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What is Aspen?

AspenAspen is a type of wood that is sometimes used in the construction of inexpensive cabinets. This is a softer wood, which means it requires larger and more fasteners. It is actually one of the softest woods grown in North America, and Aspen wood projects are frequently plagued by the appearance “peach fuzz” on the surface after sanding. The primary advantage to using Aspen is that it is easy to mill and work for intricate decorative results for details and accents. There is a temptation to use Aspen to create drawer boxes with dovetail joints because of the ease with which the wood can be cut, but the overall strength of such a construction is too weak to be sensible. Instead, a soft Maple wood should be used.

It is not recommended to use Aspen in the construction of load-bearing frames, shelves or drawers due to its low level of strength. The Aspen wood will hold painted finishes relatively well, but the use of lacquer will not yield uniform results. Builders that offer Aspen as a materials option for kitchen cabinets are providing a low-cost option that will not provide durability past a few years. Instead, Maple or Poplar should be used for a reasonably low cost wood substitute that will still provide a similar look while surpassing Aspen in quality.

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