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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a bit of a newbie working with hardwood, but I finished a table recently which I was quite happy with and when a friend saw it he decided he wanted me to make him one as well. He doesn't have a huge budget but we'd still like the tabletop to be solid wood, so I was wondering (I'm located in eastern Canada) what the best bang for you buck might be in terms of hardwood choices. I'm assuming anything grown in North America is cheaper than exotic woods, but at that point, between those options, are there large price differences?
 

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The price of hardwoods varies greatly. Sometimes it worth it to pay more for your wood to get something you really like. Normally the cost of your labor exceeds the cost of materials.
In my area, Red Oak is plentiful and priced reasonably. But not everyone likes Oak.
In Canada, Maple might be plentiful and readily available at a good price.
The style of table you choose to build can somewhat dictate what choice of woods to use.
 

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In North America, typically poplar, maple and oak are the most common hardwoods and therefore least expensive. But if you look in the used market sometimes you can find someone who has an abundance of something that they want to part with at a reasonable price.
 

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The short answer is that you have to look in your specific area to see just what is cheapest. Look at several places as the price can depend upon the supplies of a specific dealer has on hand. Most specifically look for local mills if you have any.

George
 

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Generic Weeb
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Alder is a nice wood in my opinion. It's a bit soft for a hardwood but relatively inexpensive in my experience. Are you going a solid slab table or a glued up one?
 

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where's my table saw?
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you need to do some research

I'm a bit of a newbie working with hardwood, but I finished a table recently which I was quite happy with and when a friend saw it he decided he wanted me to make him one as well. He doesn't have a huge budget but we'd still like the tabletop to be solid wood, so I was wondering (I'm located in eastern Canada) what the best bang for you buck might be in terms of hardwood choices. I'm assuming anything grown in North America is cheaper than exotic woods, but at that point, between those options, are there large price differences?
Moist of the members here are in the USA, so we won't have a feel for what is available to you. You can search your local distributors for types and prices by making phone calls or visiting their web sites. Then we can advise which wood will work the best, look the best, easiest to finish..... what are your choices?
 

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I think the most affordable wood would be the wood that goes with your furnishings so you could do it once and be done with it. Use some cheap wood you don't really like or doesn't go with your furnishings and you are likely to someday replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alder is a nice wood in my opinion. It's a bit soft for a hardwood but relatively inexpensive in my experience. Are you going a solid slab table or a glued up one?
Interesting im not familiar with alder, the tabletop will be probably made of four pieces biscuit jointed together. I think i'll probably go with maple, it seemed to be the best candidate after doing research.
 

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Alder is very soft for a hardwood. I've used it once and didn't care for it. Even poplar is better. Maple is a very good choice for a tabletop.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You would need to know what type is available to you:

https://www.treehelp.com/types-of-maple/

Then there is where in the log it was taken:
true, I went to my local lumberyard, they had what I guess is called "bird's eye" maple and what they were calling just "regular" maple... whatever that is. The bird's eye had an interesting texture, like the grain was kind of wavy and had little spots all through it. The regular was as you might expect, a more regular uniform texture. Would there be any real difference between using either other than aesthetics?
 

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Alder is very soft for a hardwood. I've used it once and didn't care for it. Even poplar is better. Maple is a very good choice for a tabletop.

Poplar can be a bit better to work with but unless you paint it your stuck with a weird white and green wood. At least with alder you can get a nice dark tan colour. Maple is the far superior choice though.
 
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