The Softwoods

The softwoods have a variety of interesting characteristics, some of which give them unusual furniture values. Cedar, with its distinctive and agreeable odor, has been used for generations to make chests for the storage of clothes and linens. Redwood is naturally resistant to rot and decay as well as attractive in color, and therefore is used in outdoor furniture. Knotty pine, the wood from the center of the pine tree, has been recognized almost as a species of wood, and a whole class of furniture and wall paneling has been created from it.

Visit a store which sells unfinished furniture and you will find a variety of pieces in pine and fir. Stores that feature Colonial and Early American designs have elegant replicas of old pieces in these same softwoods. When you buy furniture in softwood, or decide to restore one of these pieces, remember that in exchange tor a lower price and easy working qualities, you give up toughness and durability. But there is a soft, glowing, warm charm to this furniture that makes it attractive despite its limitations.

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