Category Archives: Types of Wood for Furniture

In the past, the types of wood available for furniture were limited to the trees growing in the craftsman’s local area. Today, however, it’s possible to order an unusual wood (or furniture made from it) from the other side of the world and have it arrive in a few days.

Wood is grouped into two broad categories: hardwood and softwood. It’s a common misconception that the deciding factor is a wood’s density or hardness. Take balsa wood, for example. It is one of the lightest and easiest to work with woods available. But, technically speaking, it’s a hardwood.

Everyone knows that solid wood furniture looks better and lasts longer than synthetic versions. All wood furniture can be custom finished, but the final result depends a great deal on the beginning color and grain pattern of the wood. Some types of wood furniture are defined more by the type of wood they’re constructed from than their design!

These articles will help you find your favorite furniture wood species and refinish accordingly.

Fir Wood Furniture

Fir wood is commonly used in the construction industry. It is strong, stable, and can be used for framing a building. In some cases, fir wood is used to create furniture. It is not the most common type of wood used to create tables, chairs, and other furniture items because it can be difficult to […]
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Butternut Wood Furniture – Unusual and Relatively Rare

Butternut was used extensively by early settlers of North America. The nuts produced dyes and oils, and the sap was boiled down into syrup. Butternut may be best known, however, for its use as paneling on case goods. Sometimes called “white walnut” or “oil nut”, butternut wood is both easily worked and attractive. Novice woodworkers ...
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Birch Furniture – Sturdy and Attractive, Can last for years.

Birch is related to beech and oak, and shares many of the same properties. It is a light-colored, durable hardwood. One characteristic unique to birch is its smooth, white bark, which is left on by many furniture manufacturers. This creates a unique, rustic look that’s popular in lodge style decorating. Birch veneer is often applied […]
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Beech Furniture – Durable and Good Option for Refinishing

Like basswood, beech is found primarily in the Northeastern part of North America. It’s also found throughout Europe in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Denmark, and Austria. Ikea is one well-known company which sells contemporary beech wood furniture. It is classified as a medium- to hard wood, making it a ...
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Basswood Furniture – A popular wood for furniture and moldings.

American Basswood is a deciduous tree that grows throughout the Northeastern half of North America. It is also sometimes referred to as American Linden. This hardwood is highly resistant to warping and has good gluing capabilities, making it a popular choice for furniture. Like ash, basswood is odor and taste-free; it is often used to […]
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Ash Wood Furniture – Durable and Versatile

Ash is one of the most popular hardwoods in furniture construction. It is dense and very strong for its weight (in fact, ash is the wood of choice for baseball bats). Ash is also flexible, especially when steamed, making it a popular choice for bentwood designs. It is a good option for cutting boards and […]
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Apple Wood Furniture – A Durable Choice

Apple trees were common sources of wood for the immigrants who colonized North America. Today, apple wood is typically harvested from trees that have outgrown their usefulness as fruit producers. Because the majority of today’s apple trees are dwarf varieties (they produce the same amount of fruit on a much smaller, more manageable tree), apple ...
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