This category covers a broad range of practical issues that may arise during normal woodworking procedures. Areas considered include:

  • Ease of shaping with hand tools (planes, scrapers, chisels, etc.)
  • Ease of shaping with machine tools (jointers, planers, routers, shapers, etc.)
  • Commonness of tearout or other machining defects such as fuzzy grain (tearout is most commonly caused by spiral, interlocked, or otherwise irregular grain)
  • Blunting effect on cutters (all wood tends to blunt cutting edges, but if a wood species has an above-average propensity for dulling cutters—usually due to silica or mineral deposits in the wood—it will be noted)
  • Steam bending (only woods that respond exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly to bending attempts will be noted)
  • Ease of turning on the lathe (the ideal is a dense, finely textured, straight-grained wood that can hold fine details without degradation or tearout)
  • Success in gluing (many dense tropical species can present problems in gluing)
  • Ease of staining (only woods that are commonly stained, or that routinely cause problems in staining will be noted)
  • Ease of finishing (much like gluing, some oily tropical woods can interfere with the curing process of some oil-based finishes, causing finishing difficulties)

Get the hard copy

wood-book-standupIf you’re interested in getting all that makes The Wood Database unique distilled into a single, real-world resource, there’s the book that’s based on the website—the best-seller, WOOD! Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide. It contains many of the most popular articles found on this website, as well as hundreds of wood profiles—laid out with the same clarity and convenience of the website—packaged in a shop-friendly hardcover book.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

How do padauk and black walnut compare in regard to stability?


Why do woods like snake wood and blood wood brittle when worked on, even tho they have a high modulus Rupture and crushing strength