Types of Wood Used to Make Plaques


Making your own plaque helps to celebrate either your own achievements or those of someone else. Engravers use different types of wood such as cedar, red oak, white oak, walnut, maple and cherry to make plaques. Using any of these types can aid you in making a plaque.


  • Cedar wood is durable enough to withstand engravings and the strains it may face either indoors or outdoors. This is due, in part, to the wood's ability to both soak up and let out any moisture it collects, keeping the wood's finish intact and preventing it from wearing down. You can further enhance the cedar's durability with a cedar finishing product to keep your plaque looking sharp.

Red Oak

  • Red oak wood is capable of being bent into different directions with little pressure applied to it, due to its lack of stiffness. Its durability is questionable, due to its varying density; thus making it liable to split or wear down when coming into contact with water or other substances. You can increase the wood's strength by filling in its grain and applying finish after you make a red oak plaque.

White Oak

  • White oak wood is very similar to red oak when it comes to making a plaque. It can be bent in different directions without much pressure, as it isn't very stiff, and its lack of durability can be worked around by filling in its grain and applying finish. It differs from red oak in that it's slightly lighter on average per cubic foot (45 to 47 pounds as opposed to 48 pounds for the red oak), according to AdvantageLumber.com.


  • Walnut wood is durable and can hold up to both indoor and outdoor conditions. It requires no finish because of its naturally smooth exterior. Also, engraving into walnut is relatively easy, as the wood offers little resistance to the pressure applied by blades and other engraving tools.


  • Maple wood is usually resistant to wear, due to its strength and high density. However, if it soaks up too much water or other liquid, it can increase in size and warp the shape of your plaque. Therefore, keeping your plaque inside in a controlled-temperature environment can prevent the wood from changing shapes due to sunlight, excessive exposure to cold, or other temperature factors.


  • Cherry wood combines a flexible nature with a lack of rigidity in the wood, thus making it relatively easy to work with when carving the shape of your plaque. It has a density that holds up in indoor conditions; your plaque may not hold up as well outside because it can get dried out, regardless of the temperature, which warps the plaque's frame.

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  • Photo Credit sign image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
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