Best Wood To Make a Table With

What is the best wood to make a table?

This is question that I occasionally get asked, and I want to answer it in this post, along with some recommendations about the different types of wood that you could use when starting this kind of project.

What is the best wood to make a table with?

Wood, or in other words, wood-cut in the trunk of the tree into planks – makes up much of the timber used for the construction of furniture.

The kind of wood you decide on for making a table top, depends on the attractiveness and what you actually want the finished table top to be used for.

Several types of timber are accessible, and each one has its qualities, so let us get right to it…

Woodworking Plans

If you are just starting out and want some great plans to start making a fantastic looking table right away, I would highly suggest that you take a look at Ted’s Woodworking Plans. You get a comprehensive library of plans to build all manner of amazing things.

Trying some softwoods

Softwoods come from trees including pine and cedar and are usually fairly yellowish or red. Softwoods are usually more affordable than hardwoods because many coniferous trees grow straight and quick.Softwoods aren’t stronger than hardwoods, let’s just make that clear straight away!

It is also not too hard to seek out sustainably grown softwoods (hardwoods grown on tree farms to make sure an infinite supply of timber); this signifies you are not adding to the deforestation of earth and can always possess a way to obtain timber for the projects.

Following is a summary of their features as well as some typical soft wood types.


The most frequently encountered form of cedarwood is the red range that is Western USA variety. American red cedar, as its title suggests, has a reddish color to it.

As it can manage damp surroundings without warping, American Red cedar is mainly useful for outside jobs like creating exteriors and furniture.

American red cedar is reasonably priced and are available at many home centers.

Cedarwood is among the very fragrant hardwoods (thus, the cedar chest) and is powerful enough to weather the the weather, therefore it is ideal for decks and garden furniture.


Frequently called Douglas-Fir, this timber has a reddish-brown hue to it, and has a right, noticeable materials.

Fir is frequently employed for construction; it really is cheap and can be utilized for many furniture, yet -producing at the same time.

It does not require stain very nicely and will not have the materials design that is many intriguing, so when you want to color the completed merchandise, it’s best to utilize it only.

Douglas – Fir is medium strength for a soft wood, with a rating of 4 on a range of 1 to 4.

This timber is worth thinking about as it is easy to find at the local hardware center plus it is really, very cheap and you will most likely be enticed to make some thing.

Remember: Starting something is the best way to finish something!!!


Pine comes in a number of types, including Ponderosa, Sugar, White, and Yellow, and they all make furniture that is excellent, including being one of the best wood to make a table.

In a few regions of the state (particularly south-western USA), pine is the timber to make use of.

Pine is very simple work with and, it adds itself to carving because many types are comparatively soft and easy to manipulate.

Since it is not difficult to form and spot, pine is popular in furniture.

Pine normally stains extremely nicely (provided that you seal the wood first), but Ponderosa pine seems to ooze sap, therefore take care when using this material.

Pine can be obtained from many home centers, however it is frequently of a lesser quality than that which you will find at a proper lumberyard.


Like cedar, redwood can be used generally for outside jobs due to the resistance to wet and damp conditions. Redwood (Ca redwood), is pretty soft and contains a straight grain. It’s a red hue to it, as its title implies.

Redwood is simple to use, is comparatively soft (2 on a range of 1 to 4), and is reasonably priced.

How about Hardwoods

The many grain styles, colors and designs create some intriguing and wonderful -looking furniture and table tops. The drawback to hardwoods is their cost. A few of the more unique types may be too expensive to use for anything other than purely decorative accents.Many carpenters want to use hardwoods.

Some hardwoods have become quite difficult to get and are being picked without worry for their extinction and resulting effects on the rain forests from where they come.

Not only is this difficult on the surroundings, it pushes up the cost of the timber, therefore the cost creating furniture with it, is going of the issue for the majority of carpenters.

If you’re able to, make an effort to get wood from a sustainable source. Check the National Hard-Wood Lumber Association for more information.

Following is a summary of their features as well as typical hardwoods.


Ash is a white to light brownish timber with a a straight grain. It is fairly simple to work with (firmness of 4 on a range of 1 to 5) and stains very nicely – making great looking kitchen table tops among other things.

But ash is becoming harder and more difficult to locate. You you will be lucky to locate ash at your neighborhood home center – it’s usually only available from the larger lumberyards.

Ash is also an excellent replacement for white pine.


Birch comes in two types: white and yellow.

Yellow birch is a pale yellow-to-white wood with reddish brown heartwood, whereas white birch has a brighter shade that resembles walnut.

Both varieties of birch possess a hardness of 4 on a range of 1 to 5.

Birch is more affordable than a number of hardwoods and easier to get. Even though the choice is much better at a lumberyard, birch can be found at most hardware centers.

Birch is cost-effective and beautiful, making it a great wood to make table tops with.

Birch is simple to work with and easily manipulated.

However you may want to choose a color you like, because it can be very difficult to stain. Often coming out in big ugly stain sections, painting is an easier option for birch.


Cherry is an extremely well-known and all around excellent timber. It ages beautifully, and is simple to perform with, and finishes nicely with only simple oil stains.

The heartwood of cherry has a reddish brown color to it as well as the sapwood is not nearly black. It is an extremely common timber for furniture making and can be obtained from woods that are sources in a sustainable manner – a plus for me.

You you will not locate cherry at your neighborhood home center, therefore if you wish to to use it for your projects; a trip to the lumberyard is required.

Cherry is becoming fairly high-priced in comparison with other domestic hardwoods, like oak since it is so popular.


Mahogany (also also known as Honduran mahogany), is one of the most well known woods for making furniture. It has a reddish brown to deep red hue, a straight grain, medium texture, as well as a firmness of about 2 on a range of 1 to 5.

It stains wonderfully and looks fantastic with only 1 layer of oil.

One major downside, is the fact that mahogany being grown in many forests just aren’t sustainable. You really are not going to find this at a mom & pop hardware store and in fact, the sole location you might have a chance at finding mahogany; is a very good lumberyard. Be prepared to spend some serious money, mahogany isn’t chump change!


Maple comes in two types: soft and hard.

Both types are tougher than a number of other forest woods; hard maple in particular is really tough (5 on a range of 1 to 5) which also means that it’s tough to work with.

Soft maple however, is not too difficult to work with and you might find it this the best wood to make a table with, compared with the harder variety.

As a result of their straight grains that are very fine, both types tend to be less unstable than a number of other hardwoods.

In addition they are generally cheaper than other types of hardwoods.


Oak, oak, mighty oak.

Oak is probably among the most used hardwoods for furniture and furniture construction. White oak is favored for furniture making, as it’s generally thought of as more attractive than red oak. White oak can also be more immune to wetter conditions and may be used on outside wooden furniture.

As a result of its popularity from its beauty and hardness, it the preferred wood for furniture and floors.


Poplar is one of the more affordable hardwoods out there.

It is also pretty soft (1 in firmness on a range of 1 to 5), rendering it an easy wood to work with. Poplar is usually white with a few brownish or green stripes in the heartwood.

It is seldom used in good furniture because poplar isn’t the most attractive timber when compared with the others on this list and it is more often than not decorated by paint and so on.

Poplar may be an excellent option for drawers and kitchen cabinets etc where it’s not going to be noticed, as it’s secure and cost-effective.

It’s possible for you to locate poplar wood at some of the larger hardware stores, however a lumberyard is going to have better choice and if you are serious about using the best wood for table tops, then a lumbar yard should be your first choice.


As the times move on, teak has become much rarer and more difficult to source. But it’s the go to timber for outdoor furniture.

Think about those old Italian motorboats on the Venetian canals. Their wooden construction is made from teak wood for a reason other than just for its beauty.

Teak is exceptionally weather-resistant and good looking, but these features come with a cost – we are talking nearly $24 a board-foot here!

Teak comes with an oily feel as well as a gold-brownish color. It is a 3 on a range of 1 to 5 for firmness and is only accessible from bigger lumberyards and specialized providers.


This is a hard wood in the real meaning of hard.

Coming to a 4 on a level of 1 to 5, walnut is a rich brown timber that is not that difficult to make furniture from.

Sadly, pine is fairly expensive (generally around $8 a board-foot), and locating substantial panels for bigger jobs is becoming hard.

Despite this, walnut is nevertheless an excellent timber gives it self properly to be used as inlays and accents to decorate a job and to use.


So there you have a selection of soft & hard woods that are suitable for many different kinds of projects.

I hope this is able to answer your questions about what the best wood to make a table is, and in my personal opinion, I would go for a cheaper soft wood to create the general frame, and then go with a hard wood like oak or mahogany to give your new table a great looking finish.

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