18 different types of wood and their uses

Wood comes in many shapes and sizes. Since wood comes from trees, and trees come in several varieties, it’s no surprise that we have such a wide selection of woods to choose from when building.

different types of wood
Although there are only three main types, there are thousands of species and varieties of wood. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular woods you’ll encounter in construction and carpentry.

1. Alder
Alder is a hardwood that is steadily gaining traction due to its inherent beauty, machinability, and versatility. It is more common in the northwest and southwest regions of California and the southwest of Canada. Because it belongs to the same family as birch, it serves many of the same purposes. When freshly cut, alder looks almost white, but when exposed to light and air it quickly turns a warm honey brown. The straight grain of this intermediate wood makes it ideal for turning, carving and machining. This wood is also well suited to a variety of finishing techniques. After sanding, alder has a very smooth surface that can be easily painted.

2. Ash wood
Ash wood is hard to come by due to recent concerns about the emerald ash borer, a harmful pest that has caused the premature death of several of these trees. If you live in an area where ash trees are natural and abundant, you will have an easier time than not finding this wood.

3. Aspen Wood (Aspen)
Aspen is a light-colored wood that is easy to color and stain. The texture of this wood sometimes looks or feels fuzzy. Sauna construction is one of the most professional uses of aspen. Wood is heat resistant and can withstand moisture with little expansion or movement. It is also used to make matches because it does not conduct heat very well.

4. Balsa
Balsa is a lightweight and useful hardwood commonly used in hobby and craft applications. Balsa has a bad reputation among good woodworkers because it’s not particularly strong, although it’s often underrated and has a wide range of applications. This wood has a long history, especially since it was often used as a replacement for aircraft and ships during World War I and World War II. Wood grain can be easily stained or painted to be used as a veneer to inexpensively create a variety of looks.

5. Bamboo
Although bamboo is officially grass, not wood, the toughness and sturdiness of the plant’s stem allow it to be used for a variety of purposes. Bamboo grows abundantly in the tropics and there are many varieties that vary from region to region. Garden furniture, garden decorations, privacy screens and fences are made from bamboo stalks. Bamboo is also used in cabinets, beautiful furniture and hardwood floors.

6. Basswood
Basswood is light cream in color and has a very firm texture. Once properly dried and conditioned, wood resists warping or shifting. Basswood is a popular choice for woodcarvers and turners. It’s also a common choice for model makers and small woodworkers. Basswood is popular among wood turners because of its ease of use.

7. Beech
Beech is a hardwood commonly used in wood furniture, veneer and wood turning. This beige wood has a regular grain pattern, usually straight and tight, with occasional grey flecks. The wood does have a yellow-red cream tint and is very light in color. Beech is a less expensive hardwood that is available in a variety of sizes and can also be used as a veneer. Wood is relatively easy to handle as long as your equipment is sharp. It can be easily attached and stained if desired.

8. Birch
Birch is a common hardwood and is usually one of the more economical hardwoods available at local lumberyards and housing stores. Birch is a tough tree that can be used for almost anything you can think of. Many people prefer birch to oak because it is cheaper. One thing to keep in mind with birch is that it can be difficult to stain.

9. California Redwoods
The California redwood tree is a softwood known for its enormous size and bright red color. Redwood, like its sibling cedar, has a unique wood-grain structure that is ideal for outdoor use. Redwood is commonly used in the construction of railway trestle and sleepers, as well as retaining walls and garden boundaries.

10. Cedar
Many people are known for cedar, not only for its unique wood texture and color, but also for its pleasant scent, which is thought to repel moths and pests. It is sometimes a common choice for closets and storage cabinets due to its pleasant smell and insect repellent abilities. Cedar is also a great choice for outdoor construction. This wood is generally considered rot-resistant and able to withstand the harsh weather outdoors. Therefore, cedar is often used in outdoor applications such as patio furniture, decks, fencing and decorative siding.

11. Cherry
Cherry is a lovely wood that comes from the fruit of the American black cherry tree. This wood usually starts out as a bright pink that darkens and turns scarlet over time. Black spots can appear in cherry wood caused by mineral deposits that build up over time.

12. Douglas Fir
Fir is another excellent softwood to consider for beginner woodworking projects because it is affordable and strong. Fir is often a suitable choice for projects to be painted because it is difficult to stain and does not have much wood grain. The wood grain of most fir species is fairly tight compared to pine, which makes it more balanced and durable. Fir is often used in construction and utility projects where the original wood grain finish is not important.

13. Ebony
Ebony is easy to identify because it is one of the few woods that is truly black. It is a solid hardwood in a variety of qualities, ideal for a variety of woodcarving and professional woodworking projects. Ebony really shouldn’t be painted and sometimes gluing it can be difficult. In most cases, ebony is best polished with a very fine sanding and polishing before waxing. For this wood, sealants and varnishes should be avoided.

14. Luan (plywood)
The most common plywood in Luan is made from the Shorea tree endemic to Southeast Asia and the Philippines. The Lauan tree is a flowering plant of the Shorea family. While technically hardwood, we’re more likely to encounter it in man-made engineered forms like plywood. This wood is very flexible and bendable. This gives it a one-of-a-kind quality that makes it ideal for miniatures and mockups. It is also known for its use in numerous craft and hobby projects due to its light weight, low cost, and consistent availability.

15. MDF: Medium Density Fiberboard
MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard is an engineered wood product similar to HDF but with a lower overall density. Due to the variation in fiber density, MDF is more suitable than cardboard for a variety of applications. For example, MDF has better insulating and acoustic properties, so it is sometimes used in important places, such as the interior of speakers. MDF is just one of the things you should be aware of when you encounter it, but you should generally avoid it if possible.

16. Pine
Pine is a fairly popular and adaptable softwood with a wide variety of uses. Pine is a popular choice for a variety of projects because it is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and durable. Most pines grow tall and fast, and they are often grown in sustainable forestry environments, meaning more trees are planted each year than felled.

17. Plywood
Although it is made of real wood, plywood is an engineered material. Plywood is made by gluing and compressing multiple layers of veneer together. Plywood is available in a variety of wood finishes, and most plywood has two sides: a “rough side” and a “good side.” Plywood comes in a variety of densities, with quarter-inch, half-inch, and three-quarter-inch thicknesses most commonly found in home improvement stores. The most common types of plywood used in construction are fir, pine and spruce.

18. Spruce
Spruce is a tropical softwood tree that, as mentioned, is commonly found in lumber yards called “SPF lumber” and is often used for framing projects. Because of its pale hue, spruce is occasionally offered under the generic name “white wood,” especially in large home improvement retail chains. It has a thin and straight texture. When allowed to reach full maturity, spruce can have excellent acoustic qualities, making it ideal for making musical instruments, including pianos, guitars, and more stringed instruments.

Post time: Nov-11-2022