Newbie/lurker has a couple of questions


I am ready to make a couple of wood/metal spice racks and a table base. They will be a combination of metal, artistic cutouts, tile, and transparent patterned glass, something similar to Frank Lloyd Wright patterns.
What is a good wood to use that isn't terribly expensive? I want it to be hard, take a stain well, be workable with a router without shredding or eating blades, and finish up to a nice luster/gloss. I know oak is available at HD. What would be some others that are commonly available at local lumber yards or even shipped online that would meet these parameters?
Thanks.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Beech.
While the grain is nothing to write home about, the wood is great to work with. Machines well, will dye easily to look like a close grained piece of walnut or an honest to goodness piece of mahogany. The straight grain will also keep you from having to worry too much about warping and twisting when you finish your project.
Down here in Texas where all hardwoods are nasty expensive, you can get beech at our local Paxton's for about $2.50 a BF (amazing....), sanded two sides. Even more amazing, you can get widths as well.
Robert
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Does S2S mean sanded in Texas? On the left upper coast it means 'surfaced'. (Not trying to be a smart ass - this time.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No, it isn't sanded, just run through a planer and straight-lined on one side usually. When I buy over 100bf, they will let me choose the thickness, which is usually 13/16 for most of my uses. The S4S sold at home depot is usually 2 1/2 to 3 times the cost of what my suppliers charge.
woodstuff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Birch and hickory come to mind as well. Hickory can be a bit loud sometimes, the birch is always nice from my supplier, and beech seems to come and go, with my guy at least. Lovely even-grained stuff when it is available, and a good deal. And, of course, cherry if you can afford it. Frank Llllloyd Wright would agree with me there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Cherry would fit probably your requirements if it's available locally..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I suppose you can start with the wood hardness chart, then look for an appropriate corresponding wood to stain, next link. Local mills may have less commercial varieties of lumber available, than HD, Lowes, etc., also.... varieties that will suit your hardness, cutting and staining needs... ash, pecan, hickory, osage orange, plum, persimmon (a variety of ebony, but it's not black)?
http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/indextotal.htm
Sonny
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

ask where you can find a supplier. It's a for sure thing that most shops know where to buy the best quality for a cheaper price. Maybe also ask if the shop would sell you whatever you need. It's hard to help you locate a good hardwood supplier without knowing what part of the world you are in.
Have a good day, woodstuff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Steve B" wrote:

When it comes to hardwoods, avoid Home Depot like it was the plague.
Personally I try to avoid stains and dyes when possible.
White Oak and/or Ash are readily available, are easy to machine, and relatively low cost.
Boiled Linseed Oil provides a nice oiled finish as is or can be over coated with poly after it has cured.
Have fun.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/6/2010 1:41 AM, Steve B wrote:

First, find a good hardwood lumber yard near you (woodfinder.com may help in that regard, also look in the yellow pages under "lumber", "hardwood", and "sawmills"). Home Depot's selection is poor--they'll have some red oak and some soft maple for excessive prices. If there's a Woodcraft near you they generally have a good selection but limited quantity and very high prices.
If you're trying to emulate the Wright "look", fumed white oak finished with boiled linseed oil was the most common material and a glossy finish was generally shunned (if you've seen Wright furniture with a glossy finish don't assume that the finish was original--one study of furniture in a Wright house determined that somebody had refinished a lot of it with polyurethane).
If you're tempted to try this, googling "fuming oak" will get you a number of descriptions of the process and if you have a subscription to the Finewoodworking site there's a good article there that also shows the effect on other woods. Note that red oak (the kind you usually find at Home Depot) tends to turn green when fumed).
Mahogany would also be "correct" for the style and era--takes a little sealing to get a smooth glossy finish, but it's a very pleasant wood to work with--until MDF came along it was a favorite of patternmakers because it milled so cleanly. It also stains well but the natural color is so good that it's pretty much pointless unless you're trying to match another piece.
Now, that said, there's no wood I know of that's readily available that meets all your requirements. Oak takes stain well, is hard and easily workable, but getting an even gloss on it takes effort. Walnut stains evenly, is lovely to work with, and can be easily finished to a high gloss, but its naturally dark color may prevent you from getting the color you want from the stain. Hard maple (maple comes hard and soft among other distinctions--the kind you find at Home Depot is soft) is for a domestic wood quite hard (some of the tropical hardwoods are much much harder, as is osage orange if you can find it), is easily finished to a gloss, works well, but stain tends to be blotchy. Beech, which someone else recommended, may be fine--it's not readily available around here so I've never had a chance to work with it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

As has been hinted at, where you live will determine a lot of what your choices are. The suggestion on the cabinet shop is a very good one.
Depending on what you have in your shop, and being a newbie its probably not a lot, buying rough lumber and planing it yourself is always a good idea - not to mention a lot cheaper.
The suggestion on oak and ash needs a qualifier. Oak has a very pronounced grain and large pores, so figure on using a grain filler with it.
Ash, which is one of my favorite woods, has a problem when routing. You have to rout with the grain, or do a "climb cut" or it has a strong tendency to split out on you.
If it is available, I would definitely go with the cherry, with walnut being a good second choice - though it is softer than cherry.
If you need something that is hard, then oak and cherry. If you need a hardwood, you could add ash and walnut to your choices.
Deb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 08/06/2010 07:45 AM, Dr.Deb wrote:

Eh? Why?

Er, no; walnut is harder than cherry. Not but much, but it IS harder.

Not sure what kind of "cherry" you're talking about, but regular American domestic ("black", typically) cherry is one of the softer hardwoods out there, certainly of all the hardwoods discussed in this thread so far.
--
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/6/10 12:41 AM, Steve B wrote:

I agree with everything Robert said about Beech. It is a joy to work with and is pretty much a chameleon when stained. On that note, it generally stains more evenly than maple and is usually cheaper. On that note :-), like everyone else said, find a hardwood supplier.
2nd suggestion: Birch for about the same reason listed above and it's a bit harder than beech and about the same hardness as maple.
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you are going to stain it, maybe a plain old pine board is all you need. If you use a wood like cherry, walnut, oak, they look good in their natural state with an oil finish. Don't pay for exotic wood and then cover it up. Look for a dealer in hardwoods rather than a lumber yard that carries construction stuff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve B wrote:

Hard = hickory. Works and finishes fine, relatively cheap and easy to come by.
The heart wood is brown, pretty grain without being oppressive. Sap wood is white, looks nice, should stain well but I don't know as I don't stain.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.