Below are some brief details about each of the wood selections our craftsmen use to make your furniture. If at any point you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Brown Maple: Along with Oak, Brown Maple is generally the least expensive option for solid hardwood furniture making. This is not an indication of quality, but a reflection of the economics of supply and demand. Brown Maple offers a very economical alternative to cherry wood, with similar looking results when stained in traditional dark stains.
The grain on Brown Maple is very fine and uniform which makes it very smooth because it does not contain the texture of heavily grained woods like Oak or Hickory. It is also subject to mineral streaking and therefore contains natural variations in wood color. Due to the nature of Brown Maple wood you should expect color variations in the stain.
Recommended Stains: Asbury | Coffee | Kona | Rich Tobacco
Hard Maple: Hard Maple, sometimes known as Rock Maple, or Sugar Maple, has more than double the hardness of Brown Maple. Common uses of Hard Maple are basketball courts, bowling alley lanes, butcher blocks, and even baseball bats. For the purposes of furniture, both maple species are more than adequate to provide long lasting and beautiful furniture.
The real reason people like Hard Maple is due to its unique grain characteristics. The grain is generally straight, but may have subtle waves, and it has a fine, even texture. Depending on how the log is milled, unique grain patterns can emerge resulting in characteristics defined as Curly Maple, Quilted Maple, Bird’s Eye Maple, or Tiger Maple.
Recommended Stains: Natural | Sealy
Oak (Red Oak): Is one of the most used woods in the world, and arguably the most popular hardwood used in the United States. Oak is strong, hard, plentiful, and easy to work with. The grain on Oak is straight, with a coarse uneven texture. Its unique and dominant grain patterns make it one of the most easily identifiable woods. It is usually the least expensive option due to its plentiful supply.
Oak wood takes any color stain applied very well. The result is usually a uniform color appearance without streaking or other irregularities.
Recommended Stains: Acres | Acorn | Saddle | Tawny
Quartersawn White Oak (QSWO) and Rustic Quartersawn White Oak: Most people are familiar with the look of Quartersawn White Oak even though they may not realize it. If you’re at all familiar with Arts & Crafts style furniture, Mission Furniture, or Stickley furniture, you have more likely than not seen Quartersawn White Oak.
Quartersawn White Oak is an extremely hard wood, about double the hardness of Brown Maple. The term ‘Quartersawn’ actually refers to how the tree is milled at the lumber yard. The appearance of the wood grain is affected by the way the board is cut. When the lumber is cut at a shallow angle wavy grain patterns emerge along with Medullary Rays. The more common terms for this are ‘Tiger Stripe’ and ‘Ray Flecks.'
This process of milling the wood in this way results not only in beautiful grain patterns, but also provides benefits of structural integrity and durability. However, milling the lumber in this way increases cost because a log must be repositioned many times to produce this outcome.
The only difference between standard Quartersawn and Rustic Quartersawn is that the Rustic version of the wood will have more ‘imperfections’ allowed to remain. This means you may have furniture where the original character remains including grain imperfections, knots, burls, mineral streaking or other variations. However, allowing these features to remain results in lower cost.
Recommended Stains: Asbury | Lite Asbury | Michaels | Tavern
Cherry and Rustic Cherry: Cherry wood is the classic American wood used for fine woodworking, furniture building, and cabinet making. People are drawn to Cherry wood for its unique grain characteristics and warm tones. It’s important to keep in mind that Cherry will darken over time and with exposure to light.
So, what’s the difference between Cherry and Rustic Cherry? Rustic Cherry is often used interchangeably with Sap Cherry and Character Cherry. In a nutshell, Rustic, Sap or Character Cherry simply has more grain variation. It can contain more variation along with other imperfections such as mineral streaking, burls, knot holes, or other characteristics not associated with premium grade cherry.
Many people actually prefer these characteristics, and the result is you receive a product made from the same wood at a reduced cost. Why does it cost lest? Because during the milling process less waste is created as the ‘imperfections’ no longer have to be cut out of the wood. This results in quicker milling and less waste.
If you are looking for a durable, beautiful hardwood with classic grain and clean lines, Cherry wood is an excellent choice.
Recommended Stains: Baywood | Boston | Malaguania | Sealy