Does Poplar Stain Well?

Poplar Wood

A while back, we wrote a piece about poplar wood and asked whether poplar is stronger than pine.  We will not repeat our answer here, but we did provide some helpful information about poplar in the woodworking shop. That piece …

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Is Cedar Good For Cutting Boards?

Cedar Board

There has been an unusual trend of late in the food e-zines I subscribe to and read each day, one that does not make a lot of sense to me. Perhaps you have read about or heard of butter boards.  …

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Does Pine Stain Well?

Stained Pine Doors

While we have moved away somewhat from default staining our woodworking projects, turning instead to wood oils or products like Rubio Monocoat, we still will occasionally use a wood stain as part of finishing the project.  Stains come in a …

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Can You Stain Mango Wood?

Mango Wood

We’re so lucky to have so many different kinds of woods available to us to work within our shop.  Supply chains have recovered somewhat from the disarray caused by the COVID pandemic, and lumber yards and specialty wood shops both …

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Is Oak Good For Carving?

Carving Wood

We will admit that we are not wood carvers.  We love working with wood, of course, but our woodworking is in the making and building of things – desks and bed frames for the kids, outdoor decks, cutting boards, and …

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Is Maple A Hardwood Or A Softwood?


I know a little bit about maple trees. I live in the mountains of western Massachusetts, the northern Berkshires, and my property is surrounded by a lot of swamp maple, which is a dense wood. One of the trees is …

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Is Cypress Wood a Hardwood Or Softwood?

Cypress Wood

Cypress is valued for a number of reasons by woodworkers, carpenters, and home DIY enthusiasts for a number of reasons. The trees are slow-growing and can be somewhat expensive because it takes time to accumulate a meaningful amount of cypress …

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Can You Use Pine For A Cutting Board?

Can You Use Pine For Cutting Board

A day doesn’t go by that I don’t use a wooden cutting board in my kitchen.  All of my cutting boards are wooden, although I’ve used hard plastic cutting boards in the past.  Two are of bamboo, and one is …

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Does Plywood Need To Acclimate?

Does Plywood Need To Acclimate

The human body becomes acclimatized to the environment in which we spend most of our time.  We often hear about blood “thickening” in colder climates, and we get used to the colder temperatures; we hear, too, about those in the …

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Is Douglas Fir a Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Douglas Fir a Hardwood Or A Softwood

In a previous article, we asked the question of whether something that was hard can also be soft.  In this article, we ask in the reverse:  can something that is soft also be hard?  We’re talking wood here, and we …

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Is Elm a Hardwood Or A Softwood?

Is Elm a Hardwood Or A Softwood

Deciphering Elm wood’s true nature: is it a hardwood or a softwood? This common question perplexes many woodworkers. Whether you’re selecting materials for a new project or deepening your woodworking knowledge, let’s explore Elm’s unique characteristics together, bridging the gap …

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Is Hickory Good For Cutting Boards?

Is Hickory Good For Cutting Boards

The cutting boards in our kitchen get a lot of work.  That’s boards, plural.  There’s one for poultry, another for red and white meats, and a third for vegetables.  The one thing in common among the three, though, is the …

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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 …

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Is Spruce a Softwood Or A Hardwood?

Is Spruce a Softwood Or A Hardwood

Ever wondered if spruce is a softwood or a hardwood? You’re not alone. I’ve seen many struggle with this question, especially when selecting the right wood for their projects. With its unique characteristics, Spruce often leaves us guessing about its …

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Is White Oak Good For Cutting Boards?

White Oak Cutting Board

I’ve often been asked about the best wood for making cutting boards. Through my experience and practice, I’ve found that white oak is a strong candidate. I’ve discovered that white oak’s natural antibacterial properties and water resistance make it stand …

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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 …

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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 …

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