Do you have a LEAST favorite wood for woodworking? These 15 woodworkers do… I didn’t put these woods in any sort of order. And because least favorite woods are often toxic or allergenic woods this post ends with some resources on wood toxicity.

Inspiration for this post came from the SawmillCreek thread: I think I got hit by a camaro! It starts with a humorous story. Check it out!

“About as heavy on volume as Ipe, just as hard, but it smells like horse dung when milled, and the splinters seem to cause an immediate infection. Makes white oak seem like balsa wood.”
-Peter Quinn

Red Oak
“hard as nails which is why it’s equally hard on saw blades. The grain pattern is difficult to match when gluing up panels. I don’t even like the way it smells when it’s cut. And probably the biggest reason of all, it’s used frequently in styles of furniture that I don’t enjoy building.”
-Craig Stevens of Woodworkers Resource

“I think it is too prone to splintering and creates way too much dust when sanding. ”
-Tom Sheehan

Brazilian cherry/jatoba
“It is so stinkin hard and dense…”
-Matt Campbell

“Every time I even look at a piece of wenge, I get a splinter.”
-Gary Herrmann

“It turns to dust when cut, and wreaks havoc with my sinuses. Mahogany is the same.”
-Mike Cutler

“hickory is impossible to plane without extremly sharp blades as it chips and splinters around any grain shift, the color is impossible to match to any filler that i have found or made, as it changes color all the time, and to remove the voids where it has chipped takes hours of sanding and leaves you with a wavy board.”
-Jay Angel

“Dusty, hard, doesn’t smell all that good.”

“The shop smells like a F-ing hampster cage to me. Plus after about half a day exposure to it I want to gouge my itchy, watery eyes out with the corner of the tablesaw.”
-Karl Brogger

“yellow sticky dust, and makes my skin itch, but the guy I was working with broke out with a rash something fierce.”
-Roger Barlow

Black Walnut
“The stuff tears me up – I’m not right for days afterwords. It has that smell that just about makes me sick to my stomach.”

“The one project I did with hard maple, gave me horrible splinters and chunked out alot. Even the soft maple (yeah, right) seemed to be harder on my blades than other woods that I have used. The soft maple was 8/4, so that may have been why it dulled the blades faster?”

“creates a fine dust that gets into everything ,clogs it as well as staining any cloth or filter components.”
-purple thumb

White Pine
“too soft, too brittle and if cut the wrong time of year it will gum up everything.”

“it ABSOLUTELY has the worst smell of any wood I’ve come across!”

Sources for Least Favorite Woods:
I think I got hit by a camaro! (Cumaru…)
Wood – what’s your favorite / least favorite
Least Favorite Wood to Work With?

Wood Toxicity Resources
Often times the least favorite woods are due to allergic reactions. Here are some resources that could help you steer clear of toxic woods.
Potentially Toxic Woods
Allergic Reactions to Wood
Common Domestic Flooring Woods known to cause irritation
Wood/Dust Toxicity Chart

What are your least favorite woods to work with? Let me know in the comments…