Furniture Materials

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We are going to learn the difference between hardwood, softwood and veneers used in furniture manufacturing with some general but to-the point words.


The furniture manufacturer I worked for is hand-crafted from fine quality woods, and often incorporates other quality construction materials such as aluminum, steel, glass, plastic, leather, and marble. Since wood is the main component, we will focus on how it is used to make fine quality furniture.



Here hardwood refers to all leaf-bearing trees rather than any degree of hardness. Those most often used in furniture construction include ash, birch, butternut, cherry, gum, mahogany, maple, oak, pecan, rosewood, teak, walnut and yellow poplar.



Softwood comes from trees with needles or foliage that remains green year round. These include cedar, fir, pine and spruce.


Woods for Frame Construction

Ash, gum and yellow poplar are often used in frame construction and other interior areas for their strength, stability and shock absorption qualities.


Woods for Exterior Surface

Cabinet woods are those used on exterior surfaces and must be carefully worked, carved, finished and polished. Cabinet woods include birch, cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, pecan and walnut.


Wood Preparation

Before putting into production line, there is a must to do procedure of wood preparation because wood contains natural moisture that accounts for as much as one-third of the total weight of lumber when it is first received. ‘Curing’ lumber requires tremendous care and expertise.

Wood is placed in a dry kiln after it is received and stored in a storage hot box before it is processed. Moisture content of eight to ten percent assures the stability of finished furniture, in either humid or desert climates.

After the lumber is properly dried, it is planned and cut to various widths and lengths, then matched for color since that even within the same tree, color varies greatly.


Well, it is very easy to understand the differences between different wooden materials, and now you know what matters in furniture materials, right?