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Which type of wood is affordable but lasts longer(many years)?

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Typical material for furniture was once driven by what grows there.  this is still true to some extent as availability is one factor that drives prices.  My preferred yard frequently have hard and soft maple within pennies of each other per board foot.  Either is a reliable material for furniture and moderately priced

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Wood hardness can be measured and has been. Look up that Janka test and you will see a large number of woods and relative hardness. Avoid woods under 700 if you are just looking for durability. The next thing to consider is simply what woods are actually available to you locally for purposes of economy.

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The closer the grain, the higher the polish the wood will take, but finish is more important. Ebony and African Blackwood take a great polish, but very expensive and available in limited quantities. I’d focus on finish for shine. 

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5 hours ago, Eric. said:

Shiny will depend on your finish and how much abuse it takes.  There is no "shiny wood."

For interior furniture, any species will last multiple generations if it's cared for properly and not abused.  Some species are harder than others but that doesn't mean softer species won't last forever if pieces are constructed properly.  There are pieces in museums that are hundreds of years old built with poplar and pine parts.  It's more about how something is built and then treated by people rather than the hardness of the wood.  Use what you like, and build it well.

Hmm some woods have natural oils that make them shiny in almost any condition. Ever seen turned Lignum Vitae? stuff comes out emerald green, hard as granite and has its own sheen. 

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54 minutes ago, Isaac said:

Hmm some woods have natural oils that make them shiny in almost any condition. Ever seen turned Lignum Vitae? stuff comes out emerald green, hard as granite and has its own sheen. 

Yeah but there isn't a wood I've ever seen that I'd classify as shiny.  Like Barron said, some polish to a higher luster than others, but I still wouldn't call them shiny.  That's a job for finish...if so desired...for some reason. :)

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7 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

If you are in North America - Cherry and Maple are the chocolate and vanilla base upon which to build many variations. Walnut is more of a rocky  road.

What about oak?

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Not sure why burnished wood is not shiny. I get it that there is a spectrum, but all of you ignoring that burnishing imparts some shiny-ness  is a touch troubling. 

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I guess we need to establish how OP defines shiny.  I hear shiny I think lacquered Steinway piano.  A dense tropical species sanded to 2000 grit IMO has luster...but I don't call it shiny.  Possibly semantics.

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Yeah shiny could really be anywhere from reflecting light to being able to see your face in it. 

1 hour ago, wtnhighlander said:

Nothing against oak, but the only way to make it remotely "shiny" is a (very) heavy coat of plastic. Not sure what the OP's goal is when asking for 'shiny'.

Was just thinking of your list, I'd probably put oak as Vanilla. That being said, I do agree, it is more resistance to being shined up than maple or cherry. 

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On 10/6/2017 at 1:43 PM, Eric. said:

Shiny will depend on your finish and how much abuse it takes.  There is no "shiny wood."

For interior furniture, any species will last multiple generations if it's cared for properly and not abused.  Some species are harder than others but that doesn't mean softer species won't last forever if pieces are constructed properly.  There are pieces in museums that are hundreds of years old built with poplar and pine parts.  It's more about how something is built and then treated by people rather than the hardness of the wood.  Use what you like, and build it well.

Eric has spoke the truth, all the way around. Beginners have a LARGE PROBLEM selecting a finish.  Sanding before any finish is of upmost importance before any finish. Yeaw sanding is a whole nothr part of your ''shinny''' thing.

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