Woods that Live Forever
When you’re making wooden furniture, you can choose between either hard or soft wood. The kind of trees they come from determines the wood’s physical properties.
Hardwood comes from deciduous or broad-leaved trees like maple, oak and walnut. These trees grow slowly and therefore have denser wood fibres, making these relatively more expensive. Hardwood is usually lower maintenance, more durable and has a close grain. Generally speaking, hardwoods also have good fire resistance, and come in an array of natural shades. The grain, colour and texture of these strong woods make for some beautiful pieces of furniture.
Softwoods come from evergreen trees like pine, fir, cedar and redwood. Since softwoods lack vessels, they absorb adhesives faster, offering a better finish. Although they have less fire resistance, their light structure makes them ideal for furniture making. In fact, 80% of all timber is derived from softwoods.
Types of Hardwood Used in Furniture
Mahogany is a popular tropical hardwood type which is frequently used in luxury furniture manufacture. It is best known for its durability, beauty and deep red colour, which becomes darker as the wood ages! It is relatively free from voids and pockets, making it an ideal choice for furniture-making!
Walnut is another popular wood choice when it comes to furniture-making! Walnut wood is best known for its shock-resistance, dimensional stability and its gorgeous deep colour. It is ideally suited to make tables, cabinets and wardrobes.
Maple wood is found across Asia, as it is native to the continent. It has been used in furniture-making across Asian cultures for hundreds of years. The most important properties of this wood are its sturdiness, durability and resistance to splitting. Additionally, it is also easy to maintain as it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, making it a popular choice for kitchen cabinets and surfaces.
Teakwood is a tropical hardwood that’s native to the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar and Thailand. This is perhaps the ideal wood for furniture making, and also one of the most expensive! It’s extremely popular for premium furniture in India. It is the hardest and most durable of all naturally occurring woods and is largely resistant to rot, rain, sun, snow and frost.
Types of Softwood
There are several different varieties of pinewood and each one has different unique properties. Generally speaking, pinewoods are largely native to the Americas, Canada and Brazil and are resistant to fire, abrasion and decay, making them long-lasting and therefore ideal for heavy construction. They are often used for making plywood and wood pulp, apart from other uses.
Cedarwood is a wood native to North America and is used in a variety of furniture, from small speciality items to carvings on closets and outdoor furniture. It has a hard texture and is light in weight. Its decay and insect attack resistance make it ideal for furniture making.
Fir is found in mountainous regions across the world. The wood from firs can be of any colour from yellow to reddish-yellow but it turns into a deeper colour quickly. Physically, fir wood is strong, elastic and has a low shrinkage factor. Therefore, it is often used in plywood, construction lumber and veneer.
Now that you are acquainted with a wide variety of woods and know about their qualities, you can pick and choose the ones that you will be using for your furniture. Simply call up your carpenter and get started on the furniture of your dreams. Custom made, just the way you want it!
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