Wood Density: An Overview

Density is mass per unit volume, and wood density relates to the amount of wood and its substance without water or air inside. It refers to the amount of wood per unit, by the wood volume. Density of wood is measured in kg/m3 or g/cm3.

To get an accurate measurement, wood density is to be measured when the wood is dried, or at least air dried. The moisture level of the wood normally between 12%-15%.

Calculating Wood Density

Checking wood density is very simple. You can take piece of dried timber for example with dimension of 50 x 8 x  4 cm and measure its weight. You need to divide the weight by its volume.

Wood volume = 0.0016 m3

Weight = 0.65 kg

Wood density = 406.25 kg/m3

To get better conclusion, you'd better measured several pieces wood with the same dimension and species. You might not get precisely the same measurement because the wood pieces are cut from different trees, branches, or parts at the logs.

See below example of chart average measurements:

Type of Wood Density Range

Wood density range of some wood species commonly used for furniture: 

ACACIA: 550 - 600 kg/m3

BALSA: 110 - 140 kg/m3

EUCALYPTUS SALIGNA: 640 - 670 kg/m3

MAHOGANY: 495 - 545 kg/m3

MAPLE: 620 - 740 kg/m3

OAK: 600 - 750 kg/m3

PINE: 350 - 560 kg/m3

TEAK: 600 - 900 kg/m3

WALNUT: 640 - 700 kg/m3

High density wood mostly harder but not always mean more difficult for machine process. Cutting or sawing might not have significant impact. But for sanding process, high density wood will consume a bit more of sanding paper or may need more sanding paper material.

But at the finishing process, higher wood density will bring more advantage. As it absorb the finishing material a bit less than wood with low density. You might have same appearance quality for less finishing material.

Sometimes wood density in a batch of sawmill can have different range too. You can experience by looking at the wood-edge part showing quick impression of different density. Higher density wood will have smoother edge after cutting, and the lower density will have rougher edge. 



Because wood is sustainable and more eco-friendly

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