Hi Again
Woodworking With Hardwoods

Hardwoods are the staple materials for the woodworker, particularly those 
who focus on fine woodworking projects such as furniture. However, the term 
can be a bit deceiving, as it has less to do with the "hardness" of the 
material than the species of the tree from which the lumber is harvested.
Hardwoods come from deciduous, or broad-leaved trees, as opposed to
that are harvested from from evergreens. In general, hardwood species are 
typically harder than softwoods, although there are exceptions (balsa wood 
very light and soft, but is considered a hardwood). Most hardwood tree 
species lose their leaves in winter, and generally offer a much wider 
variety of
colours and textures than softwoods.
Which Hardwood to Choose?: When preparing to build a project, the choice of 
which hardwood material to use can be a daunting question. To make it 
start with determining how you want to finish the project. Will you stain or 
paint it?

If you choose paint for your finish, you won't want to waste your money on 
woods known for their colour and beauty when stained, so avoid 
species such as oak, maple, walnut or mahogany. Poplar would be a much 
better choice.

However, if you want to stain or clear-coat the project, you'll have a 
number of choices to look through. Since your local home centre megamart 
will probably
only carry a couple of hardwood species (poplar and red oak are common) 
spend time at a fine wood supplier and look through the varieties available. 
should be able to help you determine how each species will look when 
finished, which will go a long way toward refining your decision.
Location, Location, Location: In addition to the type of finish you want, 
the location of the final installation should be considered when choosing a 
species. While it won't have as much bearing on furniture pieces to be used 
indoors, you may want to consider some more moisture-resistant species (such
as cypress or the ever-increasingly endangered teak) for outdoor projects. 
Again, your local woodworking supplier will be able to help with this 
Additional Resources: If you'd like to learn more about the differences 
between hardwood species, I can think of no better resource than R. Bruce 
1980 masterpiece,
Understanding Wood: A Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology.
Not only does Hoadley detail nearly every species used for woodworking, he 
does an exceptional job at describing how to prepare, work with and finish 
hardwoods. This is an industry-standard resource, one that I'd highly 
recommend to every woodworker.

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