Wood has been used by mankind since the dawn of our existence. Even at an early age, wood craftsmanship was very advanced. From the pieces that have been collected by architects around the world, we come to know that back then people were skilled at molding wood into bowls, spoons, and other objects. The point is that wood is one of the earliest building materials provided by nature. From basic household objects to houses and large ships, wood is used in almost every craft.
Mother Nature has blessed us with a wide variety of wood. There are many different types of wood but, all these types can be categorized into two basic kinds: hardwood and softwood. These two categories are not based on the sturdiness and strength of the wood. These are scientific categories and softwood term stands for gymnosperms and hardwood for angiosperms. Gymnosperms produce seeds with no covering on them and are dropped to the ground e.g. pine trees. Angiosperms produce seeds that have hard coverings surrounding them e.g. acorn, apple seeds, etc.
Here’s a list of the most popular softwoods and their uses:
Cedar – It has a very specific pleasant smell. It has a straight grain and is commonly used to build furniture and exterior projects like decks. Cedar wood can handle moisture without rotting which is why it is good for exteriors. Out of all the cedar woods, Western Red Cedar is most popular and as the name suggests, it has a distinct red color.
Fir – It has a reddish tint and like cedar, it also has a straight grain. It is inexpensive which is why it is used by builders on larger scales and people who are using wood for smaller-scale crafts.
Pine – Many types of pine wood vary in color and other features. The most popular types of pine wood are yellow, white, sugar, and Ponderosa pine wood. It is very easy to work with and carve which is why it is mostly used for furniture.
Redwood – It has many properties similar to cedar wood. One of its unique features is that it has a natural resistance to water.
Hardwood is the top choice of craftsmen because it has a wide range of textures, grain quality, patterns, and colors. The only drawback is that hardwood is expensive and it needs a longer duration to grow. Here’s a list of some of the most used kinds of hardwood:
Ash – It is lighter in color and often used instead of white oak wood. It is easy to work with but, it is not easy to find.
Mahogany – It has a deep brown color and straight grain. It takes stain very efficiently which is why it is renowned for making beautiful furniture. It is rather expensive because it has to be sourced naturally. It is not grown on farms.
Cherry – It stains very well and is easy to craft with. Its unique quality is that it stays strong for a very long time. It is grown on farms and is available easily. It is mostly used for furniture.
Birch – It is available in white and yellow colors. It is inexpensive and easily available.
Maple – It is available in a hard and soft variety. The soft variety is very stable and has a fine grain which makes it easy to work with. The hard variety is not easy to work with.
Oak – It is very popular for building furniture. It comes in two colors i.e. white oak and red oak wood. White oak wood is water-resistant and is a good choice for outdoor projects.
Other popular varieties of hardwood are teak, poplar, and walnut wood which are not so easy to find but, look gorgeous.