Woods are categorized into two. Softwood and Hardwood. There is a third classification also, namely Engineered wood or man-made wood.
What is the difference between hardwood and softwood?
The most basic difference between both kinds of wood comes from their basic reproduction. Hardwood species(angiosperms) produce seeds covered with something around( say apple). On the other hand, Softwood trees(gymnosperms) don’t keep a covering for their seeds(eg: pine). Angiosperms shed their leaves during winter but Gymnosperms keep their leaves throughout the season.
Hardwoods have a slower growth rate compared to softwoods. This helps them grow denser and stronger which makes them suitable for construction purposes. Hardwoods are mainly used in the premium furniture industry whereas 80% of the wood market is covered by softwoods that are used in almost all fields of wood applications. Hardwoods, due to their exotic properties are costlier than softwoods.
What is the best wood for furniture making?
Here we are discussing the best 6 exotic wood used in furniture making.Cherry
Perhaps this wood will be the most expensive hardwood that is used for making furniture in America. Cherry woods are easy to bend with steam, making them a better choice in curved designs. Generally, the grains are close and straight. They are best suited for making cabinets, furniture, flooring, etc.
The color of cherry wood can be distinct in the same tree itself. Another specialty of this wood is its color-changing mechanism as it gets old. Light pink colored wood tends to change to dark reddish-brown color with time when exposed to sunlight.
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The furniture made from Maple wood is a piece of art! Every woodworker will agree upon the fact that Maple wood is the best in the market for an item of rich-looking furniture. Maple wood has a uniform texture with straight grains. Unlike other woods, the sapwood of maple is used in furniture making rather than its heartwood.
They are stiff, strong, and finishes well. Out of all other variants, Hard maple is the best to work with. These affordable woods are naturally non-toxic and durable, making them the best choice for kitchen cabinets.
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The interesting fact about red oak is that its pores are widely open. They are said to be the most efficient wood to be used to burn based on its high BTU content. They have uneven texture and are normally straight grained. It is said to be that no two oak wood has the same texture. Red Oaks are perishable and susceptible to rotting and insect attacks if not properly coated with high-quality varnish.
Also, they produce serious stains with water contact. Red Oaks are abundantly available and less expensive compared to White Oaks. They are easy to work with hand and machines. Red Oaks are mainly used in furniture making, flooring, etc
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Mahogany is one of the traditional wood used for furniture making. This wood species are listed endangered and are rare. The rot resistance and durability are more for aged trees than the younger ones, so is the density. The texture pattern of this wood can be straight or curvy or interlocked. The straight ones are easy to work with tools while others are not.
The cost of Honduran mahogany is almost equivalent to the cost of an imported hardwood or sometimes more than that. Hence these woods are categorized as the most premium woods used.
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These woods are among the top-rated lasting woods that can survive insect attacks and rot. East Indian Rosewoods, when seasoned thoroughly, gets the best physical properties and can produce furniture of rich quality. They are golden brown in the beginning and the color deepens with the time of light exposure to reach dark brown.
While working with East Indian Rosewoods, it produces a slight rose-like fragrance. The interlocked texture of the wood is a disadvantage that makes it a difficult wood to work with tools. Despite being listed under endangered, these woods are available in the market at a high price.
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Walnut woods are in the furniture industry since the Victorian era. This hardwood possesses several qualities for being the favorite among the wood enthusiasts. The strength, stiffness, endurance, shock resistance, ability to bend while steamed, etc are some of the many factors behind the popularity of Walnut.
Unlike their sapwood, which is light yellow to grey color, the heartwood of Walnut is dark chocolate or brownish, suitable for making a classic dining table. Even though they are susceptible to insect attacks, walnut wood can resist rot and can withstand climate conditions for a very long time. Walnut woods are easily available in the market and the cost is reasonable while compared to other endangered hardwoods.
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