Frank, mahogany is supposed to be great to work with. I found a small hardwood lumber store today in Tulsa. It was nestled way back in the back of a industrial area and not very well advertised. Even my search engines didn’t find it. One guy and a big ol warehouse full of some really nice wood. He had some quarter sawn African mahogany. I’m going back when the weather clears and buy some of that stuff.. I can see walking canes and tool boxes in the near future!
Post what you decide on and lets see those projects!
Franco it was one of my concerns when I decided to get into wood working. I do have a local lumber yard close by but they only have a few varietys maple, cherry, poplar, ext. There is a place I found one hour drive from me that really has a wide variety of hard and exotic woods. Let me know what you find.
In the future, if you’re building something that must be durable and pleasant to work and you don’t want to spend a lot, I’d recommend poplar and alder. I’m building a cigar box ukulele and, since the idea is to make it for cheap, I’m using poplar for the neck and interior bracing. The grain is subdued and easy to work. It has a greenish hue – if you don’t like this I’d recommend alder. It has a similar grain with a blonde-red hue. Neither would win a beauty contest – they are plain – but they are ideal for me as I build my hand tool skills. And if the design and execution of the project are well done it will still be pleasing to the eye. Also, both grow like weeds in the Northwest so I know they are local and plentiful. Walnut is easy to work and is nice to look at. If I thought my project demanded a beautiful grain I’d consider walnut. It carves nicely and I love the smell of the shavings! Maple can be beautiful too but is harder to work. You could always get some pallets – they’re cheap and often free – and carefully remove the nails. They’re usually built of pine or oak. Good luck : ).
I’ve been checking out suppliers on-line. Some are very accomodating; they’ll prepare your cutting list as you want it (for a premium of course). Most of the good ones seem to be at least 2-3 hours drive from me. It might be worth going there at some point and stock up on a few pieces. And easier too.
It’s a bit confusing knowing what you’re getting on-line. Some will only sell cubic metres, cubic feet – I’ve no idea what, or how much wood that is. It seems that more family-run business are starting to build websites too, so that may increase the number of suppliers.
As I get more into the craft, my patience will run out at the local B&Q. The way they prepared my last purchase…I could have cried. Most of it had chip-outs, wasn’t square, incorrect dimensions – nightmare.
Long post, sorry.
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