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Types of Wood used in Gate Construction

Careful consideration should be done when choosing the wood for your gate. Each type of wood has different characteristics. All of them are composed of 60% cellulose and 28% lignin; they only differ on the remaining 12%. This 12% affects other minor factors about the wood such as its colors, texture and beauty. The way a wood is cured and sawed will also contribute to its characteristics.

Wood is categorized into 2 types- Hardwood and Softwood. Hardwood is from deciduous trees, which shed their leaves every year. Softwood, on the other hand is from coniferous (evergreen) trees that are mostly needle-leaved or scale leaved.

Hardwoods are the strong and durable type, their main disadvantage is that they are generally harder to work with in terms of carving, bolting screws and the likes. Popular choices are oak, maple, cherry, poplar and birch. Of these choices, only red oak and poplar are stocked at home centers, the others have to be looked up from specialty stores.

Common species of hardwood


Best used for solid and veneered furniture, cabinets and wall panels. Walnut is strong and easy to work with. It has a solid structure that resists shrinking and warping, its fine texture provides a good finish to any project.


has a fine grain and a reddish brown color. Like most hardwoods, it is very durable because it resists shrinking, swelling and warping. It can be used for cabinets, boats, wood facings and veneers.


Oak is a strong wood that has good bending qualities. It doesn’t absorb moisture easily and it provides a good finish to any project. They have open pores that tend to collect wood stains that are applied to them. This makes the stain appear darker around the open pores. This It can also be used for furniture, trimmings, boat frames, floor panels and elegant desks.


Is a hard, fragrant dark reddish wood. It requires high polish to produce a good finish. Musical instruments, piano cases and tool handles are usually built with rosewood.


Maple i s best used in bowling alleys, floorings and other furniture. It comes out of machines very well and is fine textured. This wood is tight grained, which allows finishes and stains to be spread evenly.


Wood from this tree ages well. It's a close-grain hardwood that resists warping and shrinking. However, it will redden when exposed to sunlight. This wood will work well in boat trims, cabinets and solid furniture handles.


This is a very durable and resistant wood. It resists moisture and rot. It’s also not prone to warping, decaying and cracking. Among its many uses are ship building, door and window making, flooring, and other general constructing works.

Softwood on the other hand is mostly used for home construction. Most of the woods from this specie absorb and lose moisture easily. It would be best to purchase your timber at least two weeks before your project. Then, you will need to place small pieces of scrap wood between the boards to allow air circulation.

Common species of softwood


can also be used for panels, trims, molding, boxes and furniture. Its even texture works well with finishes and stains.


has a fine and non adhesive texture. One disadvantage is it has low resistance to decay. Fir is mostly used for doors, frames, windows, veneer and interior trim.
Hemlock: like fir, it’s also prone to decay and non resinous. It can be used as a construction lumber, planks, boards, panels and crates.


unlike Fir and Hemlock, Redwood has a natural resistance to decay because of the oil/saps it produces. It's light weight and durability makes it ideal for outdoor furniture, fencing, veneering and paneling.


is resistant to rotting. It has a freshly sweet smell and reddish color. These qualities make Cedar ideal for closet linings, shingles, posts, novelty products and chest making.
Now that you know the common types of hardwood and softwood, keep in mind that each type has its own characteristics- a set of advantages and disadvantages. It would also be helpful to shop around or ask around to get the most out of a deal.

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