• SumoMe

There are 8 major types of widely used hardwoods. While I’m no expert in woodworking, this article should serve as a starting point for learning about the various types of woods and how to use them properly.

1. Mahogany

Mahogany is a dark wood that gets darker over time. Mahogany is one of the finest qualities of wood because of its great resistance to swelling, shrinking, and warping. Another interesting point is that mahogany is generally free of voids and pockets, which creates a fullness to the wood. These qualities make it an ideal material for wooden boats and stringed instruments. Mahogany is also used in fine home construction for cabinets and wood facings.

2. Walnut

Walnut wood has many uses. It is used to make furniture, wood crafts and musical instruments such as piano. It is also ideal to use for panels, gun stocks and flooring. Walnut wood is relatively easy to work with using power and hand tools. You can easily create crispy details after shaping, routing and sanding. It is inherently strong, stable and shock resistant.

3. Oak

Oak is really great at bending without breaking. In the Middle Ages, oak was valued for its grain lines and often used in construction of warships and buildings. Today, oak is often used in wine and bourbon barrels. Oak wood chips are also used for smoking foods like fish, meat, and cheeses because of the flavor it releases.

4. Maple

Maple comes in either hard and soft varieties. Both varieties are harder than other woods. Hard maple is so hard that it’s difficult to work with. Soft maple, on the other hand, is relatively easy to work with. Because of the wood’s fine, straight grain, both varieties are more stable than many other woods. They also tend to be less expensive than other hardwoods. However, you won’t find maple at your local home center, but most lumberyards have a good selection of it.

5. Cherry

Cherry is an all-around great wood because it is easy to work with, stains and finishes well with just oil, and ages beautifully. Cherry’s heartwood has a reddish-brown color to it. This is a very common wood for furniture-making and is available from sustainably-grown forests. Because it’s in demand, cherry is getting somewhat expensive compared to other hardwoods, such as oak and maple.

6. Rosewood

This wood is really rare these days because of its use is growing faster than its growth. If you’ve ever seen a wooden chess set, chances are the black pieces are made from rosewood because of the wood’s really dark tones. Rosewood is strong and heavy, taking an excellent polish. Rosewood is mostly being suitable for guitars, marimbas, billiard cues, handles, furniture, and luxury flooring.

7. Teak

Teak is becoming rarer as the days go on, but it is the staple for fine outdoor furniture. Teak is highly weather-resistant but really expensive. Teak has an oily feel and a golden-brown color. It resists warping, cracking and decay and is best used in fine furniture, paneling, shipbuilding, doors, window framing, flooring and as a general construction wood.

8. Sheesham

Sheesham is also known as Indian Rosewood and is a rich medium brown wood with deep grains. It is a fast-growing hardwood and the  furniture made from it can deal with everyday stresses and strains without loosing its attractive appearance. It is highly durable, easily carved and is exclusively used for making furniture

Which type of wood is your favorite? Do you have any expertise to add to this basic introduction to hardwood? Share your thoughts in the comments below.