Redwood and what woodworkers need to know about it

Redwood and everything you need to know about

Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens) is the tallest species of trees in the entire world, with an average height of 275 to 330 feet. Redwoods might live for a long time (sometimes up to 1000 years). They are commonly found in a limited area on the Pacific Northwest in the US and also New Zealand. Redwood is softwood and not hardwood which is an absolute beauty for your home structures.

redwood forest

 

We use redwood lumbers for different woodworking purposes. Lots of carpenters use redwood for making furniture, outdoor furniture, shelves, decks, etc. And because of the wide range of uses, redwood has become one of the most appreciated lumbers used by DIYers.

 

So this article is dedicated to helping you get more familiar with redwood lumber, redwood lumber characteristics, and its common uses. There is a list of a variety of features and characteristics down below, make sure you read until the end to find out the exact features you’re looking for in Redwood.

 

Texture

Redwood has got straight grain that sometimes turns out to be wavy. The lumber can be sawn smoothly or roughly, depending on what you are looking for. The rough texture is capable of applying finishes very well.

redwood texture

Color

Redwood color ranges from a pinkish-brown to reddish-brown as the name says it all. After a while, Redwood lumber turns a gray or silver-gray color because of exposure to the sun and UV radiation. It can also turn out to be completely black when the weather is humid.

To keep the natural red color, woodworkers stain the lumber when it is installed and after three years the lumber should be stained again to preserve the original color.

 

Workability

  • Easy to work with hand saws
  • Easy to work with power tools
  • Gluing and finishing can be applied quite easily
  • By applying a primer you can paint it easily

 

Durability

Redwood is one of the strongest materials used for making home structures. The durability rating for redwood in some tests is class 3 which means it is moderately durable and highly stable. Being durable makes the lumber perfect for outdoor uses. Note that lumbers taken from older trees tend to be more durable than younger ones.

 

 Weight

Redwood is much lighter than many types of woods and that makes it a great candidate to be used in home furniture because it is easy to work with and can be sawed easily.

 

Sustainability

IUCN has listed redwood as a vulnerable species due to a 40% reduction in the past decades. It is recyclable, sustainable, and it can last for a long time.

 

Cost

As construction lumbers, the price range varies from medium to high. Redwood is commonly found in some regions of the US and New Zealand. It is quite uncommon in Asia and Europe that makes the lumbers much more expensive in these areas.

 

Toxicity and allergy

During recent years, we had a few severe reactions and problems while working with the lumber. So it can be used as a safe wood but keep in mind that some common reactions have been reported frequently, such as inflammation of the eyes, skin, and asthma-like symptoms.

 

Rot resistance

Redwood is one the most resistant types of wood to rot. Being rot resistant makes it suitable for using outdoor. Decks, fences, and furniture used outside near the ground are prone to moisture and different kinds of insect attacks. So one of the best choices for making outdoor furniture is using its lumbers to make sure the furniture lasts life-long.

 

Uses

  • Decking

The strength and stability make redwood one of the best types of wood for decks. Although the price would be higher than other materials and wood that woodworkers use for decking, it lasts a long time due to its stability. The beautiful red color gives a good contrast to the atmosphere.

 

  • Furniture and outdoor structures

As we have mentioned before, redwood has a beautiful unique color. The color makes it perfect for home furniture and different things made of wood in our home. By the way, it is moderately durable, stable, and rot-resistant. All in all, it is a good choice for home furniture and also outdoor structures.

 

  • Construction beam

Contractors tend to use redwood for beams and supports because it is strong and readily available in large sizes.

 

Conclusion

redwood

Is redwood lumber the best choice for my indoor and outdoor furniture?

Not THE best, but it could be one of the best choices available on the market.

 

Why Redwood?

In a nutshell, many characteristics make it perfect for a DIYer such as being easy to work with, long-lasting lumber, unique color, being rot-resistant, lightweight lumbers, etc.

 

What are some drawbacks?

You can find redwood lumbers in some limited areas. Having said that, the price could be a bit high in other regions. Keep in mind that IUCN listed redwood as a vulnerable type of wood. Another drawback would be the color change when exposing to the sun and UV radiation.

 

 

Woodmaze is an article-based website that helps you find more about wood and things related to it for woodworkers, DIYers, and carpenters all around the world. We have written another cool article about different types of wood and their uses. You can check that article as well.

Thank you!

 

Tigerwood or Tigerwoods?

Tigerwood, Tigerwoods, or Tiger Woods?

Which one is correct, Tigerwood, Tigerwoods or Tiger Woods? This probably is the question which brought you to this blog post. Believe it or not, up until recently I had my doubts about this as well! So, I decided to write this blog post, to hopefully help clear things up.

Here is the short answer: Tigerwoods (Tiger Woods) is the name of the world-famous professional golfer. Tigerwood, on the other hand, is a common name for wood products of several different species of tropical trees.

In this post, we are going to talk about Tigerwood (wood products) because, of course, it is related to the purpose of woodmaze.com. But in case you are here because of the Champ, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods, one of the “greatest golfers of all time” and one of the “most famous athletes in the world” (according to his website and many other sources), we do not want to let you leave empty-handed! So, you might find this blog post interesting: 19 things you didn’t know about Tiger Woods.

 

Tigerwood: All you need to know

Wonderful characteristics of Tigerwood

There is a reason for naming it Tigerwood: The texture. Dark and bold stripes resemble the skin patterns and coloration of a tiger. It is a beautiful exotic wood, extremely dense, about 70% harder than the Red Oak (Janka Hardness Scale between 1850 to 2160, depending on where the wood is coming from), which makes it extremely strong and durable; In fact, one of the strongest and most durable types of wood.

Tigerwood is resistant to water, rot, mold, and fungus, which makes it the perfect choice for decks, flooring, and exterior use. Due to its beautiful, exotic, and dramatic look, it is also a perfect choice for interiors and furniture. Perhaps many would like to use it for their kitchen or living room wooden floor.

When it comes to durability, it’s one of the best types of wood one could find. The wood could last for more than 50 years, because of its extreme resistance to water, insects, sunlight, and decay. Because of such wonderful characteristics, Tigerwood is a good option for making boats.

 

Different types of Tigerwood

Tigerwood is not the name of a specific tree or its lumber. Several different tropical trees are the source of the wood that we call Tigerwood.

Gonçalo Alves, from Brazil, is one of them, which again is a broader term for several species:

Brazil is one of the largest exporters of Tigerwood. But there are other types (Erythrina standleyana and Erythrina rubrinervia) coming from South America and Central America, countries such as Mexico and Ecuador. Africa is also the source of one type of wood (Lovoa trichilioides), which again, in the United States is referred to as Tigerwood.

African walnut, courbaril, bototo, zorrowood, muiracatiara, Congo wood, and Brazilian koa are all categorized under what we call Tigerwood.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros of Tigerwood:

  • Attractive, exotic, and dramatic look.
  • High level of hardness and density (up to 2160 in Janka measure.)
  • Workability: Despite its density, tigerwood is not that hard to work with (But it needs professional hand tools and experience! Smooth-cutting the edges could be tricky, and it is recommended to drill before hammering a nail.)
  • Durability and resistance to water, rot, mold, fungus, insects, and decay.
  • Long-lasting: up to 50+ years.
  • Responds well to air-drying.
  • It’s not cheap, but more affordable, compared to some other types of wood such as ipe or redwood.

 

Cons of tigerwood:

  • Not a DIY project type of wood for most people! It is moderately hard to work with and needs professional tools and experience.
  • Being resistant to moisture makes it hard to glue.
  • It turns darker over time. Especially when used for exteriors and is exposed to sunlight. Proper care may slow down this process, but it will not stop it.
  • Some species of tigerwood can cause an allergic reaction. Normally not severe, but they may result in irritation of eyes and skin, especially during the time of the woodworking. Using proper masks, shades and gloves is recommended.
  • It grows in rainforests. Although it is still not considered an endangered tree, some countries such as Brazil, which is one of the largest tigerwood resources of the world, are applying some restrictions on cutting and export.

 

 

Are you looking for information regarding Tiger Woods, the famous professional golfer? Then this post is for you:

19 things you didn’t know about Tiger Woods.

 

tree forest wood

Different types of wood

Finding the right type of wood for woodworking projects is not always an easy job to do. Have you ever wondered which wood is the best for your project? Maybe once you wanted to make a piece of furniture, a window frame, chairs, tables, and lots of different things made of wood, but at the end of the day, you realized you don’t know much about different types of wood and were confused. At the end of this article, you will know which types of wood are the best for your project.

When it comes to choosing the right type of wood for a woodworking project there are plenty of things one has to be aware of.

First and foremost:

Types of wood with sustainable sources

As you might know, some types of trees are on the verge of extinction and a huge mass of trees are carelessly cut all over the world which we call this “deforestation”. Mass deforestation has bad effects on our planet and causes the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to rise.

Unfortunately, some human beings don’t take care of their environment and chop down trees to make more money and if we don’t act and the current deforestation rates continue to rise, the world’s rain forests are gone in 78 years. (for more information, click here)

 

Luckily, measures were taken in different parts of the world to stop deforestation and save trees from extinction. The EU has protected almost all of its rain forests and some organizations certified all wood from different European regions. As a result, we can see that forests in Europe are growing in size because more trees are to be planted than being chopped down.

FSC (forestry stewardship council) and PEFC (Program for the endorsement of forest certification) are two types of certifications with million hectares of forests under their conservation standards, which guarantee that the wood is from a sustainable source and can be replaced and planted in a short time.

 

So if ecosystems and forests matter to you, make sure you buy furniture and different wooden products with certifications from these two agencies.

 

Types of sustainable wood

Generally, fast-growing trees are more sustainable because they can be replaced easily, whereas slow-growing trees have fewer capabilities of being replaced. After all, it takes too long for another tree to grow.

 

Fast-growing softwood:

  • Pine

  • European Redwood

  • European Whitewood

  • Yew

  • Siberian Larch

  • Juniper

  • Cedar

  • Douglas Fir

  • Spruce

 

Slow growing hardwood:

  • Oak

  • Alder

  • Balsa

  • Beech

  • Magnolia

  • Poplar

  • Teak Walnut

  • Maple

  • Hickory

 

Woods that are about to become extinct and you should avoid buying or cutting such wood:

  • Brazilian Mahogany

  • Keruing

  • Meranti

  • Ebony

  • Afzelia

  • Sapelee

  • Balau

  • Brown heart

  • Teak

  • Wenge

 

Now let’s cover some natural and engineered woods which DIYers and woodworkers might want to use in their projects. To use these types of wood, woodworkers should know where and how to use them.

Different types of wood for woodworking projects

Pine

Most beginner woodworkers start doing their first project out of wood using Pine. As we mentioned before, pine is a kind of softwood so these types of woods are somehow easy to work with. Carpenters can easily cut, carve, and drill pinewood. The light yellow coloring gives a bright look to your work. The good news is if you like a darker tone of colors, Pine is very easy to stain.

Uses: joinery, flooring, furniture

 

Poplar

Compared to Pine, Poplar gives you a more consistent look on the wood. Poplar stains well and paints a lot better than Pine does. If you’re going to start your first project, you might want to know that Poplar would be a better and easier option to work with rather than Pine.

Uses: furniture

 

Spruce

From general constructions to highly specialized purposes in aircraft, Spruce has a wide range of uses. The first-ever aircraft made in the world (by the Wright brothers) was built of Spruce, but the concept of making aircraft out of Spruce has come to an end because Spruce is not weather resistant. Some species of Spruce have acoustic properties that make them suitable and perfect for making musical instruments such as classical guitars, electric guitars, pianos, etc.

Uses: musical instruments, construction framing projects

 

Cedar

Cedar is one of the most long-lasting types of woods that have warm and red-toned colors. Due to its resistance to deterioration, it’s used for interior and exterior home design. Cedar is light in weight and is easy to carry from one place to another. Because of the low density, Cedar is a good choice for cutting and requires low energy for the process of cutting using a hand saw. By the way, Cedar is among those types of woods which have straight grains and consistent textures and are easy to work with.

Uses: Joinery – exterior, joinery – interior, furniture

 

Alder

Beauty, beauty, and beauty, that’s it all. When you cut Alder, it mostly has a white look but then turns to honey-brown color when exposed to sunlight. This type of wood has a straight grain that makes it easy to work with (saw, carve, finish). It can also be stained and painted readily.

Uses: cabinetry, furniture, decorative, body of the musical instrument

 

Redwood

A giant redwood tree

Creamy-white to red or yellow woods, capable of a clean finish, capable of being painted, glued, stained, and having moisture-resistant properties has made this type of wood widely used among woodworkers and home designers.

Uses: Furniture, decking, molding, flooring, cladding

 

Aspen

The wood can withstand moisture very well. It’s odorless and does not conduct heat. These properties make Aspen perfect for use in saunas and swimming pools. Aspen can be turned, screwed, glued, and stained quite well.

Uses: Sauna, furniture

 

Balsa

A lightweight timber that is strong for its weight and has a high degree of buoyancy that makes it perfect for creating floating wooden objects (floating on water). Because of its softness, it is a good choice for carving.

Uses: joinery

 

Bamboo

Let me tell you something! Bamboo isn’t considered as wood but grass. The Bamboo plant has tall hollow stems. People use Bamboo because it is highly resistant to earthquakes and fire. Bamboo stems may be hollow but very strong. People think Bamboo stems are easy to bend, whereas that is not true.

Uses: garden furniture, cabinets, flooring

 

Maple

Maple wood is considered a hardwood. Due to its strength, stiffness, and durability, it is commonly used for the production of baseball bats, bowling pins, bowling alley lanes, recurve bows, musical instruments, etc. Experts call maple a tonewood which carries sound waves very well so this feature makes it perfect for making some parts of musical instruments such as violins, cellos, violas, etc.

Uses: furniture, flooring, musical instruments

Cherry (American)

Moderately durable, takes polish well, turns well, but harder to work with than Poplar and Pine. The warm red color makes Cherry perfect for combining with light-colored furniture.

Uses: Joinery-interior, furniture

 

Engineered wood products

 

HDF (High-Density Fiberboard)

Have you ever seen chalkboards and wondered what kind of material these boards are made of? Well, the answer is hardboard coated with special color paint.

Highly compressed wood fibers bounding together can form a wood product which is called HDF or hardboard.

Uses: added to furniture for improving the build quality and strength, chalkboards

 

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)

MDF is an engineered wood product similar to HDF with lower density. It is stiff, strong, and heavy, and more suitable than HDF for making furniture and home appliances out of wood because of having a lesser density.

Uses: flooring, furniture

 

Plywood

A wooden board consisting of more than two layers glued and compressed is called plywood. Most of the plywood used in constructions consists of layers made of Spruce, Pine, and Fir.

Uses: creating wardrobes, furniture