The choice between different types of wood for furniture is a frequent question, especially among those who are starting in the world of do-it-yourself. Although it may also be the case for professionals who are not used to working with a specific type of wood and wonder if it is a good option for making furniture.
For this type of use, we can divide the wood between industrial woods, mainly boards, and the wood itself between soft and hard species.
Industrial types of woods for furniture
Realistically, this is the type of wood most used today to make furniture. It does so for several reasons: price, ease of work, maintenance costs and, in some cases, stability and resistance.
Melamine and lacquered plates. In this case, we refer to agglomerates or fiber fibers (MDF) covered with melamine or to which a finish such as varnish has been applied.
In melamine, the possibilities are practically endless. Woods, plain colors, natural stones and much more. Lacquers, paints and varnishes offer excellent results in MDF. They are not recommended for rough agglomerates as they do not have a completely smooth surface.
From a technical point of view, they are dimensionally very stable products with acceptable strength. On the other hand, they do not show the best behavior against humidity and the possibilities of repair are very limited.
Substituted. In essence, they are slabs on which veneers of “noble wood” are glued. With this, we achieve a superior appearance at a significantly lower cost. There is an important variety of support or board on which the natural wood veneer is glued. Some use chipboard, MDF and even plywood.
plywood or Triplay. Plywood panels, thanks to their structure and form of manufacture, offer an excellent relationship between strength and stability. They are used for the most demanding uses.
If phenolic glues were also used in its manufacturing process, it is also resistant to moisture and can be used in humid environments. It can be used to furnish boats and even to make your own boat.
The appearance will be that offered by the wood used for the external faces, which need not be the same as that used for the internal faces.
THE B. They are boards made of wood chips, much larger than those used to make agglomerates, which are pressed in several layers. The result is a plate with good technical characteristics, but with a raw appearance.
Its use in the manufacture of furniture is limited to those who seek this type of aesthetics, and the reality is that it has been used a lot recently.
These woods are generally lighter and easier to work with. Also cheaper. Although, on the other hand, they tend to be less resistant and stable and are more affected by humidity. There are not many species suitable for outdoor furniture.
Pine. It is perhaps the most popular wood, not only for this use. It is a very versatile wood that, although nothing stands out, does not offer a lower yield. They are light and yellowish tones. It has all kinds of internal uses.
Fir tree. It has some similarities to pine. It offers an excellent weight and resistance ratio. Also light in color.
Cedar. It has a characteristic reddish color. Despite the lightness, it has excellent resistance, including the attack of fungi and insects. It is one of those few soft woods that can be used outdoors.
Cherry. Mainly reddish in color, it can vary between light pink and brown. It is a type of wood that already has a certain density and that we could even think of placing among the noble woods. It is easy to work and stable. It is susceptible to attack by fungi and insects.
Oak. A complete classic. Light brown with shades that can vary depending on the species, from white, red or yellow. It is a very versatile wood that can be used for just about anything. It is stable and durable, receives good finishes, looks good …
Ash. Similar in appearance to oak, it has an excellent index of elasticity and resistance. It behaves very well when folding.
Beech. It is a very light and resistant wood. It is mainly used in this area for turning, chairs, tables, etc.
Nut. Brown tones wood, pulling for chocolate and with interesting grain. It is a wood that exudes class. It supports the finishes very well and is easy to work with. On the other hand, its price is quite high.
Teak. It is a high quality tropical wood. It is very stable and resistant to moisture. Ideal for outdoor furniture, although it is not difficult to find it indoors.
They have been used for some years, as it is a way of recycling, saving and showing some concern for the environment. Others will do it simply because it is fashionable.
The main source of this type of wood for furniture is pallets. Also residues from old buildings or houses (high quality wood is sometimes discarded), leftovers from the timber industry, etc.
In most cases, they are low quality soft woods. In others, they are made of wood in good condition and of a certain quality but which require a lot of work.