When you are doing a woodworking project, it is important that you have a basic knowledge of the wood that you are working with. Sure, you can go to the local hardware store and get some 2 x 4s, but these are rarely the good quality wood that you would want to highlight in a special decorative piece or furniture project in your home. These planks of wood have very little to offer as far as unique detail goes and they are prone to shrinkage in a very short period of time, which can cause cracking or warping. So if you want to get some really good quality wood slabs, you should shop online or in a store at a place that specializes in exotic woods. Here are some tips for finding the perfect wood slabs for your project.
It is best to start with a price point in mind and not look anywhere above that price point. You do get what you pay for in wood, so looking beyond what you can afford will just open your eyes to the amazing, beautiful, and intricate woods out on the market and cause you to always wish that your project was made with a little higher quality wood. Wood can be priced from around $50 per slab to up to nearly $6000 per slab, so it is really important that you have a number in mind while you are shopping. This will also help you narrow down what you want, since there are several different wood slabs to choose from and it can get overwhelming if the sky is the limit.
If you are used to going to a hardware store for your wood, this is not how exotic wood sales typically are dressed. They are not always cut in uniform shapes, but most often a great wood supplier will have the planks cut in the shape of the tree. This way you are not wasting a lot of the tree and you also get a bit more personality in the cut. There are some trees that grow straighter and more uniform than others, so if this is your style, then look for woods like this. However, if you want a piece that is a little more unique and would be an amazing “wow” factor in your home, find an interesting cut that you can really showcase. Many people use unusually shaped trees for a great topper for a coffee table or a kitchen island. You can also do some simple smaller projects with uniquely cut woods, like make the face of a clock or a really neat, rustic-looking bookshelf.
Hardness and Quality
One reason why pine is used in 2 x 4s at the local hardware store is because pine grows straight, it is found in abundance, which makes it cheaper, and it is a soft wood. People want to buy 2 x 4s at a cheap price because they typically use them in simple projects or in their walls where no one will see them. They are softer woods and can dent easily, so they aren't a wood that you would necessarily want to have in your kitchen or around kids if you want to showcase them in a woodworking project. One thing that makes good quality woods more expensive is their density or hardness. This will keep them from denting over time. Another thing that makes certain woods more expensive is the detail in their veins and where they are from. If you want wood slabs that look different from the typical pine 2 x 4s at your hardware store, then you will need to find a supplier who works with exotic woods.
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