Oak Lumber

Oak is renowned for its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. There are primarily two types of oak used in furniture making: red oak and white oak. Red oak is known for its warm, rich tones and pronounced grain patterns, making it a popular choice for traditional furniture styles. White oak, on the other hand, tends to have a lighter color and a slightly tighter grain. White oak is what is used for quarter sawn oak.

The hardness of oak contributes to its durability, making it resistant to wear and tear. This hardwood scores high on the Janka hardness test, which measures the resistance of wood to denting and wear. As such, oak furniture can withstand the rigors of daily use, making it suitable for everything from dining room tables to bedroom sets.

Red oak has a janka scale rating of 1290. White oak has a janka scale rating of 1340.

Benefits Of Oak Furniture

Durability and Longevity: Oak furniture is incredibly durable, capable of lasting for generations with proper care. Its natural resistance to fungal attack and insect infestation further adds to its longevity, making it a practical choice for long-lasting furniture.

Aesthetic Flexibility: Oak's distinctive grain pattern adds depth and character to furniture, enhancing the visual appeal of each piece. Whether left natural or stained oak wood beautifully complements various decor styles, from rustic to contemporary.


Oak lumber remains a superior choice for furniture due to its durability and beauty. Oak provides a reliable foundation that can meet the demands of both functionality and style. As with any high-quality material, proper handling and treatment of oak can result in furniture pieces that are not only functional but also timeless in their appeal.



Cherry Lumber

Cherry wood, particularly from the American Black Cherry tree, is known for its distinct color palette that ranges from rich red to reddish-brown. The wood's fine, straight grain and uniform texture make it highly desirable for crafting high-end furniture. Over time, cherry wood naturally darkens when exposed to light, enhancing its beauty and depth of color which can be a sought-after characteristic that adds to its allure.

Cherry lumber is highly regarded among woodworkers and furniture makers for its fine grain, smooth texture, and rich color that deepens with age. Cherry wood is appreciated for both its workability and the warm, inviting aesthetics it brings to finished pieces. Cherry has a janka scale rating of 950

Benefits of Cherry Furniture 

Aesthetic Appeal: One of the foremost reasons for choosing cherry wood for furniture is its aesthetic appeal. The wood's natural color and grain patterns lend themselves to luxurious and classic furniture designs. As cherry ages and undergoes a natural darkening process, it develops a rich patina that is highly valued in antique and heirloom pieces.

Finish and Stain: Cherry wood takes finishes and stains beautifully, allowing it to enhance its natural color or modify its tone to suit different design needs. The wood’s fine pores result in a very smooth finish, which can elevate the overall look of the furniture.


Cherry lumber remains a top choice for crafting beautiful, durable, and timeless furniture. Its ease of use, combined with its striking natural beauty and the rich patina it develops over time, make it particularly well-suited for elegant and refined furniture pieces. Whether for a stately bookcase, a classic dining set, or a bespoke cabinet, cherry wood offers a blend of aesthetic appeal and functionality that few other woods can match. Understanding and respecting its properties can lead to stunning furniture that stands the test of time, both in durability and style.



Brown Maple Lumber

Brown maple, also known as soft maple or sap maple, comes from the same trees as hard maple but is typically harvested from the outer sapwood where the wood shows more color variation. Unlike the uniformly pale color of hard maple, brown maple can range in color from a light cream to a rich golden brown, often featuring subtle streaks and variations that give each piece a unique character.

Brown maple lumber to be an excellent choice for a wide range of furniture due to its versatility, smooth grain, and affordability. Often overshadowed by its more famous cousins like hard maple, brown maple offers unique qualities that make it particularly appealing for crafting everything from detailed ornamental pieces to sturdy, functional furniture.

The wood of brown maple is less dense than hard maple, making it slightly softer but still adequately durable for most furniture applications. It features a fine, straight grain that can also display curly or quilted patterns, adding to its aesthetic versatility. Brown maple sands to a very smooth finish, which is ideal for applications requiring a fine, polished look. Brown maple has a janka scale rating of 950.

Benefits of Brown Maple Furniture 

Finish Versatility: Brown maple’s relatively nondescript grain and light color make it an excellent candidate for staining. It absorbs stains evenly and can be finished to mimic more expensive hardwoods like cherry or walnut. This makes brown maple a cost-effective alternative for projects requiring a high-end look without the high-end price tag.

Aesthetic Flexibility: The subtle grain pattern of brown maple does not overpower the overall design of furniture pieces, making it an excellent background for both contemporary and traditional styles. Its natural color variations can be showcased through a clear coat or enhanced with stains to match any décor.

Cost-Effectiveness: Brown maple is generally more affordable than other hardwoods used in fine furniture, such as oak or cherry. This cost-effectiveness allows for the production of high-quality furniture at a more accessible price point, making it a popular choice for both furniture makers and consumers.


Brown maple lumber is a versatile and practical choice for a wide range of furniture. Whether used in its natural state to showcase its subtle beauty or finished to emulate more luxurious woods, brown maple provides an excellent foundation for creating beautiful, durable, and functional furniture.


Hickory Lumber

Hickory lumber, a quintessential American hardwood, is prized among expert woodworkers for its unmatched strength, resilience, and distinctive aesthetic. It's often regarded as one of the best materials for creating durable and visually striking furniture. In this piece, I'll delve into the characteristics, benefits, and considerations of using hickory lumber for furniture making, and why it's a favorite among woodworkers who value quality and durability.

Hickory is a dense, heavy hardwood known for its toughness and shock resistance. It has a distinctive appearance with contrasting light and dark streaks, giving it a unique and rustic character. The wood is typically straight-grained, but it can also exhibit interesting patterns such as waves or curls. Hickory’s heartwood ranges from pale brown to reddish-brown, while the sapwood is a paler cream color, creating a striking contrast.

Hickory ranks highly on the Janka hardness scale coming in at 1820, which measures a wood’s resistance to wear and denting. This makes it one of the hardest domestic hardwoods, known for its exceptional strength and durability. These characteristics make hickory an excellent choice for high-traffic and demanding furniture pieces.

Benefits of Using Hickory in Furniture Making

Durability: Hickory's strength and hardness make it incredibly durable, ideal for furniture pieces that need to withstand heavy use, such as dining tables, chairs, and cabinetry. It's resistant to scratches, dents, and general wear and tear, ensuring that hickory furniture remains beautiful and functional for many years.

Aesthetic Appeal: The distinctive appearance of hickory, with its contrasting light and dark streaks, adds a rustic and unique charm to furniture. This makes it a great choice for pieces where you want to make a statement or add a touch of natural beauty to your decor.

Shock Resistance: Hickory is renowned for its excellent shock resistance, which is why it has been traditionally used for tool handles, sporting goods, and other applications requiring impact resistance. This property makes hickory ideal for furniture pieces that may experience rough usage or need to absorb shocks, such as rocking chairs or sturdy benches.


Hickory lumber is a superb choice for furniture making, offering a unique combination of strength, durability, and visual appeal. While it presents some challenges in terms of workability and weight, its resilience and distinctive appearance make it well worth the effort for woodworkers seeking to create beautiful and enduring furniture. From dining tables to cabinetry, hickory stands out as a top-notch material for crafting high-quality, long-lasting pieces that showcase the best of American hardwoods.


Quarter-Sawn White Oak Lumber

Quarter-sawn white oak lumber stands as a distinguished choice for high-quality furniture, prized for its unique appearance, strength, and stability.Quarter-sawn white oak refers to lumber cut from a log in such a way that the growth rings of the wood are oriented between 60 and 90 degrees to the board's surface. This cutting method yields straight-grained boards with a distinctive ray fleck pattern, which gives the wood its characteristic look. White oak, in particular, is noted for its pale to medium brown color, with occasional olive hues, and a tight, even grain.

Benefits of Using Quarter-Sawn White Oak in Furniture Making

Aesthetic Appeal: The most distinctive feature of quarter-sawn white oak is its ray fleck pattern, which appears as beautiful, shimmering flakes or “tiger stripes” across the surface of the wood. This unique figure adds visual interest and character to furniture, making it highly desirable for arts and crafts style furniture, mission-style pieces, and more.

Stability: Quarter-sawn white oak is exceptionally stable, with minimal warping, cupping, or splitting. This stability is due to the cutting technique, which aligns the wood’s medullary rays perpendicular to the face of the board, reducing the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. This makes it an excellent choice for applications where stability is crucial, such as tabletops and cabinet doors.

Durability: White oak is a dense, durable hardwood with excellent resistance to wear and tear. It has a high Janka hardness rating, making it suitable for heavy-use furniture pieces like dining tables and chairs. Additionally, white oak has natural resistance to moisture and decay, further enhancing its durability.


Quarter-sawn white oak lumber is a premium choice for fine furniture, offering unparalleled stability, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Its unique ray fleck pattern, combined with its strength and workability, make it a favorite among woodworkers and furniture makers. Whether used for dining tables, cabinetry, or chairs, quarter-sawn white oak showcases the best of American hardwoods and continues to be a top choice for creating beautiful, lasting furniture.


Great coverage by Cleveland 19 News on the dangerous off-gassing of MDF furniture.


Top 5 Reasons to Buy American Made Solid Wood Furniture

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