
 

scott spencer

Member
Messages
937
Location
Rochester, NY
My favorite is usually the latest "new" wood I'm working with....guess I'm easily pleased. I love the grain in red elm, but it's sure not the easiest stuff to work with. Other favorites are curly maple, QSWO, ash, and mahogany.
 

Frank Pellow

Member
Messages
2,332
Location
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Western Red Cedar

My favourite is cedar. And my favourite cedar is Western Red Cedar from British Columbia.

• The main reason for my choice would is the smell because that instantly takes me back to the experience of opening the door of the main cabin at Pellow’s Camp in the spring.

Also:

• The natural colour of cedar looks really good in furniture, decks, etc. and the range of shades within the overall colour makes for interesting patterns.

• Cedar is really easy to work with.

• Cedar is very durable and lasts a long time outdoors.
 

John Hart

Member
Messages
51
Location
US
I'd have to say that my favorite is Koa. The rich dark color and vanilla highlights, combined with a cool grain. Not much ingrain, but just enough to give it character. Sands great.
 

Doug Shepard

In Memorium
Messages
772
Location
Waterford, MI
Cherry. Works pretty nicely though it can have some finishing issues. I like the color once it ages a bit. Not too dark & not too light - just right.
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,517
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
I brought this up on a penturning forum. The responses were all over the board. As for me, I don't think I have a favorite, I just like wood and believe it to be one of God's great gifts. However, depending on use I do tend to lean different ways. For pens most nice burls are great. For larger items walnut is, to me, the King of woods and maple the Queen. But oddly, I will often pick up some osage orange for medium size tasks. Sumptin' special about that thar bo'dark.
 

Doug Jones

Member
Messages
224
Location
Indiana
I am a big fan of Hackberry, just love the looks of the deepened grain after a stain goes on.
 

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Steve Ash

Member
Messages
2,437
Location
Michigan
Bet ya'll think my favorite is Ash huh....

After building my son's kitchen and all his trim out of Ash....I've had enough of it.......for a while :D

I like Cherry for the smell and color and workability.

Working on B/E maple right now and although it is beautiful wood I am nervous about machining it, I'll take it slow and take my time,... sounds like I'm talking about the fairer sex in that description.

I've found for turning pens I like the dark exotics.
 

Steve Ash

Member
Messages
2,437
Location
Michigan
Working on B/E maple right now and although it is beautiful wood I am nervous about machining it, I'll take it slow and take my time,... sounds like I'm talking about the fairer sex in that description.

I went out to the shop after typing this and got to thinking I didn't want this to sound derogatory to women what I meant by this was that as a woman is beautiful we should take our time and take it slow....not that they are slow or anything... after being married for 27+ years I wanted to make sure what I said wasn't interpreted the wrong way.:doh:
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,982
Location
ozarks
another cherry fan here with walnut a close second.....`cause they`re domestic and nice to work plus no matter the style of the piece it`ll come out lookin` classy....
 
Messages
2,323
Location
Houston, Texas
My favorite has to be Spalted hackberry The wood starts so blonde and then comes "THE SPALTING"! Fortunately I have been able to procure a mix of the spalted hackberry, spalted pecan, and spalted sycamore in board feet.
I did a kitchen this past summer,mostly from the spalted pecan and that wood is magnificent too.
Here is a photo of some sycamore and hackberry.
 

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Messages
917
Location
Charleston
Domestic: walnut - I have some 4/4 stock (2 boards) that are 12' x 26" bookmatched just waiting for the right project.
I also like highly figured Bubinga, hard wood to work with but the figure with a hand waxed finish is beautiful.
 

Denise Walsh

Member
Messages
114
Location
Georgia
Ambrosia or Spalted Maple is mine... :)

I guess my favorite that I have had "hands on" experience with would be Spalted or Ambrosia (wormy) maple. It is the most beautiful wood I have seen (to date). It is amazing how bugs actually create the design in the wood... and one would think the wood would be real soft and full of bad areas. The wood ends up being real sound with a beautiful design in it. Marty and I made a mantle out of a real nice piece in his home in VA. When he sold the house I wanted to take the mantle with us...:) Needless to say it stayed there... :(

Denise
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
34,502
Location
ABQ NM
I like just about anything with an interesting grain. :D

I'm partial to curly maple (or any other curly wood) because I just love the chatoyance and the 3-D effect it has. Quilted maple is in the same boat. I've used quite a bit of curly maple in cutting boards -- although most don't get cut on -- and I always love seeing the grain pop the first time it meets mineral oil. I like cherry a lot too, but it's not nearly as exciting to me as curly maple. Jatoba has more interesting grain, but it's more finicky to work with. I'd like to try a lot of other woods as the opportunity presents itself.

Like Frank F, I'm partial to natural and dyed burls for pen (and bottle stopper) turning. It's a good way to pack a lot of interesting stuff into a little piece of wood. I also like the curly stuff for pens, too...natural or dyed.

I am also growing very fond of ironbark red eucalyptus. (I salvaged a few chunks from a big fallen branch at the office a few months ago, and I'm going to go into withdrawals when I have no more of it to turn.) It's got very active grain, lots of shades of color from yellow to red to brown, and it finishes very nicely.

It's also hard to argue with Jeff's favorite...free wood is always good wood to have. :thumb:

BTW, nice to see you chiming in, Margaret. :wave: We need somebody around here who can keep Frank in line. :rolleyes: :p
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,917
Location
Tokyo Japan
Yep, first on the list is "Free" :thumb:

When you pay $15+ a BF for Walnut, you got to make that up somewhere!

One wood I very much love to hate, is the Read Keyaki, you know the stuff I have a roof top full of :rolleyes:

It is an Elm, an when dry it is ROCK hard and not at all easy to work. I will try some of it for flatwork, but seriously, I think I'll be selling most of it and buying something else I can work with more ease.

I like Walnut, Maple, and Cherry for sure.

Cheers!
 

Alex Reid

Member
Messages
739
Location
Zushi, Japan
I think my favourite is Bubinga. Of course it works well and finishes beautifully but I love the smell of it when cutting. Nothing better then a shop full of aromatic wood.
 

Mike Wenzloff

Member
Messages
290
Location
Forest Grove, Oregon USA
Hi Travis,

I think one of my favorite all-round wood is Imbuia. A bit denser than Walnut with the same working properties, but in part it is the smell. The shop smells like a spice shop for a day or two after working with it.

Another is like Alex mentions, Bubinga. Nearly any of the Rosewoods actually.

Ah, so much wood, so little time...

Take care, Mike
 
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