Wood types

Not sure if this is the right place to post this one…

What is your all around, easy to use, affordable wood to use for:

  1. Practice cuts (I assume MDF)
  2. General display cuts - nothing, put some stain on it and go
  3. High impact cuts. You really want to make a splash!


I usually practice on MDF since it’s easy on the bits, but sometimes I use pine if I need hard, clean edges. Other than than, I work almost exclusively with exotic woods (I also use mammoth ivory for some inlaying). Purpleheart is my main workhouse wood…it’s beautiful, dense, and can be planed down thinner than just about any other wood I’ve got. Even the purpleheart in the sizes I use is inexpensive (I’ve spent as much as $15 on a board that I cut down into 15 or so pieces). But I’ve got stuff more expensive (i.e. pink ivory, ebony) that I use in very small pieces.

I use whatever I have laying around that I can spare to practice, either MDF, plywood, or wood that is not going to work for anything else. Other than that, I use exotic woods.

Now, I seldom buy wood from a hardware store. I have 2 hard wood suppliers in my area that I go to. The wood is cheaper than at a hardware store and better quality and selection. However, it is rough cut wood so you may need a planer to get all the edges at 90 degrees or consistent thickness.

Thanks. Is worst to best also in the cheapest to most expensive as well?

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