Of the estimated 100,000 different species of trees in the world, only a few dozen are used in the construction of furniture. When crafting high quality furniture only a hanful of different species are used. Furniture grade lumber is divided into two categories: hardwood & softwood. Softwoods such as pine and cedar are commonly used in inferior quality pieces where a low price is the key goal. Oak, Cherry & Maple are the usual choices for higher end furniture.
Currently, Cherry is probably the most popular hardwood lumber choice for furniture. Prized for its soft, slightly swirled grain pattern, Cherry exudes a rich, warm, reddish glow. Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia have a reputation for producing the best cherry trees for lumber. When exposed to light, Cherry reacts by darkening. This darkening effect is lessened by using a dark stain color.
Common types of Oak used are White Oak & Red Oak. Typically when using the term "Oak", most people mean Red Oak. White Oak is often used in Quartersawn Oak (see Quartersawn Oak). Oak is one of the hardest hardwoods available and offers great strength and durability. Easily recognizable by it's distinct grain patter, Oak continues to be among the most popular wood choices on the market.
|Lightly stained Red Oak||Red Oak Leaf|
© This article is copyrighted by Hearthside Furniture LLC