What's You Favourite Wood

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    I have only ever made things out of pine, I would love to make something out of a nice hardwood. So many to choose from, so what’s your favourite wood.


    Hi Ken,

    It’s difficult to pinpoint my favourite hardwood as I have a few favourites, but if forced to choose I’d opt for english oak, beech or ash. 🙂

    Ron Harper

    Air dried walnut, cherry,  with curly maple as a favorite accent wood


    My favorite woods are cherry, walnut, and curly maple followed by pine and poplar.  How ever where I live Hardwoods are not readily available and except for specialty stores they are also very expensive. So I use pine and poplar mostly from the Borg, and not by choice.



    Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US


    In all honesty the main thing is we’re working wood and creating things from it. 🙂  If ever anyone has the chance to work in different types of timber, by all means grab it with open arms because it’s a joy to have such an opportunity.  Finance is always a limiting factor for many, but good mature hardwood (Be it in fairly limited quantity) can be had by raiding places where timber furniture is scrapped and this can add to your options. 🙂


    @Gary. Interesting point re scrapped furniture as a source for hardwood. I’d love to make something from recycled wood (I guess I already have as the shooting board and bench hook were made from old shelving – although pine, not hardwood).  Where would you go looking for it?

    Anyone else have any tips/favourite locations?


    Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire

    George Bridgeman

    I recently built some shelves to go in an alcove in our home (photo attached), and did so from completely reclaimed timber. The shelves themselves were old solid beech floorboards from a barn that had been knocked down, and the brackets were made from an 8ft 4×4″ post that had been in an extension that had been rebuilt. I found it all on eBay for a pretty reasonable price – I think the whole lot cost me about £100 and I still have 1/2 the floorboards left over and another 4 oak posts.

    I’ll be making a small ladder to go at the bottom of the bookshelves so you can get to the top shelf out of what’s left, and probably a few boxes from the remaining floorboards.

    Reclaimed timber isn’t something you can find whenever you need it. You just have to keep your eyes and ears open, and snag it when you can find a good deal. The only downside is that you have to have storage space for it! Try eBay, Craigslist, etc. You can also score trees that neighbours take down. I’ve got a pretty decent size pear tree coming my way soon from someone who lives a few doors down. I’ll get that milled and leave it to season in the loft, but that’s taking it a bit extreme!


    "To know and not do is to not know"



    Materials Sources

    You can quite often buy timber directly from construction companies when they complete their construction phases and clear their site compounds.  This can be a reasonable source for clean treated and untreated timber – typically softwoods – and sheet goods.

    Care boot sales and second hand furniture outlets can prove to be good resources for hard and soft wood furniture that’s seen better days and can be stripped for timber or restored.

    Skips are another potential source, but always ask permission.

    Farms building can prove excellent locations for large timbers (Often Oak, Elm, Beech and Walnut which can be re-sawn) when they re-site/build new barns & out buildings and demolish the old.  Beware hidden metalwork such as nails and bolts that have disappeared neath years of grime, but this is where a roughing/scrub plane set up can come in handy.

    Watch Fleabay and keep your eyes peeled for British Made #2 hand planes.  They make excellent short based scrub planes which are useful when cleaning old timber or reducing it to size at a good pace. 😉



    Very nice work George 🙂 I hope the pear tree arrangement works out well for you, as it’s lovely to work with. 🙂

    You should be able to season green timber outdoors as long as it’s sheltered from the elements, but well ventilated.  Correct stickering is paramount.

    Brent Ingvardsen

    I love every kind of wood but purpleheart. Its pretty but Ive had a great deal of frustration working it.

    Meridianville, Alabama, USA

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