Need help choosing wood type. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-10-2014, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Need help choosing wood type.

I plan on building an computer/storage desk and was wondering what type of wood should I use?
My top two choices are Oak and Pine. Oak is obviously more expensive but have read reviews that it's had a lot of defects lately.
Other choices are Poplar and Aspen for hidden structures maybe.
It's going in the kitchen and I believe the cabinets are Oak.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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post #2 of 4 Old 03-10-2014, 10:08 PM
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What defects are you refering to? If it's plywood, there is a lot of defects in most all plywood made today.

If you could post a picture of your kitchen cabinets we could probably tell you what kind of wood it is and give you some tips on matching the color if that is what you wish to do.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-11-2014, 11:49 AM
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I wouldn't know about the quality of wood if you're buying from a BB store, but if you're buying it from a hardwood dealer, you should have no problem getting good pieces of oak. I am not familiar with aspen, but around here, poplar is mostly used for paint grade because it's often an unattractive greenish hue. But you can usually get wide clear boards and it's relatively inexpensive, so it has that going for it. And as Steve pointed out, it's difficult for any of us to get very good ply anymore. 10 years ago, the shop grade I used to get for $35 was of much better veneer quality than the A-1 that I can get now for $65.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-13-2014, 10:46 PM
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If you are going to stain the project I'd recommend going with oak out of the choices you have listed. Even at a big box store you can get some pretty decent looking red oak - I used this for most of the first projects I built and didn't have many problems with defects. If possible I'd suggest looking for a local lumber yard instead of buying the S4S stuff at a big box store - I've found it is much cheaper at my local lumber yard and they will even surface the rough lumber for next to nothing. For large panels you may want to look into using oak plywood instead of solid wood. Secondary wood I would definitely go with poplar - the only possible exceptions would be drawer sides - I would go with maple if it was available. I'd stay away from pine for a desk unless you really like the look or it is much cheaper, I'm working at a pine desk now and it gets beat up very easy since it is soft.

If you wanted to paint the piece or you were going with a very dark stain I wouldn't hesitate to use poplar. Its cheap, works pretty well, and paints up very nice.
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