DIY Essen­tials

The Family Handyman - - CONTENTS -

Our guide to home cen­ter lum­ber can help you bring home ex­actly what you need.

(The prices listed are for an 8-ft. 1x6.)


Eastern white pine is the most widely used wood for home con­struc­tion. Knots and resin are com­mon. Doesn’t take stain evenly.


Same as stan­dard pine but com­pletely knot free. Nice for paint or nat­u­ral fin­ish.

CEDAR ($12)

West­ern red cedar is light­weight and rot re­sis­tant, mak­ing it pop­u­lar for out­door fur­ni­ture. Knots and splits are com­mon.



Yel­low po­plar is gen­er­ally light­col­ored, with hues rang­ing from yel­low to green to pur­ple. Ex­cel­lent for painted wood­work be­cause grain doesn’t show through.



Red oak is the most ubiq­ui­tous cabi­net wood of the last 75 years. It’s strong, durable and takes fin­ish well.

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