A quality DIY woodworking project begins with choosing the right wood. In a previous post, we reviewed a few factors you should consider when choosing the best wood for your DIY woodworking project, including its intended purpose, your budget, and its appearance. Offering woodworking classes for adults and kids in New Jersey, the team here at The DIY Joint has a wealth of knowledge on various wood species and we would be happy to help guide you in the right direction for your project. Contact us today to speak with someone or sign up for a woodworking class online! In the meantime, check out six common species used in DIY woodworking projects.

6 Woods for Woodworking



This type of wood is creamy-brown or gray-brown with a straight and pronounced open grain pattern. It is excellent for DIY woodworking projects as it holds nails, screws, and glue very well. The species is heavy and durable yet flexible, and it takes all finishes of stain very well. It is a great wood for baseball bats, tool handles, furniture, and turned projects.


As its name suggests, this species comes from the cherry fruit tree. It is light pinkish-brown when it has just been cut and darkens to a rich reddish-brown over time. The wood features a straight, closed grain that takes light and natural finishes well. It responds well to steam, allowing it to be curved and shaped for architectural woodwork, furniture, and other decorative wood pieces.


Light reddish-brown in color, this species has a straight, closed grain that may be either straight or wavy. The grain is very faint, offering a uniform appearance. Maple is very durable, resists splitting, and takes all stain finishes. It is a very common wood used in DIY projects, including wooden kitchen utensils, baseball bats, cabinets, and furniture.



There are several varieties of pine to choose from with colors ranging between pale yellow to light brown. Some are stronger than others, but virtually all types of pine are very lightweight and feature a straight grain. Musical instruments, cabinets, and fence posts can all be made from pine, but you’ll want to be sure to seal it with a water-based or oil-based polyurethane.

Red Cedar

Red to violet-red with a straight grain, cedar is a unique species that has a prominent aromatic smell and resists decay and insects. It is very hard, but it is also lightweight and finishes well. It has moderate screw and nail holding properties and is best used for carvings, birdhouses, jewelry boxes, and other small specialty items.


This beautiful wood varies in color depending on age. It may start off yellowish- or reddish-white and darken to a brown-red or dark red. It is fairly hard for a softwood and it has a stark grain that may be either straight or wavy. The high sap content may require more finishes, but this species is great for a variety of woodworking projects.

Woodworking Classes in New Jersey

Choosing the wood for your upcoming project doesn’t have to be intimidating when you have the help of The DIY Joint. We offer affordable wood delivery through Boards & Beams Lumber Yard and you can even reserve on-site wood storage at our woodworking studio to make things even easier. If you have questions about any of the woodworking classes that we offer, or if you would like some guidance on which type of wood might be best for your DIY project, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you and help you make something awesome!