Is Teak Wood Expensive?

Is Teak Wood Expensive

I once had a teak bench in my garden.  It was lovely, and over time it acquired the gray color it is known for after aging.  I still treated it with a little oil, including teak oil, which actually does not come from the teak tree, but instead usually includes tung oil in the mixture, … Read more

Is Spruce a Softwood Or A Hardwood?

Is Spruce a Softwood Or A Hardwood

Today we’re going to spruce things up a bit – you know, make it neat or smart in appearance.  That’s an old phrase that goes back to the 1300s, when the term for Prussia was Pruce, according to our research for this article. By sprucing up, we mean we’re going to discuss spruce trees, spruce … Read more

Is White Oak Good For Cutting Boards?

Is white Oak Good For Cutting Boards

Cutting boards for the kitchen can be a fun and easy introduction into woodworking.  There will be wood, glue, clamps, a saw, a planer, and finish choices to make, usually involving oil finishes of some sort.  There is also the consideration of the wood choice and the effect the wood will have on sharp knives, … Read more

Is Birch A Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Birch A Hardwood Or A Softwood

I saw a sign in a woodworking shop once that read: “Life’s a birch,” and it made me smile. You may not have worked with solid birch wood before, in birch flooring, for instance, but you may have worked with birch in the form of Baltic birch plywood. It’s a favorite of woodworkers when making … Read more

Is Hickory a Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Hickory a Hardwood Or A Softwood

Hull Barret, the character played by Michael Moriarty in the movie “Pale Rider,” was being beaten by a group of five bad guys.  “Preacher,” played by Clint Eastwood, came to his aid and felled the five of them.  He did that with a piece of wood: “There’s nothing like a good piece of hickory.” It … Read more

Is Hemlock a Hardwood or a Softwood?

Is Hemlock a Hardwood

In 399 BCE in Athens, Greece, Socrates was charged with impiety and the corruption of the youth he taught.  After his conviction, he was forced to drink hemlock, a deadly poison for which there is no antidote, and died.  His method of teaching, today called the Socratic Method, is used in law schools and other … Read more

What Is Quarter Sawn Oak?

What Is Quarter Sawn Oak

Amish woodcrafters are known for their quality furniture and their woodworking skills.  They go to great lengths to create and produce well-made oak furniture that will last.  Among those lengths is the sawmilling of their own lumber. Trees are felled, or logs are purchased and then broken down in their own sawmills.  The two most … Read more

Is Sycamore a Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Sycamore a Hardwood Or A Softwood

In the song “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” sung by Doris Day, we heard of the “birds singing in the sycamore trees.”  Sycamores have also been the subject of poems: “Under the sycamore tree let us staytill all our worries have tumbled away;till midnight fairies have come out to playunder the sycamore tree.” And … Read more

Is Ash A Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Ash A Hardwood Or A Softwood

Hardwoods and softwoods can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between once the wood is off the tree and in the lumber yard.  That’s because whether a wood is a hardwood or a softwood has nothing to do with its hardness or its density.  We’ll get to the distinguishing feature in a moment.  Today we’re on … Read more

Is Black Walnut a Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Black Walnut a Hardwood Or A Softwood

We like walnuts. They’re in one of our favorite sweets – baklava. They’re also good to snack on, healthy and rich in protein, at 4.5 grams in a quarter cup. We keep a supply handy in the cupboard all the time. Obviously, walnuts come from walnut trees. Walnut trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their … Read more

Is Alder A Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Alder A Hardwood Or A Softwood

We’re on the east coast, and although we have access to almost any type of hardwood species to work within our shop, the local lumber yard carries only the most frequently used types of wood for the east and northeast.  For hardwoods, this would include woods like oak, walnut, cherry, maple, and birch. In North … Read more

Is Mahogany A Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Mahogany A Hardwood Or A Softwood

It’s easy to recall the parlor of my Irish grandparents’ home.  Just inside the entrance to the house and to the right, you entered a room that was stuck in an earlier time:  mahogany furniture, upholstered, lace curtains on the windows, darkness, and heaviness hanging in the air.  The banister of the stairway was also … Read more

Is Aspen a Hardwood?

Is Aspen a Hardwood

If you get hit in the head with a piece of wood, you’re probably going to think it’s pretty hard.  The bump will last for a while, too.   But, just how hard was the piece of wood that you got hit with?  For that answer, you will need to know the species of wood and … Read more

What Is Sande Plywood?

What Is Sande Plywood

From how much does plywood weigh, to whether plywood warps when it gets wet, to how to edgeband plywood, to how is plywood graded, and a lot more, we’ve written about plywood in many past articles.  We’ve also used our fair share of plywood in many projects in our shop. Cabinet boxes, desks for the … Read more

What is The Difference Between Whitewood and Pine?

What is The Difference Between Whitewood and Pine

Wood comes in a variety of colors by name – redwoods, green wood, and even whitewood. Redwoods get their name because of the bark and heartwood, with their reddish-brown color.  The color comes from a high tannin level in the wood.  In addition to the tannin level, redwoods have other chemicals in their leaves and … Read more

Does Cedar Need To Be Treated For Outdoor Use?

Does Cedar Need To Be Treated For Outdoor Use

If your project would benefit from beauty and aesthetics will be important for the finished workpiece, one of the woods that quickly comes to mind is cedar. It’s tight-grained and weather-resistant against outdoor elements, and its natural beauty makes gorgeous decks, arbors, trellises, and fences. It also takes well to sanding to a smooth finish … Read more

How Much Is A Walnut Tree Worth?

How Much Is A Walnut Tree Worth

We all know that stocks and bonds are typical investments, and we watch the movement of the stock market where many have their 401(k) portfolio.  Digital currency, the crypto market, is another type of investment popular today – we’ve all heard about Bitcoin as it rose to over $50,000 per coin as well as its … Read more

Is Pine a Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Pine a Hardwood Or A Softwood

We all know the words hard and soft, and we know what they mean, generally.  When it comes to wood, though, it is not quite so intuitive as we might think. Those of us who work with wood know that there are hardwoods, and there are softwoods.  It is an oversimplification, though, to suggest that … Read more