If you’ve decided to get yourself interested in wood turning, and you’ve managed to get yourself the right equipment, then that’s great!

But before you can get started on turning the wood, you’ll need to think about what sort of wood you’ll be using. Because different woods have different colours, textures, and hardness. Choosing the wood that you’ll be using is when you decide what you want the finished product to look like. In this article, we’ll be covering the top 10 woods for wood turning.

Figured Maple

Figured Maple

The first type of wood that you might want to consider using is the figured maple. The great thing about the maple tree is that they’re so common! They can be found in more or less any forest in the United States.

And they have an incredibly unique look to them. The best way I can describe this look is basically just, cool! You can really see al of the patterns within the wood, making it unlike any other wood that’s out there.

Walnut

Walnut

Secondly, Walnut. Like Maple, walnut is very common in the USA, and it also had the additional benefit of being incredibly strong, so anything you make with it will not be breaking anytime soon. If you’re going to be turning with Walnut, you will want to make sure the speed of the lathe is between 800-1000 rpm, this way, you can make sure that your tools will be able to cut through this incredibly hard wood.

The appearance of walnut is unlike most other woods as it’s colouration is much darker. This darkness gives it a more sophisticated look to it.

Cherry

Cherry

The third type of wood on our list is Cherry Wood. As you’ve likely already guessed Cherry wood is the wood that comes from a cherry tree.

The look of this wood is great because for the most part, it’s very light, but the lines within the wood are dark, this makes it stand out in any room.

Due to it’s relative hardness, Cherry wood can be shaped into almost anything.

Box Elder

Box Elder

Fourth, we have a type of wood that you may not have heard of before. But it has an incredibly stunning appearance to it.

The background of the wood is a light brown, but the details are actually a raspberry like red. This redness gives it an almost psychedelic appearance to it. This redness actually comes from a fugus, but don’t worry, it’s a perfectly safe fungus.

Box elder is one of the harder woods, and this makes it an ideal wood for turning.

Rosewood

Rosewood

When you hear the word rosewood, you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s the wood from a rosebush. However, this is not the case.

Rosewood, simply comes from the Rosewood tree. This is a tree which is native to India.

The colour of rosewood is incredibly dark, and incredibly hard. These two properties means that it’s both easy to turn, and when you’re finished, you will get a beautiful product.

The patterns on the wood are so dark that they’re almost black.

Pacific Madrone

Pacific Madrone

Madrone is a wood that can be grown in several parts all over the world. However, the type of Madrone that’s best for turning is the Pacific Madrone. This type of wood is great for a large variety of reasons.

The first one is the appearance. Unlike many other types of wood, which are either light or dark, Pacific Madrone is both.

Whilst most of the wood is light, the dark patches are almost black. The contrast that his creates gives anything made out of Pacific Madrone a stunning look to it.

Red Elm

Red Elm

If you’re looking for something light in colour, then Red Elm would be perfect for you!

Red elm is native to North America, so it will be incredibly easy for you to find. Unlike many other types of wood, Red Elm has an almost relaxed look to it because of it’s bright colour, and gentle lines. If you’re looking for a wood that’s not too loud, but still amazing to look at, then Red Elm would be the wood for you.

Spalted Maple

Spalted Maple

If it’s cool patterns you’re after, then it’s Spalted Maple that you need to be after. A safe for humans fungus grows within the tree, causing the Maple to have beautiful black lines within the wood. As mentioned earlier, Maple in general is a brilliant wood for turning because it’s nice and hard.

And also, you can find it across America. Although finding Spalted Maple might be slightly more difficult than regular Maple.

But it’s worth the extra work.

Osage Orange

Osage Orange

Osage Orange is a kind of wood that almost looks orange. And the rings that grow on the tree are very dark, which helps to make the orangeness stand out even more.

This particular kind of wood comes from a tree which is native to India.

As well as looking amazing, it also has a fantastic feel and texture to it, making it great for making things such as bowls.

And plus, it’s hardness will make it very easy to work with.

Quartersawn Sycamore

Quartersawn Sycamore

And finally on this list, we have a rather strange, but also a rather beautiful wood known as the Quartersawn Sycamore.

This is a very light wood with some reddish orange specks throughout. What seperates this wood from most other kinds of wood is that the rings are vertical rather than horizontal, this means that even when it’s turned, you can still clearly see it’s rings.

And it’s an easy wood to get your hands on as Sycamore is native to many countries, including the USA.

Of course, I’m not saying that these 10 woods are the only types of wood out there, and I’m also not saying that these are the only kinds of wood that you can use for wood turning.

But they are, in my opinion, the best ones. This is because of a combination of both their hardness, and how amazing they will look when the finished product is completed.

Also Great:

Wood Turning: Top 8 projects for beginners

Top Six most important things you’ll need if you want to get into wood turning


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