Real wood furniture has always been a staple of good design, and the craze of DIY furniture has brought skilled woodworking with natural materials back into the limelight. How wood is harvested depends on whether trees are growing in plantations (where there are hundreds or thousands of the same species, generally of similar age) or in mature forests (where there’s a mixture of different species and trees of widely differing ages). I then started looking at wood types and I came across two, wenge and maple, and thought they would complement the design and make it look exceptional. Real Solid Cherry wood is perhaps the most prized furniture hardwood in America. In spite of these innovations, high quality hand-made furniture has always been available. The humid conditions of Singapore will wear the glue and pressed wood eventually.
This wood does not come as milled 2 x 4’s, but this wood is actually the cut-offs from the mill as they create their planks. The trick is ensuring that your wood has a moisture content (and size) in balance with the driest interior environment your completed furniture project is likely to face. As such, it doesn’t really have as much to do with sticks and twigs as it does with the people who put twig furniture together.
There’s true excitement in finding, cutting, and drying just the right piece of wood. Pallets come with questionable histories; you’ll never know what they were used for, and where they’ve been. True North manufactures custom furniture for restaurants, resorts, hotels, cafes, pubs and healthcare facilities in western Canada and US destination resorts. The sawdust is toxic (skin and breathing), so this wood should not be used for food service. I don’t care, I try to get my wood free, by milling it my self, or wheeling and dealing for it. I have a project in mind and I work for it. It my take some time to get together but it always does.
Maple is a very light coloured wood and it is sometimes even bleached before finishing to make it even whiter. Reportedly blackwood is used for clarinets because of the translucent (shiny) quality and tonal quality, while real ebony (matte black, wears well) is used for piano keys, fingerboards on string instruments, and chin rests, as well as decorative furniture inlays.
The beds that we build are not just bed frames but actual beds, the box spring sits on the top rail which has been notched out to accept it. A fair percentage of Western Australia is built of jarrah; it is used in bridges, railway sleepers, flooring and many areas where its strength and suitability for outdoor use prevail. Furniture woods are chosen and valued for the character of their grain and color.
Wood cut from near the stump of a tree will sometimes produce a more attractive figure than wood cut from higher up. However, Ash is only available with large scale lumberyards, and you may not find it quickly in local furniture stores. Chestnut wood loses it’s durability when grown beyond 50 years so it is difficult to get large, long timber from it. It has always been highly valued for small outdoor furniture pieces, where durability is important, as well as fencing and wooden shingles for covering buildings, it is also used to make barrels. The Wood Whisperer has been around for years now, and offers some truly excellent video content, both paid and free.
What happens if I cut the trees, strip the bark and build the 20′ x30′ cabin in the woods. We’ve used wood from barns, farmhouses, warehouses, factories, plane hangars, bridges, and the list goes on. All of our recycled and water-recovered woods have been sourced within 300 kilometres of our shop, as have 90% of our woods from managed forests. WE started building handmade furniture over 15 years ago, and in the past 5 years have focused on using reclaimed wood. The video shows a bit more about the assembly of the piece, along with how pipe clamps can be used to secure the wood to the pipes. The reclaimed wood is harder to predict, since I have no idea how it was recently stored.
Hard maple, commonly referred to as Rock Maple in Australia, is an extremely hard and pale-coloured timber, making it the wood of choice for gymnasium floors. Maple has natural patterns in the wood grain that appear like magic when the furniture is sanded and finished. That’s not just important to someone chopping away in the woodshed: it also matters when you’re using wood in construction. We say wood is anisotropic, which means a lump of wood has different properties in different directions.
Forestry is a rare example of something that has the potential to be completely sustainable: in theory, if you plant a new tree for every old tree you cut down, you can go on using wood forever without damaging the planet. Lime also stains well, has good bending properties and is often used for making furniture. It ages well and is extensively used in cabinet making, boat trim, novelties and solid furniture handles.
With a few hand tools and simple techniques, these slabs can become benches, chairs, tables and other valuable furniture. This is a spectacular wood but I feel it should be used sparingly as it can be overpowering if a large piece is entirely made of curly maple. I have built some cabinet doors to go in a Knotty Alder wine cellar, but have concerns about building major furniture pieces with this wood. They teamed up with video production students to create a short film to post on the crowdfunding site, IndieGoGo, where they raised nearly $3,700 in two months to pay for supplies.
This warranty applies under conditions of normal household use but does not apply to fading (furniture should not be placed in direct sunlight) or defects that result from negligence, soiling, improper cleaning, misuse, abnormal use, accident, or commercial use. Parawood from the Far East is used for much of the furniture made in that part of the world. His response was: Well it looks great, but maybe it would just have been easier to buy it”.
The use of uncarved wood and bamboo and the use of heavy lacquers are well known Chinese styles. Easy to work, it is commonly used in furniture production where it is a good substitute for white oak. I use a power hand planer, which is an inexpensive, fast and versatile tool, but if you prefer hand tools, a drawknife or wood chisel can do the job. From there, head to the hardware store and price out the cost of your building project. It is used for internal work where the reddish streaks are regarded as a feature.
The wood’s many fine attributes, however, ensure that redwood will always be used for outdoor furniture as long as harvestable stands of these majestic trees remain. Cherry has a hardness of 2 on a scale of 1 to 5. This is a very common wood for furniture-making and is available from sustainably grown forests. Mohsen al-Sarkhi, the owner of the Al-Sarkhi furniture company, had to lay off 13 employees after the ban on 5-centimeter wood planks. Chestnut is a hard wood native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
The traditional rule-of-thumb for air-drying lumber is to allow one year of drying time per inch of wood thickness; this adage obviously only takes a few of the aforementioned variables into account, but it’s at least a rough starting point in understanding the time investment required in order to properly air-dry lumber. It may cost more to buy furniture made with the high end woods on our list, but they’ll last a lifetime or longer.
Rare woods are used where appearance is important, such as table-tops; the more common woods are used for less conspicuous structural pieces, such as table and chair legs. That means a piece of plywood is usually much stronger than a piece of the natural wood from which it’s made. I was looking for a modern design, and my instructor helped me formulate my thoughts into a solid design.
Reclaimed, recycled, or salvaged – these are all words to describe wood that once had a previous life as something else. Cherry is a very popular and all-around great wood; easy to work with, stains and finishes well with just oil, and ages beautifully. I’ve been using a fully adjustable low-angle Stanley block plane with a Hock replacement blade for the last year.