The great thing about furniture is all the choices such as types of wooden office furniture. Typically, wood used for making furniture comes in three categories to include hardwood, softwood, and manufactured panels. The type of wood chosen depends on the type of furniture, which consists of various characteristics such as durability, stability, color, cost, and even availability. If you wanted to try building wooden office furniture, we would recommend you work with pine or some other type of softwood, which is beautiful, affordable, and easier to master. However, if you plan to buy, then obviously your choices would be much greater unless you are a skilled craftsman.
Let us start with softwood. Wooden office furniture could be made from anything such as pine, hemlock, cedar, redwood, spruce, and fir, each an excellent choice. Keep in mind that due to the lighter coloring and patterns found with softwood, most wooden office furniture is in the traditional or early American style. The one important thing to remember when choosing softwoods is that because this type of wood naturally absorbs and loses more moisture than you would find with hardwoods, the wood is not considered a top choice as far as stability.
If you plan to make your own wooden indoor furniture using softwood, a great tip is to purchase the wood 10 to 14 days prior to building, letting it sit outside. In addition, put a small piece of wood in between each stacked board. That way, air can flow through so the wood settles better once inside. Now, with softwood, you would go for a “select” or “no. 2 common” grade. Typically, the latter choice has solid knots on the wood’s face. Therefore, “select” grade is what you would find your best choice for wooden office furniture.
Hardwood is the best option in most cases for wooden desk furniture. After all, you want something that can handle a little bit of weight (computer, books, lamp, etc), as well as last for years. This type of wood includes maple, oak, walnut, ash, cherry, poplar, and birch. Keep in mind that if you were to buy wood for a do-it-yourself project, your local home improvement store, and even lumberyard probably only sells poplar and red oak. You can purchase the other types of hardwood but these would be considered special order.
Wooden office furniture made from hardwood is much different from that of softwood. For instance, when working with hardwood, a pilot hole must be drilled for the screws first simply because of the wood’s density. The same would be true when cutting hardwood. To ensure the cuts are clean, you need to make sure you use quality, sharp tools.
Finally, you want to understand that hardwood offers both open and close grain woods. In this case, ash and oak are open, which means they are porous and dense. If you were to paint or stain this type of wood, it would absorb better. On the other hand, closed grain, which includes maple, poplar, cherry, and birch, offers a much greater level of color. Although manufactured wood is sometimes used for wooden office furniture, remember it is not strong and will not last.