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Plodmore

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Hi I have been trying to source wood that is a) not so horribly dear (don't laugh I am new to this) and b) easy to eyeball before buying. I live just outside Glasgow and am truly sick of paying B&Q for banana pine or silly money for what looks like spare offcuts. Our local merchant (Shawfield) has meranti but I have never seen/heard of this before. Is it ok for toys and general woodworking? Anything I should be aware of about this wood? Thanks in advance.
 

MikeG.

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I've not worked with it (I avoid tropical hardwoods deliberately), but meranti is known to be non-durable outside, and can be something of an irritant. Why don't you buy some tulip/ poplar. Easier to work with than redwood (pine), cheap, and generally stable.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Plodmore":11w8e7v0 said:
I live just outside Glasgow and am truly sick of paying B&Q for banana pine ...
Don't be put off pine - the vast majority of what the sheds sell is spruce, not pine. Even a half decent pine will be much better.
 

Droogs

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check out Lanarkshire hardwoods just by Carstairs Jctn
 

Trevanion

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MikeG.":13y1jf7r said:
I've not worked with it (I avoid tropical hardwoods deliberately), but meranti is known to be non-durable outside
Meranti is pretty horrible stuff to work with from experience, very interlocked grain which makes planing it a nightmare as there's no real right way about it unless you're using doctored planer blades or one of those closely set carp iron doohickies. Not sure about it being non-durable though, I've definitely seen external cladding and decking boards being sold that was made from the stuff in the past.

It's probably not the best stuff to work with if you're new to the craft. As Mike said, Poplar or Tulipwood are both excellent timbers for beginners because of ease of working and price but they aren't particularly the most attractive to look at.

If I were you Plodmore, find out who's in your area as far as joiners and cabinetmakers are concerned and call in with them and ask if they'll sell you any offcuts (any timber is good timber 8)), boards in stock or even get some ordered in for you if you need quite a bit. The prices should be very fair compared to the likes of Focus and other Rip-off metchants.
 

Doug B

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Another vote for Tulipwood, I pay a couple of quid a 10 foot plank more than I do for the same size redwood plank but get far less wastage from the Tulip as it has practically no knots.
I’ve a 16 foot 10inch wide plank at the mo that has only one knot in it.
 

Plodmore

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Thanks all. Will take on board comments re suppliers and type.
 

Orraloon

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Meranti can be quite good if you can pick out the good boards. The sapwood is not great looking and can be softish but the good heartwood boards are rather nice. It is also a very stable wood movement wise. Never had any issues with working it either. Dont write it off.
Regards
John
 

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Bodgers

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If you want to go the hardwood route, the other lower cost options are:

Beech
Ash
Sapele

Ash is still cheap, but you will likely need to go to a sawmill or timber merchant to get that. I see you are in Glasgow - there's likely to be a timber yard somewhere.

Beech is almost as cheap as poplar, but is a bit uninteresting to look at. Good option if you are building a bench and want hardwood.

Sapele is probably one of the better darker tropical woods at the lower cost end. Can look a lot like mahogany.
 

Phlebas

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Droogs":pkbxlq0s said:
check out Lanarkshire hardwoods just by Carstairs Jctn
Droogs,

that place is not too far from me - have you been there? and how user-friendly is it? By user friendly I suppose I mean likely to tolerate an silly person like me. Their website is a bit, mmm, austere.
 

Plodmore

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Again thanks all. Not so much desperate for hardwood as something better than the very soft B&Q stock. The other woods used were gifted and just seemed more stable and took a better finish...... Although that could be me getting better :lol:
 
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