What kind of wood to use?

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Hi everyone:
If you were completely new to woodworking - all your prior experience was installing chair rails in a den and building a workbench - what type of wood would you use to build sewing machine furniture? I'm planning to build something similar to a corner computer desk with side extensions to accommodate 3 sewing machines. Something like this: http://store.yahoo.com/plansnow/compdesk1.html
The tools I'll be using are a 7 1/4" electric circular saw, and another one 5 1/2" battery operated. Also a scroll saw, two drills, and a finishing sander. Of course I have all the other essentials, such as hammers, levels, and such.
Considering the tools that I have, and especially my very limited experience, I'm concerned about wasting good wood.
On the other hand, it could turn out to be pretty good and then I would be sorry not to have used better wood.
What would be a middle ground?
I would greatly appreciate some feedback.
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I would use mahogany. It's easy on the tools, easy to work with, readily available, relatively inexpensive, and rather pretty.
Kevin
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Unless he lives in the Houston area, then Mahogany tends to be a much more expensive wood that say, Walnut, Soft Maple, Oak, or Cherry.
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When I was in Dallas, it was the same price as maple, maybe slightly more, depending on width and thickness.
Kevin
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On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 19:12:38 -0400, "Kevin Singleton"

Where do you live?
Here in CT, Mahogany is $3 more than walnut, and almost three times the price of oak, ash, birch, and maple.
Barry
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I'm in Pennsylvania, now, but I haven't had to buy any wood, yet. Anyone know a good supplier in western Pennsylvania?
Kevin
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I live in Florida.
wrote:

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On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 19:12:38 -0400, "Kevin Singleton"

Gosh, I would not call mahogany inexpensive. Not my neck of the woods anyway. Cherry is not cheap, but a lot less expensive than mahogany. But if you can get it for $5 a board foot, go for it!
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I have made perfectly nice bookcases out of pine. If you want to go a step up, maybe ash or soft maple.
Poplar is cheap, but I would rather use pine.
You are going to have a heck of a time getting everything square with a just a circular saw; but it can be done if you are careful enough.
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What would be the appropriate tool, a table saw? Any recommendations on the brand?
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much do you plan to spend? Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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wrote in message

Geez Ed, read the OP; he wants to spend as little as possible.
To get a real saw, you have to spend at least $400-$500. All the saws in that price range are more or less the same. If you feel lucky, you can buy a used $400 saw for about $200; however you should have someone knowledgable look at it unless you feel really lucky. Anything cheaper isn't going to give you the results you need; you might as well stick to a circular saw. Speaking of which, I use one, with a very secure cutting guide, for making crosscuts too big for the table saw. It is really slow, but works. Someday, maybe, I will build a sled.
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Maybe $150 - $200.

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Used. There is not a worthy new saw made at that price level. Ed
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For a small budget I'd recommend a low-angle block plane to clean up the saw marks on your cuts. You can also straighten out slightly crooked cuts, bevel edges, block in pieces that are a tad oversized etc.
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I am partial to oak. It can be obtained for reasonable costs and it does not demand high surface finish. Moreover, I would start with plywood with a good veneer finish rather than working with solid wood. Your major panels would be the plywood while solid pieces are used for trim etc.
Dick

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wrote:

Wood prices vary so much, depending on demand and location. Look for a good deal on hardwoods like maple, ash, beech, walnut, oak, etc and us that wood. I doubt you'll find cherry at a good price (due to the current demand on this wood), but who knows? Popular is another wood to consider if you are going to paint, and this is a good secondary wood for parts that won't be seen. Not have a decent table saw/jointer means you'll spend more time to get straight even cuts. Don't you have a hand plane?
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No, I don't have a handplane. I guess I need more tools. This'l take a while, but I will do it - God willing.

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wrote:

birch plywood
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MOE,
This is not a slam, I'm just putting your request in context. I saw your workbench posting on ABPW. It's great start, simple and utilitarian (completely appririate for what it is).
This is a serious question: do you wish to build furniture, or a sewing tool, or both?
I suspect that you have a few projects in from of you before you're on to fine furniture. Wood species is more of an aesthetic choice than anything else.
Do NOT rule out sheet goods...Cabinet-grade plywood, MDF, melamine for laminate (formica) over particle board or MDF. Getting a large flat surface with solid wood can be a challenge for a newbie. Sheet goods can solve that problem to some degree.
Cheers,
Steve

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