Wood is one of the oldest building materials used today, and knowing your lumber is an essential part of becoming a carpenter. Not only is wood essential for building and remodelling homes, but choosing the right kind for flooring, trim work, cabinets and stairs can also add character to a building.
There are many types of wood that professional carpenters use, and they typically fall into two categories: hardwood and softwood. However, some woods are better for certain builds than others. For instance, while hardwood is sturdy, making it ideal for framing, softwood is typically used for wall studs, mouldings and baseboards.
If you’re planning to pursue carpentry training, read on to learn about a few common types of wood you’ll work with once you start your career.
Oak: A Traditional Building Material for Grads of Carpenter Courses
Oak is popular for use in homes, especially for constructing frames. Newly harvested oak is often referred to as ‘green,’ which you’ll notice is easier to cut and shape once you become a carpenter. As oak dries, it hardens to a consistency similar to that of concrete, making it a a great choice for structural work. Oak can also provide a high-quality finish when it’s used for decorative work, like baseboards.
Walnut: Wood That Will Have Several Uses When You Become a Carpenter
Walnut is a versatile wood because it’s hard and durable without being excessively heavy. During your carpenter courses, you’ll learn that walnut is a popular choice for building all types of cabinets and kitchen counters. There are several types of walnut available in different shades, and they are all known for absorbing finishes well.
Cedar: An Aromatic Softwood for Interior Use
Cedar is a light and brittle wood that has a very soft texture. It is typically brown in colour and has hints of red. Professional carpenters know that this particular type of wood is a popular choice for decorative trim work like door frames. Cedar wood is also often used for building bedroom furniture and lining closets because of another distinctive feature it offers: its aroma.
Cedar is an aromatic wood that compliments bedrooms and closets well with its pleasant smell.Additionally, that pleasant smell also helps keep moths away. The natural oils in cedar kill clothes moth larvae, which are a common pest known for eating through clothes and linens.
Pine: A Lightweight Softwood That Has a Lot of Range
There are over 100 species of pine that come in a range of densities. Pine is softwood that’s typically lightweight and is popular in construction because it is resistant to swelling and shrinking. Carpentry experts know that this type of wood is commonly used for roof trusses and joists. However, pine needs to be treated if it’s going to be exposed to the elements in order to prevent it from rotting.
Regardless of the type of wood you choose for a particular project, you’ll also find that they’re available in different textures. Rough woods have a grainier texture and are great for structural builds, but you can also buy woods that are pre-smoothed or planed for any carpentry work where the wood will be left exposed.
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