Buying wood for woodworking

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There are a lot of things to think about when purchasing wood for woodworking. The most important factor is the type of wood you select. Different woods have different properties that make them better suited for certain applications. For example, oak is a hardwood that is perfect for making furniture, while pine is a softwood that is ideal for crafting kitchen cabinets. In addition to the type of wood, you also need to consider the thickness and width of the boards you buy.

Thicker boards are more resistant to warping, while wider boards allow you to create larger projects. Whatever your needs, there is a type of wood that will fit the bill.

Types of wood

Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that resists compression. Wood is sometimes defined as only the secondary xylem in the stems of trees, or it is defined more broadly to include the same type of tissue elsewhere such as in the roots of dicots, but not monocots. In a living tree, it performs a support function, enabling woody plants to grow large or to stand upright. It also mediates the transfer of water and nutrients to the leaves and other growing tissues. Wood may also refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, and materials engineered from wood, wood chips, or fiber.

There are three main types of wood: hardwood, softwood, and engineered wood. Hardwood is derived from angiosperm trees, while softwood comes from gymnosperm trees. Engineered wood products are manufactured by binding together wood strands, veneers, lumber, or other forms of wood fiber to produce a stronger and denser product.

Hardwoods vs softwoods

Hardwoods and softwoods are terms used to describe two different types of wood. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, which are trees that shed their leaves every year. Softwoods come from evergreen trees, which have needles instead of leaves and stay green all year round. The main difference between hardwoods and softwoods is their density. Hardwoods are much denser than softwoods, which makes them more difficult to work with.

However, hardwoods are also more durable and resistant to rot and pests. For these reasons, hardwoods are typically used for furniture and flooring, while softwoods are used for construction and paper products. Despite their different properties, both hardwoods and softwoods can be used to create a variety of beautiful and long-lasting products.

Local lumberyards and online retailers

When it comes to choosing a lumberyard or online retailer, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the type of project you’re working on. If you’re doing a small, simple project, you may be able to get it by buying lumber from a big box store. However, for larger or more complex projects, it’s often better to buy from a local lumberyard. They typically have a better selection of higher-quality lumber, and the employees are more likely to be knowledgeable and helpful.

Of course, buying online can also be a good option, especially if you’re looking for hard-to-find lumber or materials that aren’t carried by your local stores. The key is to do your research and make sure you’re buying from a reputable source. With a little bit of planning, you can ensure that your project turns out just the way you wanted.

The cost of woodworking lumber

Woodworking is a hobby that can be both enjoyable and rewarding. However, it can also be quite expensive, especially when it comes to the cost of lumber. Depending on the type of wood you need, the price per board foot can range from $2 to $20. And depending on the size of your project, you may need several boards. As a result, the cost of lumber can quickly add up. There are ways to save money on lumber, however. One is to buy in bulk.

If you know you’ll be using a lot of lumber for future projects, buying lumber in bulk can help to reduce the overall cost. Another way to save money is to purchase lumber from a sawmill or logging company. These companies often have excess lumber that they are willing to sell at a discount.

Kiln-dried or air-dried lumber

When it comes to lumber, there are two different drying methods: kiln-drying and air-drying. Both methods have their pros and cons, and the best choice for a particular project will depend on several factors. Kiln-dried lumber is heated in a chamber, which accelerates the drying process. This means that kiln-dried lumber is less likely to warp or crack than air-dried lumber.

However, it is also more expensive and difficult to find. Air-dried lumber is dried slowly and naturally, over several months. This method results in a more stable product, but it can be more prone to warping and cracking. Ultimately, the decision of which type of lumber to use will come down to a matter of personal preference and budget.

Pre-cut or rough-sawn lumber

Pre-cut lumber is lumber that has been cut to a specific size and shape before being delivered to the customer. Rough-sawn lumber is lumber that has been cut from the tree but has not been planned or otherwise finished. Both pre-cut and rough-sawn lumber have their advantages and disadvantages. Pre-cut lumber is more expensive but it is also more versatile and easier to work with. Rough-sawn lumber is less expensive but it is also more difficult to work with and it does not have the same level of durability.

Ultimately, the choice between pre-cut and rough-sawn lumber depends on the specific project you are working on and your budget.

Buying wood by the board-foot

When purchasing wood, it’s important to know how it is sold so that you can understand what you’re buying. Wood is typically sold by the board foot, which is a unit of measure that equals one square foot of wood that is one inch thick. This measurement is important because it allows you to calculate the amount of wood you need for your project. For example, if you’re building a table that is two feet by three feet, you would need six board feet of wood. You can calculate this by multiplying the length and width of the table in feet to get the square footage, and then multiply that by the thickness of the wood in inches. Keep in mind that the thickness of the wood will also affect the price, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

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The difference between live edge and straight edge lumber

When it comes to lumber, there are two main types: live edge and straight edge. Live edge lumber is cut from trees that have been felled and left to naturally degrade. As the tree breaks down, the bark falls off and the wood begins to crack and splinter. This type of lumber is often used for rustic furniture or decoration. Straight edge lumber, on the other hand, is cut from trees that have been milled. The bark is removed and the wood is cut into clean, straight boards. This type of lumber is typically used for construction or other practical applications. While both types of lumber have their uses, live edge lumber is generally more expensive due to the time and effort required to harvest it.

Hardwoods suitable for woodworking

When it comes to lumber, there are two main types: live edge and straight edge. Live edge lumber is cut from trees that have been felled and left to naturally degrade. As the tree breaks down, the bark falls off and the wood begins to crack and splinter. This type of lumber is often used for rustic furniture or decoration. Straight edge lumber, on the other hand, is cut from trees that have been milled. The bark is removed and the wood is cut into clean, straight boards. This type of lumber is typically used for construction or other practical applications. While both types of lumber have their uses, live edge lumber is generally more expensive due to the time and effort required to harvest it.

Softwoods suitable for woodworking

For the woodworker, there are many different types of hardwoods to choose from, each with its own unique set of characteristics. One of the most popular hardwoods is oak, which is renowned for its strength and durability. Maple is another popular choice, known for its fine grain and smooth texture. Cherry is another excellent option, known for its beautiful color and subtle grain patterns. If you’re looking for a more exotic hardwood, teak is an excellent choice. Teak is prized for its rich color and distinctive grain pattern, making it a favorite among furniture makers. No matter what type of hardwood you choose, it’s important to select a piece that is free of knots and blemishes. These imperfections can weaken the wood and make it more difficult to work with. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to find the perfect hardwood for your next project.


Cedar wood

Cedar is a type of evergreen tree that is prized for its strong, aromatic wood. Native to the Mediterranean region, cedar has been used for centuries in everything from construction to shipbuilding. Today, it is still a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor furniture, thanks to its beauty and durability. Cedar is also a popular material for making essential oils, which are used in aromatherapy and perfume. In addition to its pleasant smell, cedar oil is also said to have some medicinal properties. Some people believe that it can help to relieve stress and improve respiratory ailments such as colds and coughs. Whether used for its practical or its therapeutic value, cedar is a versatile and popular product that shows no signs of losing its appeal.



Cypress is a family of evergreen coniferous trees with flattened needles and seed cones. The leaves are arranged in spirals, with the new growth appearing in the center of the spiral. Cypresses are found in temperate and subtropical regions around the world, and they are often used as ornamental plants. Some species of cypress, such as the Lombardy cypress, can grow to over 150 feet tall. Cypresses have been used for centuries in construction, furniture making, and shipbuilding. The wood is highly resistant to rot and insect damage, making it an ideal material for outdoor use. Today, cypress is still prized for its beauty and durability, and it is a popular choice for both residential and commercial landscaping.


Cherry is a fruit that belongs to the rose family. There are two main types of cherry- sweet and sour. Sweet cherry is consumed as a fresh fruit while sour cherry is used mostly in pies and other baked goods. Cherry trees are grown in many parts of the world including Europe, America, and Asia.

Cherry wood

Cherry fruits are a rich source of antioxidants and other nutrients. Some of the health benefits associated with cherries include improved brain function, reduced inflammation, and a lower risk of cancer. In addition, cherries are known to promote better sleep and improve recovery from exercise.

While cherries can be enjoyed on their own, they also make a delicious addition to pies, cakes, and other desserts. Sour cherries are especially popular in baking due to their tart flavor. Fresh cherries can also be used in savory dishes such as chicken or pork roast. No matter how they are enjoyed, cherries are a versatile fruit that provides many nutritional benefits.


Maple wood

Maple is a type of tree that is native to Asia and North America. There are approximately 128 species of maple, which are divided into two main groups: hard maples and soft maples. Hard maples, such as sugar maple and rock maple, have a dense wood that is difficult to work with but is prized for its hardness and strength. Soft maples, such as red maple and silver maple, have a softer wood that is easy to work with but is not as strong or durable. Maple trees are most commonly used for the production of syrup, though they are also popular for furniture making and woodturning.


Oak wood

The oak is a deciduous tree that is native to the Northern Hemisphere. There are many different species of oak, but they all share certain distinguishing features, such as large, lobed leaves and thick, ridged bark. Oaks are very long-lived trees, and some specimens have been known to live for over 500 years. The wood of the oak is very strong and dense, making it a popular choice for furniture and construction. In addition, oak leaves are an important food source for many animals, such as deer and rodents. As a result, oaks play a vital role in many ecosystems.


Walnut wood

The walnut is a term used to describe the edible seeds of various tree species in the genus Juglans. The English walnut, Juglans regia, is the most commercially important species, accounting for 99% of the world’s walnut production. Walnuts are characterized by their hard shells and rich, oily flesh. The flesh can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes, or it can be pressed to yield walnut oil. Walnuts are an excellent source of essential nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. What’s more, research suggests that consuming walnuts may have several health benefits, including improved heart health, weight management, and cognitive function. Whether you enjoy them on your own as a snack or use them as an ingredient in your favorite recipes, incorporating walnuts into your diet is a delicious way to support your overall health.

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Mahogany is a tropical hardwood that has been prized for centuries for its beauty and durability. It is one of the most popular woods for furniture making and is also used in flooring, cabinetry, and veneers. Mahogany has a reddish-brown color with a fine grain that is relatively easy to work with. The wood is also resistant to rot and insect damage, making it an ideal choice for outdoor furniture. Mahogany is sourced from several countries in Africa and South America, and the wood can vary widely in quality. To ensure that your furniture will last for generations, it is important to purchase mahogany that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. With proper care, mahogany furniture can provide enduring beauty and comfort for many years to come.


Teak wood

Teak is one of the most popular woods for outdoor furniture, thanks to its durability and weather resistance. But what exactly is teak? Teak is a hardwood that comes from the tropical regions of Asia. It has a high oil content, which makes it resistant to rot and insect damage. And, unlike other woods, teak doesn’t shrink or swell when it gets wet, so it’s ideal for use in outdoor furniture. Teak is also a beautiful wood, with a yellow-brown color that deepens with age. So if you’re looking for furniture that will last for years and get better with age, look for pieces made from teak.

Exotic woods

Exotic woods are often prized for their unique grain patterns and colors. However, these same features can make them difficult to work with. When cutting or sanding, exotic woods can produce large amounts of dust, which can be harmful to breathe in. In addition, the dust from exotic woods can be very irritating to the skin. As a result, it is important to take precautions when working with these materials. When possible, wear a dust mask and gloves to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the dust. In addition, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area to help reduce your exposure to the dust. With a little bit of care and attention, you can safely enjoy working with these unique and beautiful materials.


Bamboo wood

Bamboo is a type of grass that is native to Asia. It is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, and it has a wide variety of uses. Bamboo can be used to make furniture, baskets, paper, and even clothing. It is also a popular food source for many animals, including pandas. Bamboo is a versatile plant that has many benefits. However, it also has some drawbacks. For example, because it grows so quickly, bamboo can easily take over an area and crowd out other plants. It can also be difficult to control once it is established. As a result, bamboo should be planted with care and consideration. With a little bit of planning, bamboo can be a valuable addition to any landscape.

Plywood and MDF

Plywood and medium-density fiberboard, or MDF, are two types of wood products that are often used in construction and woodworking. Both plywood and MDF are made by combining wood fibers with glue and pressing them into sheets. Plywood is made from thin layers, or plies, of wood veneer that is glued together. MDF is made from wood fibers that have been broken down into small pieces and combined with wax and resin binders. The resulting product is denser and smoother than plywood. When choosing between plywood and MDF, it is important to consider the intended use. Plywood is stronger and more durable, making it a good choice for structural applications. MDF is more uniform in density and texture, making it a better choice for projects that require a smooth surface, such as cabinets or built-ins.

OSB and chipboard

When it comes to choosing the right material for your building project, it’s important to know the difference between OSB and chipboard. OSB, or oriented strand board, is made from thin strips of wood that are glued and pressed together. The resulting panel is strong and stiff, making it ideal for sheathing walls and floors. Chipboard, on the other hand, is made from wood chips that are glued and pressed together. The result is a soft, lightweight panel that is often used for interior finish work or furniture construction. So which one is right for your project? It all depends on your specific needs. If you need a strong, sturdy panel, OSB is the way to go. If you need a lightweight panel that can be easily cut and shaped, chipboard is the better choice. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you need the material to do.


Particleboard is a type of engineered wood product made from wood chips, shavings, and sawdust that are glued and pressed together. It is typically used in construction and furniture-making as a less expensive alternative to solid wood. Particleboard can be made with or without a facing, and it can be produced in various thicknesses and densities. One of the advantages of particleboard is that it is an excellent choice for applications where high mechanical strength is not required. It is also easy to work with and can be cut, drilled, and shaped to meet various needs. However, particleboard is not as durable as solid wood and is susceptible to moisture damage. As a result, it is important to take care when handling and storing particleboard to prevent damage.

Veneer woodworking lumber

When it comes to woodworking, there are a variety of different lumber options to choose from. One type of lumber that is often used for veneering is called “veneer woodworking lumber.” This type of lumber is made from thin sheets of wood that are glued together. Veneer woodworking lumber is typically lighter and more flexible than other types of lumber, making it ideal for use in intricate woodworking projects. In addition, veneer woodworking lumber can be stained or painted to match the surrounding décor. As a result, it is an excellent choice for both functional and aesthetic purposes.

Reclaimed wood

Reclaimed wood is an increasingly popular option for both home and commercial projects. And it’s no wonder – reclaimed wood has a unique character that you simply can’t find in new lumber. Each piece tells a story, with knots and other imperfections serving as a reminder of its history. In addition, reclaimed wood is often more durable than new wood, as it has already been through the aging process. Whether you’re looking to add rustic charm to your home or create a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture, reclaimed wood is an excellent choice.

Sustainably sourced wood

Sustainably sourced wood is wood that is sourced from well-managed forests. This type of wood is sometimes also referred to as “green wood.” Sourcing wood sustainably is important because it helps to ensure that forests are not being depleted faster than they can regenerate. It also helps to protect habitats and species that depend on forests for their survival. In addition, sustainably sourced wood is often of a higher quality than wood that has been sourced unsustainably. This is because trees that are managed sustainably tend to be healthier and stronger, which leads to denser and more durable wood. When buying wood products, it is important to look for labels that indicate that the wood has been sourced sustainably.

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How to store your woodworking lumber

If you’re like most people, you probably have a stack of lumber stored in your garage or workshop. But did you know that there’s a right way and a wrong way to store your wood? Here are a few tips to help you keep your lumber in top condition:

  1. Always store your lumber off the ground. This will prevent moisture damage and ensure that your wood stays dry.
  2. Be sure to stack your lumber loosely. This will allow air to circulate and prevent the wood from warping.
  3. If possible, store your wood in a cool, dark place. Extreme temperatures can damage the wood, so it’s best to keep it in a temperature-controlled environment.

Wood moisture content

The moisture content of wood is an important factor to consider when selecting lumber for a building project. The amount of water that wood can absorb varies depending on the species, with some woods being more resistant to moisture than others. In general, hardwoods are more resistant to moisture than softwoods. However, even within these two categories, there can be a significant variation in moisture content.

For example, the wood of a redwood tree has a high moisture content, while the wood of an oak tree has a much lower moisture content. The moisture content of lumber also varies depending on where it was grown. Lumber from trees grown in a dry climate will have a lower moisture content than lumber from trees grown in a wet climate. When choosing lumber for a project, it is important to select wood that has the appropriate moisture content for the intended use. If the lumber is too moist, it may warp or rot; if it is too dry, it may crack or split.

Seasoning your lumber

Seasoning lumber is an important process for anyone who works with wood. By seasoning lumber, you are essentially removing moisture from the wood so that it is more stable and less likely to warp or crack. There are two main methods for seasoning lumber: air drying and kiln drying. Air drying is the slower of the two methods, but it is also the more affordable option. Kiln drying, on the other hand, is a faster process but requires specialized equipment. Whichever method you choose, it is important to follow the instructions carefully to achieve the best results. Seasoning your lumber can be a time-consuming process, but it is well worth the effort to produce high-quality wood products.

Dealing with warped lumber

Warped lumber is a common problem for woodworkers, but it can be tricky to deal with. If you’re not careful, you can end up with an unusable piece. The first step is to identify the type of warp you’re dealing with. Warp can be caused by changes in temperature or humidity, so it’s important to find a stable environment for your project. If the warp is severe, you may need to use a jointer or planer to flatten the board. For smaller warps, you can try using clamps or weights to straighten the wood. With patience and attention to detail, it’s possible to salvage even severely warped lumber.

How to dispose of unwanted lumber scraps responsibly

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, chances are you have a lot of leftover lumber scraps after your projects. What should you do with them? If you simply toss them in the trash, they’ll end up in a landfill, taking up valuable space. And if you burn them, there’s the risk of releasing harmful chemicals into the air. So what’s the best way to dispose of unwanted lumber scraps?

The first step is to see if someone can reuse them. many lumberyards and hardware stores will take lumber scraps for free or for a small fee. You can also check with your local recycling center to see if they accept lumber. If not, your next best option is to compost them. Wood chips and sawdust make great compost materials, and they’ll eventually break down into rich, fertile soil. Just be sure to mix them in with other organic materials such as leaves and grass clippings.


Woodworking is a popular hobby enjoyed by many people all over the world. But before you can start woodworking, you need to get your hands on some wood! In this article, we have explored the different types of wood available for purchase, what to look for when buying wood, and how to store it properly. We have also discussed the importance of choosing sustainably sourced wood. We hope that this article has been helpful and that you are now feeling confident about choosing the right type of wood for your next woodworking project!


Q: Where can I buy wood for woodworking?

There are many places you can buy wood for woodworking. You can purchase it from a hardware store, a lumber yard, or online.

Q: What should I look for when buying wood?

The type of wood you need will depend on the project you are working on. Some woods are better suited for certain projects than others. When choosing wood, make sure to consider the following factors:

  • The hardness of the wood. Harder woods are more difficult to work with but are less likely to dent or chip. Softer woods are easier to work with but are more susceptible to damage.
  • The grain of the wood. Some woods have a tighter grain which makes them stronger. Other woods have a looser grain which makes them more pliable.
  • The weight of the wood. Heavier woods are more difficult to maneuver but are also less likely to warp. Lighter woods are easier to maneuver but are more likely to warp.
  • The price of the wood. Woods can vary greatly in price, so be sure to compare prices before making a purchase.

Q: Where should I store my wood?

Wood should be stored in a cool, dry place. If possible, store it in a temperature-controlled environment. Do not store wood near heat sources such as radiators or fireplaces.

Q: Why is it important to choose sustainably sourced wood?

Sustainably sourced wood is wood that has been harvested in a way that does not damage the environment. This means that the trees were not clear-cut, and the forest was not harmed in the process. Choosing sustainably sourced wood is important because it helps to preserve our forests and ensure that they will be around for future generations.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

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