Wood Care FAQs

Wood Care FAQs

  • 6.

    How do I choose the right wood for my project?



    Ash (White)

    Baseball bats, tennis rackets, pool cues, canoe paddles, tool handles and furniture. Also used for veneers and boat building.

    Ash (Black)

    Joinery, internal cabinetry, baskets, plywood and veneers.


    Furniture, cabinetry and turning. Used often for veneers. Also used often for marine plywood and boat building.


    Life rafts, theater props, model making, toys, and any other situation where a very lightweight wood is desired.


    Turning, wood carving, boxes, crates and toys.


    Plywood, furniture, cabinets, toys and veneers.


    Church altars, boat trim and veneers. The nut is used to make a sweet syrup.

    (Alaskan Yellow)

    Boat building, furniture and veneers.

    Cedar (Aromatic)

    Carvings and closet linings.

    Cedar (Spanish)

    Cigar humidors (boxes), furniture, boat building and musical instruments.

    (Western Red)

    Decks, doors, patio furniture, boat building (wood strip canoes) and exterior millwork.

    Cherry (Black)

    Furniture, cabinetry and turnings.

    Chestnut (American)

    Furniture, poles and paneling.

    Cyprus (Bald)

    Docks, bridges, boats, posts and indoor and outdoor furniture.


    Trimming, veneers and joinery.


    Veneers, inlay, pool cues and turnings.

    Elm (White)

    Furniture, boat building and veneers.


    Cabinetry, tool handles and sports equipment.


    Inlays, decorative veneers and musical instruments.


    Turnings, veneers, inlays and marquetry.


    Veneers, decorative boxes and ornaments, plywood and turning.

    Mahogany (African)

    Furniture, boat building, veneers, joinery and plywood.

    Mahogany (Honduras )

    Fine furniture, cabinet making, plywood, turning, boat building and outdoor furniture.

    (African Cherry)

    Furniture, cabinetry and turning. Used often as a veneer. Also used often in marine plywood and boat building.

    Maple (Hard)

    Floors, bowling alleys, turnings, furniture, cabinets, musical instruments, veneers, cutting boards, counter tops etc.

    Oak (European)

    Trees stained by the "beef-steak" fungus are often converted into highly figured veneers.

    Oak (Red)

    Furniture, cabinets, veneers and flooring.

    Oak (White)

    Fine furniture, whiskey barrels, boat building and cabinetmaking.


    Small turnings, carvings and inlay work.


    Cabinets, furniture, drumbsticks, turning and veneers.

    Pine Ponderosa

    Furniture, trim, turnings and veneers.

    Pine (Southern Yellow)

    Construction, furniture, plywood and veneers.

    Pine (White)

    Furniture, moldings, plywood, boat building, carpentry and veneers.

    Poplar (Yellow)

    Joinery, cabinetry, musical instruments, furniture and plywood.


    Veneers, turnings, furniture, tool handles, etc.

    Redwood (California)

    Decks, furniture, fences, exterior trim, posts and light posts.

    Rosewood (Honduras)

    Musical instruments, pen turning and fine veneers.

    Rosewood (Indonesian)

    Furniture, cabinetry, veneer, musical instruments and turnings.

    Walnut (Black)

    Fine furniture, carving, gunstocks and plywood.


    Turnings, veneers, furniture, tool handles and pens.


  • 7.

    How do I protect bare wood?

    The best way to protect bare wood is to apply polyurethane. 

  • 8.

    What type of safety equipment should I use to complete a staining project?

    Gloves: Protect your hands from chemicals with gloves. If you’re using non-toxic products like stains and most finishes, a simple pair of latex or vinyl gloves will do the job just fine. If you’ll be working with chemicals like strippers, use gloves made specifically for working with strong chemicals, such as nitrite gloves. 

    Safety goggles: Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles or glasses when finishing. 

    Dust mask or respirator: If you’re using harsh solvents, it’s a good idea to use a respirator. A dust mask is usually sufficient if you’re not stripping or spraying on your finish. Always, always read product warnings and directions before starting your project.

    Drop cloths: Even if you’re working in your shop or garage, you’ll want to protect the floor with a drop cloth. 

    Fan: Keep your work area properly ventilated with fans.

    Just in case kit: This kit includes a telephone, first aid kit, eye wash and a fire extinguisher.
  • 9.

    What type of polyurethane should I use?

    After taking the time to prepare and stain your project, you want it to last. A protective topcoat will prevent damage from scratches, scuffs and spills. There are different top coats available based on desired appearance and protection needs. 

    The most common interior top coat is polyurethane. Polyurethane provides a hard-shell coating that will prolong the beauty of your finished wood for years to come. Like paint, polyurethane comes in sheens, most commonly satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Sheen is a matter of personal preference.