How to choose the best construction timber?

Building with timber is a trend that isn’t going to go away soon. It might be considered a lightweight form of construction, but that shouldn’t deceive you. Custom-made timber structures and furniture are remarkably strong considering what they’re made of. Their flexibility is always praised, but let’s not forget that they’re also environmentally friendly. Here are some materials you can start with.

1. Cherry

Cherry might be a visually appealing option, but underneath all that beauty there’s a lot of brawn too. It’s considered one of the strongest options you can pick for building your home. On the Janka hardness scale, it’s rated as “very hard”. This wood has a slightly red undertone, which is appropriate considering its name. It stains and finishes well with just oil, and it ages magnificently.

It sands pretty smooth so it’s ideal for flat surfaces. Very few people use it in construction because of its massive cost, but it’s become very popular when it comes to furnishings. Beds and end tables are usually where cherry wood is used.

2. Maple

Maple is a very specific kind of timber. It comes in several varieties. The most important ones are hard and soft. Hard maple is as hard as it can get. On a scale of one to four, it’s a solid four in hardness. It’s hard enough that it’s kind of difficult to work with. Soft maple, on the other hand, is great for making just about anything from floors to furniture.

Both varieties are more stable than most type of wood and they tend to be less expensive than other kinds of hardwood. They have a very fine and straight grain to them. Most lumber yards have this kind of wood and you won’t have issues finding it.

3. Cedar

Cedar is another great choice for building just about anything. The most common type of cedar is the red cedar. As its name suggests, the western variety of cedar is slightly reddish. It’s a relatively soft type of wood compared to its many competitors. On a one to four scale, it’s usually rated as a one. It has a straight grain and an aromatic smell that is to die for.

The great thing about cedar is that it’s very moisture resistant. It’s mostly used in outdoor projects like patios and decks since it can easily survive the elements. You don’t have to worry about cedar rotting in the rain any time soon. It’s also moderately priced so it’s not too out of reach to build with.

4. Pine

This wonderful wintertime wood isn’t just useful for being the only thing that’s still green in January, it’s a wonderful building material too. Pine comes in a lot of varieties including yellow, white, and Ponderosa. All of these different kinds of pine are wonderful for building anything from furniture to light construction.

Some places, like the southwestern United States, practically live off pine. It’s very easy to work with and most varieties are pretty soft which makes it easy to carve. The wood itself takes stain really well if you seal the wood. It’s recommended you pick pine from a local lumberyard instead of a home centre. To get the really good stuff, you might want to look for a Premium Timber supplier in your area.

5. Ash Wood

If you like white oak but you aren’t able to find any, ash is the perfect substitute. It’s a white to pale brown wood with slight grain in it. It’s an extremely popular wood for building sporting equipment of all kinds. It’s also pretty damn hard, on a scale of one to four it’s considered a three and half in hardness. It takes stain quite nicely and able to absorb a lot of shock without a single splinter.

The only issue you might find with ash is that it’s becoming harder and harder to find. As sought after as it is, you won’t find it in your local home centre or even smaller lumberyards. You have to look for some bigger lumberyards or order it from somewhere.

Conclusion

When it comes to making your home and furniture out of timber, the most difficult decision is picking the right kind of wood for the job. Most of them will do the job just fine, you just have to watch out for things like hardness and moisture resistance.

Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.
https://twitter.com/LiamSmith2034
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