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Wood Species

 

Softwood and Hardwood

Softwoods, such as Eastern White Pine, come from coniferous (cone bearing) trees, and most of them do have softer wood than hardwoods which are always from flower bearing trees.

Eastern White Pine is the only softwood we use for furniture making, it will dent, ding, mark, etc more readily than a hardwood.

Hardwoods include our standard options of Red Oak, Quarter Sawn Red Oak and Cherry, with the option of upgrading to most other domestic hardwoods, such as:

Ash

Birch

Maple

Walnut

On the Janka hardness scale, which is a scientific test for measuring the resistance of denting, marking and wearing on wood species by measuring the pounds of force required to imbed a .444" diameter steel ball into the properly kiln dried wood up to half of the ball's diameter.

The following shows the hardness of common wood species (measured in pounds of force)

Eastern White Pine: 380

Cherry: 950

Black Walnut: 1010

Red Oak: 1220

Birch: 1260

Ash: 1320

White Oak: 1350

Hard Maple: 1450

Eastern White Pine

Pine is one of the most common wood species in northeast. It has a straight even grain pattern with light brown, creamy white and red tones to the wood. It takes a wide variety of stain colors from light to dark to red toned.

Pine is a perfect wood for a rustic farmhouse, vacation home, cottage or even industrial loft style.

Here in New England it has played in important role in the rural community life since colonial times. The trees grew so tall and straight they were marked as belonging to "The Crown" to be used as ship masts in the Royal Navy, the early settlers did not have the rights to use them. There are now roads in New England towns with the name of Mast Rd, including the main street

in our home town of Goffstown.

In 1772 sawmills in Goffstown and Weare NH resisted the order and kept some of the Pine logs mark for the The Crown, the mills were fined and while the Goffstown mill paid, the Weare mill did not and "The Pine Tree Riot" ensued, a precursor to the American Revolution. So not only is Pine beautiful it is also so historical!

Eastern White Pine will dent, ding, mark, etc more readily than a hardwood.

The photos below show Pine a light, dark and red brown stain colors, it can be stained in many shades in between.

Pine

Red Oak

Red Oak is one of the most common wood species in the United States.

It has a straight very defined grain pattern with open pores, it is naturally light to medium brown with red tone.

It takes a wide variety of stain colors from light to dark to red toned.

Our hand planed Red Oak is a perfect wood for almost any style interior

The photos below show Oak a light, dark and red brown stain colors, it can be stained in many shades in between.

Red Oak

Quarter Sawn Red Oak

The difference between plain sawn Oak and quarter sawn Oak is how it is cut at the mill.

Plain sawn is when the log is just sawn straight through the log, which how most common lumber is milled as it is quick and more lumber is available from each log, the grain of the Oak showcases the “cathedral” like annual growth rings, as seen above.

Quarter sawn is divided into 4 parts and then sawn diagonally through each quarter, this is more labor intensive and yields less lumber but with that comes the beauty of the medullary rays that appear on the face of the boards as a result of cutting along the growth rings. Quarter Sawn will give your table a unique and dramatic top.  (See photos below)

The photos below show Quarter Sawn Oak as bleached and a lighter and darker brown stain, it can be stained in many shades in between.

Quarter Sawn Red Oak
quarter sawn.jpg

Cherry

Cherry is one of the most traditional wood species for furniture building

It has a straight grain pattern and smooth even texture.

It starts out a light pinkish brown and naturally patinas into a deep rich red brown, this can be accelerated by exposing the piece to air and sunlight which causes oxidization, changing the molecular structure causing it to reflect light differently. This process can take up to a year for the Cherry to fully age. To help the color darken evenly it is best not to leave anything, such as place mats, runners, etc. on the flat surfaces (table top, bureau top, etc) for an extended period as the covered section will not darken. If you do have a spot that was covered and it is lighter keep it exposed to air and light and it will all balance out with time.

Cherry will not stay light colored, it will darken with time.

Cherry is best left natural with a hand rubbed OIL finish although it can be stained a few select red brown colors

Our hand planed Cherry is a perfect wood for formal settings, antique colonial style or farmhouse. It always look stunning on a Shaker style dining table.

In the photos below: #1 is new Cherry, #2 is naturally aged Cherry when it is full darkened into a deep red brown and #3 is Cherry stained in a red brown with a hand rubbed OIL finish.

Cherry

Ash

Ash is lighter colored wood with varying grain pattern and colors from light to medium brown

It has a straight grain pattern and a medium to coarse texture, somewhat similar to Oak

Ash is best left natural as the grain pattern and colors should be the focus of the table top.

Not available in turned legs, so farm tables would need to have a painted base, all other styles such as Shaker, Wood Trestle and Industrial trestle tables are perfect for showcasing this beautiful wood.

white ash
New Hampshire Ash Dining Table

Birch

Birch varies from light reddish brown to nearly creamy white

It has a straight or slightly wavy grain pattern and a fine smooth texture.

Birch is best left natural or with a very light stain.

Not available in turned legs, so farm tables would need to have a painted base, all other styles such as Shaker, Wood Trestle and Industrial trestle tables are perfect for showcasing this beautiful wood.

Birch
NH made solid birch dining table

Maple

Hard Maple is one of the lightest woods ranging nearly creamy white to a golden tone.

It has a straight or slightly wavy grain pattern and a fine smooth texture.

Maple is one of the hardest woods, topping both Red and White Oak

 Maple is best left natural or with a very light stain. Maple will darken slightly with age becoming more golden.

As it is so finely grained and light colored our Maple tables are not hand planed as most other woods are, they will be

hand sanded smooth. You can learn more about hand planing on this section of our website.

Maple
New Hampshire Maple dining table

Walnut

Black Walnut has a wide range of colors in it, almost every shade of brown from light to dark chocolate, it can also have gray and/or purple/reddish tones as well as yellow or nearly white.

Walnut is the only dark colored domestic hardwood.

It has a straight or slightly wavy grain pattern and a medium texture.

 Walnut is not ever stained as the beauty is always in its natural wonder, it is stunning with a hand rubbed OIL finish

Walnut will lighten slightly over the years, becoming more rich and lustrous with any golden tones becoming more pronounced.

Our Walnut tables are not hand planed as most other woods are, they will be

hand sanded smooth. You can learn more about hand planing on this section of our website.

Walnut
NH made walnut dining table
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