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Great Woods to Use for Custom Furniture

Posted by SCF on

Wood has always been a popular material choice for furniture. However, there are so many choices of wood available; it can be difficult to know the best one to choose for your new custom-made furniture. Keep reading to see some of the most popular wood choices and some of their best uses.

Brown Maple

Brown maple is a hardwood that is ideal for making furniture. It is essentially the wood that is left after a load has had the white wood extracted from it. The color of brown maple wood makes it ideal for products that are enhanced by a rustic look. Although it is called “brown maple” the color of the wood is not dark, there is considerable variation of the color of the wood with some areas being very light and some being darker. Since maple is distinctly a white wood, brown maple has more of a tan or beige tint. Lighter color stains allow those variations to come through, darker colors help even them out. The wood’s strength, beauty and price make it an ideal choice for making wood furniture.

both look good. On the “brown maple” section, add that there is considerable variation of the color of the wood with some areas being very light and some darker. Lighter color stains allow those variations to come through, darker colors help even them out.


Oak is another popular wood for furniture making. It is commonly sought out by furniture makers due to its strength and durability. It has a distinctive open grain that has a wide range of colors. It is not uncommon for Oak to be white, yellow and even reddish brown. Oak also great pressure and has superior wear resistance, so it can hold up to even the most extreme wear. It also holds up well to nailing and screwing, which also makes it a favorite of furniture makers.

Quarter-sawn Oak

Quarter-sawn oak is cut in a different manner than other types of wood. The unusual cut produces a high-grade wood that binds the perpendicular fibers together rather than split them apart. This feature gives quarter-sawn amazing strength, and it is resistant to cracks, warps and splits. It is often used for Mission and Shaker style furniture because it gives furniture an antique look that is popular with those styles.


As its name suggests, cheery wood is deep reddish-brown in color. It is a popular choice for furniture because it is easy to work with and ages nicely.. It also stains and finishes well. Cherry wood is not readily available at a traditional big box type store, so it must be purchased from a lumberyard. However, it is still in high demand, so often has a higher price tag to reflect consumer’s desire for it.


Mahogany is an ideal wood for someone who wants a rich and deeply colored piece of furniture. Mahogany is easily identified by its telltale deep reddish-brown tint. It is a moderately soft wood, making it easily pliable. It is easily stained to a different shade and takes a minimal amount of oil to make it look great. Like cherry wood, mahogany must be purchased at a lumberyard and has a fairly high price tag.


Although it is a fairly hard wood, walnut is an easy wood with which to work. Further, despite its strength and durability, it is easily movable, making it ideal for home furniture use. Its rich brown color is an ideal addition to any living room decor. American black walnut is sturdy and ideal for accent pieces. However, those looking for a more stunning look might want to consider the European variety. European walnut is easy to use, has a beautiful color and texture, high stability, and just presents a beautiful overall look.


Alder wood is closely related to birch and can be used similarly. Although it is considered a hardwood, it is light and a bit soft. Alder is a great choice for making furniture because its color is consistent, and it also accepts stains and finishes well. It also has a straight grain and uniform texture, so it provides furniture with a cohesive look without much variation.


Hickory is one of the hardest and heaviest woods available. Although there are 15 varieties of hickory, only eight are used for commercial purposes. One of most popular varieties of hickory is pecan. Some of most prominent features of hickory are its close grain and lack of figure. Hickory is a great choice for furniture that needs to be strong yet thin.

The next time you are deciding on new furniture for your house, consider having a custom-made piece using one of the fabulous woods described above. Secret Compartment Furniture has been specializing in creating hand-crafted, custom-made furniture for many years. We pride ourselves on using tried-and-true techniques and customizing any piece of furniture to meet our customers’ needs. Contact us today to see what we can make for you.