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Which wood for general household woodworking?

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Arjay12345

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Hi

Which wood do people general use for indoor cupboards and other similar furniture? Hopefully not a silly question.

Watching Norm on Discovery, he makes so much from MDF, but doesn't finish like real wood, so am looking for the default alternative. Apart from high-end speciality woods, do people just use standard beech-ply?

Then where do people buy from? Local B&Q/Wickes/etc don't always have the quality I think should be available

Thanks..
 

AndyT

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It will depend on what you are making and how it will be finished, but for things like built-in cupboards to be painted I would buy joinery grade redwood from a timber merchant. Ideally you need to find somewhere that sells to the trade (so has a decent turnover) but is also interested in the casual cash purchase of only a roof rack full. Talk to the staff about what you need it for, and make sure they show you the good stuff, not something for making disposable crates from.
For broad widths, the glued-up timber boards (staves of narrow softwood, widths up to about 500mm) are a nicer alternative to mdf or ply, especially if you want a simple unframed structure.

General consensus on B&Q etc is that their softwood is often rubbish (they must waste a huge amount by storing and handling it so badly) but can be ok in bigger branches. Sheet goods can be ok in small quantities and cutting to size can make it worthwhile.
 
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