Choosing the right material for your diy project

Material is key element of any product, including furniture. So choosing the right material for your woodworking project will go a long way. Recently i’ve noticed a trend that appreciation for well-designed and built furniture is growing. They might not be as cheap as IKEA, but i think because of growing DIY community, people are starting to see value of quality products. Quality materials are increasingly in demand and hard to come by, at least for affordable price. That’s probably because of it’s durability and superior aesthetic value.  Just as DIY woodworker might vary from beginner to experienced, the high quality materials are just as different. And they’re just as important as, for example, choosing the best mini drive saw. They might differ in colors, softness of material, price, and all that. Lower price doesn’t always mean crappy material though. In the past, i’ve completed a lot of projects with affordable materials that looked and felt just as good as some of my other high-end stuff. Still, most woodworkers prefer one certain type of wood over another. Maple, pine, oak, cedar and cherry wood are most widely used. I’ll expand on individual characteristics of each type below.

Pine is softwood type, and while that might sometimes be an advantage, it isn’t recommended to be used in large number of DIY projects. It also has advantage of being lightweight, which is good because furniture made of Pine is light and affordable to move. It’s disadvantage is that it’s not as resistant to scratches as hardwoods are. But by far it’s biggest advantage is it’s cheap price. Overall, being affordable and fairly good material makes Pine one of the most popular material choices for DIY projects.

Maple, on the other hand, is of hardwood type. It is mostly used for furnitures that need superior durability and sturdiness. Which means, that most shelves and beds are usually made of Maple. Naturally, maple comes in light colors, but it can be easily painted. I should note that Maple is my favorite kind of wood.

And now we’ve come to Oak. Oak is one of the most popular materials used by woodworkers, largely due to it’s amazing looks and strength. Naturally, oak varies in colour from pink to light green, but just like Maple, it can be easily painted. It has one big advantage though – it’s much more expensive than, say, Pine or Maple.

Cedar is softwood, and it’s quality is on par with that of Pine. But it’s big advantage is resistance to rotting. Also, just like all softwoods, it is light and can be moved around easily. It’s best suited for making furniture for your backyard or deck.

And at last, Cherry wood. I haven’t personally worked with this material, but it has reputation for being solid hardwood which is resistant to scratches and dents, which makes it very popular among some DIYers. Cherry wood is also very strong, some might say TOO strong. It’s strength makes it hard to work with it.