Hard Wood and Soft Wood

If you are considering a custom made picture frames there are many things to think about, for instance there are two types of wood categories, hard wood and soft wood.  Certain woods are better for building furniture and frames with than others.

The name hard wood and soft wood does not necessarily mean or indicate that the wood is harder or softer than each other, it simply means how dense the wood is.  Soft wood isn’t as dense as hard wood but can still be equally as strong when you are building or sculpting from it.

Hard wood is usually from tress that tend to shed their leaves in winter, while soft woods come from trees that are evergreen.

We use many types of woods to make frames from, below is a list of hard woods and soft woods that work well when thinking about having a custom made wooden frame.

Image credit: https://www.barbequescience.com/wood-types/
Image credit: https://www.woodshopdirect.co.uk/

Hard Woods

Hard woods, known as deciduous is wood that comes from trees that usually produce nuts or fruit and loose their leaves during Autumn and Winter.  They are usually more expensive than soft woods and take stain and finish well.

Below is a list of hard woods ideal for making into picture frames and why:

  • Oak – There is plenty of oak wood available which makes it affordable, its durable and has a beautiful grain.
  • Birch – Plentiful in America, a lower wood grade but still good for working with, durable and takes stain well.
  • Cherry – Moderately strong, resists shock really well, is flexible to work with and carve, is resistant to rot and decay.
  • Ash – A very hard wood that is elastic and firm at the same time, has a good eco balance but is not very durable when exposed to hot temperatures
  • Walnut – One of the most expensive woods, it is durable and long lasting, stains and polishes well has an attractive grain, is highly resistant to wear and tear.

Soft Woods

Soft woods, known as coniferous is wood that comes from trees that usually have needles or cones instead of leaves and stay green all year round.  They are usually cheaper than hard woods but can be equally as good for constructing.

Below is a list of soft woods ideal for making into picture frames and why:

  • Pine – It is an affordable and plentiful material that can be used in a broad range of projects and designs, it is a strong but easy to work with.
  • Ceder – A very durable wood that has natural preservatives that resist rot and fungus, it performs well in high temperatures and humidity and never warps.
  • Fir – It takes surface finishes really well that enhances the woods natural colours, its a durable wood thats great for both outdoor and indoor constructions.
  • Cypress – This is an Australian timber and has colour and characterisations like no other wood.  It has a unique combination of low shrinkage, durability and strength and adds a charm to any decor.
Image credit: https://www.woodshopdirect.co.uk/