Woodworking Design - Choosing the Right Wood For Cabinets

When planning your woodworking project, one of the most important decisions you have to make is wood selection. Depending on what type of project you are planning, there will be a set of woods that will always fit better than others. Within the set, their cost and your personal taste will be the determinant factors. In this article you will find a review of most common woods used for cabinets to help on your decision.

Alder: This is one of the most in-demand options. It´s fine texture can give a really good look to your cabinets. Alder tends to range from a pale pinkish brown to almost white. It´s moderately heavy and soft with low bending strength, shock resistance, and stiffness. Tip: you can easily stain it to match other type of woods.
Birch: Birch is a straight grained hardwood, with a fine and even texture. It comes in a pale brown to yellow range of color. It´s a moderately hard and heavy, with moderate shock resistance stiffness and bending strength. It resembles maple and usually used indistinctly.

Cherry: A very refined hardwood, generally straight grained. Cherry has a smooth and elegant look due to its uniform texture and luster. This makes it well suited for mixing with other woods. Comes from light to dark reddish brown. It´s a moderately heavy, hard, strong, stiff, and durable.

Hickory: Hickory is one of hardest, heaviest and strongest woods used in America. It also has an excellent elasticity. With colors ranging from white to a ruddy brown, this wood is the choice of excellence for applications requiring strength and toughness.

Maple: This hardwood, also known as broadleaf maple, is generally straight, but with a rough texture. Maple is the number one wood choice for cabinetry, especially due to its uniform color. You can find it in pale-pinkish brown colors. It´s a moderately heavy wood, hard, strong and stiff, but with low bending strength and shock resistance.

Oak: Oak has a natural medium coarse to coarse texture and its porous nature makes it extremely absorbent. It´s a heavy, hard and strong wood with an outstanding wear resistance. You can find it in a light reddish tan, or a light tannish color. Oak's durability and finishing characteristics make this a good selection for any type of interior or outdoor furniture.

Pine: Pine is a straight grained softwood, with knots that will give your cabinets a more rugged look. It has a medium coarse texture, and generally you will find it in pale yellow or light brown color. Pine wood is light and soft with low strength and shock resistance, but with good stability in service.

Walnut: Walnut or Nogal is generally straight grained with a moderately coarse and uniform texture. It has a dark brown color. Walnut wood is heavy, hard, strong, stiff and very durable. It´s recommended for high end cabinetry and furniture.

Prices can vary from one state to another mainly because of transportation costs. But now that you know exactly what you are looking for, you can visit your favorite woodshop and ask some prices to make the ultimate decision for building the perfect cabinet.

Juan Pablo Veliz is a business administrator and internet marketer. He alternates office work with other passions including woodworking design. You can find more in his Woodworking Design Blog.

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