To Top

Man’s Guide To Lumber and All Things DIY
20 Types of Wood and How To Use It Best, Builder’s Basics: Know Your Lumber, 21 Steps To Knowing Your Lumber, 20+ Types Of Wood A Man Should Know, Construction Grade Lumber And You, 20+ Reasons To Use Luber On Your Summer Project, Man Knowledge: Construction Grade Lumber Edition, 20+ Ways Lumber Can Halp You Build Your Dream Home, Know Your Plywood, And Other Types Of Lumber

This is your primer on lumber, wood and wood related materials. Essentially you have structural load bearing grade wood which is heavy, high density and rot proof – and finally the DIY wood, which is pleasant, easy to work with, cheap and light.

AC Plywood

Image source

The letters mark the grade of the surface, AC means it has a top quality face and a less pleasant back face. Use for furniture and paneling jobs where only one side is visible

CDX Plywood

Image source

This is construction grade plywood, it’s filled with knots and the x stands for the adhesive used in fabrication. It means it has limited resistance to moisture.


Image source

Almost water proof right out of the box. Stains, glues and finishes very easily, a shame it’s not all that easy to find.


Image source

Hard to find and staining is a bit difficult but it’s an easy wood to work with and the end result looks amazing.

Dimensional Lumber

Image source

Lumber that is already cut to some standard sized and is ready to build. The general size is the regular 2×4, which is usually 1.5 in x 3.5 in.

Douglas Fir

Image source

The heaviest softwood available on the market. And great for any load barring and structural uses.


Image source

HDF or hard density fiberboards. A budget option for surfaces where you don’t need impact resistance, water resistance, tensile strength and impact resistance.

Hardwood Plywood

Image source

Plywood made from hard wood, very resilient structurally and suitable for floors and walls

Hem Fir

Image source

Great value, great as construction lumber. Less reliable for smaller DYI uses.


Image source

LVL is structural grade plywood. It is, however, harder to treat against moisture so use it for inside jobs mostly.


Image source

High density and tends to burn when using high-speed cutters. It also has a tendency to stain unevenly.


Image source

High-density fiberboard, use as filler when you need clean surfaces and complex cuts and edges. Use a high-quality sealer.


Image source

Pleasent odor, strong, beautiful grain, rot resistant, economical and easy to work with.


Image source

Great versatility, just check the rating…OSB 2 is limited in load bearing capacity and moisture, while OSB/3 is sealed.

Sugar Pine/White pine

Image source

Light soft pine, with a lot of wide resin groves. Glues and cuts very easily.

Tropical plywood

Image source

Light weight, but stronger than regular SPF(spruce, pine, and fir) plywood.


Image source

Low-density hardwood, the quintessential utility lumber


Image source

Amazing strength to weight ratio a pleasure to work with due to the specific odor it creates while processed.

SPF Lumber

Image source

Canadian Grouping of Spruce-Pine-FIr. Generally a marketing gimmick.

Treated Lumber

Image source

Wood that is treated with termites, exposure, and rot. A pressure treated wood can last up to 20 years more according to some manufacturers.

Southern Yellow Pine

Image source

Amazing durable, beautiful and easy to work with. Perfect wood for DIY. This is the densest and strongest pine on the market, still a soft wood but great for almost all applications.

More inMan Stuff

Privacy Preference Center