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The four types of wood we use to build our furniture

The four types of wood we use to build our furniture

Walnut

The aristocrat of native hardwoods, Black Walnut is a sought after wood for furniture making. The heartwood at harvest ranges from a light brown to a very dark chocolate color.  The grain is open with a medium texture; it usually is straight but sometimes can be quite wavy. Black Walnut is one of the few woods that lighten with age. It slowly takes a medium blonde almost honey undertone as it is exposed to light.

Black Walnut is a heavy wood, due to its grain structure.  It is stable, durable and strong.  Its strength makes it ideal for furniture, carvings, floorings and gunstocks. It is ideally suited for furniture, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, that has intricate carvings and moldings.

Ash

Ash is a light to medium brown wood.  The grain is typically very straight, similar to oak. Also like oak, ash has an open coarse grain. It tends to darken slightly as it ages.   Ash generally grows in the Glacial and Appalachian regions in the United States.

An excellent wood for furniture construction, it is easy to work with and has good strength for its weight. Ash also finishes and stains well. Besides furniture, it also is in flooring, baseball bats, tool handles, and oars. Ash has a long history in American furniture production. This wood species has also become popular in mid-century furniture. The clean lines of that furniture style match the unfussy look of Ash.

Maple

Maple has consistently been a popular wood for furniture construction since the 18th century. Maple that is used for furniture is typically Hard Maple or also called Sugar Maple.  Hard Maple is one of the few woods that furniture makers utilize the sapwood instead of the heartwood. Maple has a clean appearance and is generally straight grained with a consistent texture. Its color can range from an off-white color to a more light brown with an almost pinkish hue.

Found throughout the United States in abundant quantities, maple flourishes around the Great Lakes, including Ohio. Today, you’ll see it in desks, furniture, workbenches, flooring and butcher blocks.

Cherry

Cherry is a very desirable wood often used in quality furniture and flooring.  Known for its fine grain texture and reddish tone it becomes a very stable wood after kiln drying that is also naturally resistant to rot and decay. During harvesting, cherry wood has a pale almost pinkish hue. Overtime cherry becomes a much richer, redder looking wood.

American cherry grows predominantly in the eastern part of the United States. It has been used in furniture and molding since the Colonial days.  It originally was know as “New England Mahogany” since it turns darker with many similarities to that of mahogany. Cherry is one of the easiest woods to work with both for hand tools and for machining.

Ready To Order A Sample?

Samples and descriptions of our hardwoods are pictured above. However we recognize each selected hardwood is different from the next, and the real beauty of our woods is difficult to capture in a photograph.

We also understand your final selection may not be possible until you see and feel a sample. After all, there are features not evident in photos, like weight, grain texture, and hardness. So please contact us to order a sample package of all four kinds of wood we offer using the form below. We’ll send a package immediately.

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