Wood Workability | Woodworking | Workability of Wood
We have compiled a series of league tables to help compare and rate the properties of wood. All of our assessments are based on kiln dried timber (with the exception of the Green Oak and the Season Oak) starting from sawn, square edged boards.
These tables can be beneficial when attempting to choose a wood for a particular application. Here we look at the workability of commonly available timbers here in the UK. These are timbers we offer on our website, available for a wide range of products.
To make this assessment we have considered a number of factors; firstly we gave each timber a rating in terms of its physical workability from the point of view of a bench joiner. We have worked with joiners for over 30 years so their view on how the timber performed, when using it to make something, was critical in getting a result. They considered how easy the wood is to cut, machine, sand, cramp, join, and glue and generally work with. We then factored the density of the timber get a perspective on its effect on tooling, lifting and handling. This gave us this interesting table of results;
To download the PDF file of this table please click here
The wood near the top of this chart are the most favourable to work with in terms of their ease of shaping from their raw/sawn state to a practical useable item. In addition to this; the better their rank - the kinder they seem to be on tools. There are exceptions to these rules – for example Maple was considered as very workable by our joiners but due to its high density it is only at mid-table.
Please note that this is only our opinion of the workability of the timbers shown and is to be used only as a guide. Wood turners, machinists and other woodworkers may have completely different views to ours as they shape and work the timber in different ways.