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A Guide to Furniture Wood

A Guide to Furniture Wood Header

There are a whole lot of different types of wood in the world. Two popular and widespread ways of describing and then categorizing wood are to term it as either softwood or hardwood. Softwood is basically wood that comes from conifers, conifers being trees that produce evergreen leaves and cones. Hardwood is generally regarded as wood that comes from angiosperm trees. Angiosperm trees are trees that normally have broad leaves that are known to die after changing their colors in the appropriate season.

Ash

Ash Wood Grain

Ash is wood that is very frequently used in the furniture industry. It is light-colored, medium-density and long-fibered wood that can be found in the U.S. and in Canada. It is similar to oak because of its porous and coarse grain, but this grain actually ranges from light-red to whitish in color. It is flexible enough to be used for bending, yet it is still hard enough to be used for baseball bats.


Beech

Beech Wood Grain

Beech is a type of wood that can be located mostly in the northeast of the U.S. and in Canada. It is a heavy type of wood that is also pale in color and feels medium to hard. As such, it is the perfect wood for products such as stools and chairs. It features medullar, big rays and a tight and fine grain that is similar in appearance to birch or maple woods.



Birch

Birch Wood Grain

Birch is a hardwood that grows mainly in the northeast of the U.S. and also in Canada. Birch is a wood that has close-grained and stiff characteristics. Because it is a heavy type of wood, it comes with a high resistance to shock. Birch is known to take any stain satisfactorily, and it is light yellow in color.



Mahogany

Mahogany Wood Grain

Mahogany is a wood that can be found in Central America, South America and Africa. It is medium to hard and tropical, and it has strength enough to make it ideal as a wood for carving. Color-wise, mahogany is reddish-brown or tan, and the wood might even show ripple, rope, stripe, ribbon or blister figures. High-quality furniture is what this wood should be used for, as it has high resistance to rotting.

Maple

Maple Wood Grain

Maple is a medium to hard wood, and it is quite light in its color. Maple is very abundant in the Eastern U.S. It has a reputation for having a good resistance against shock, and it also features a fine texture and also an even grain. Maple wood from the eastern part of the U.S. is harder than maple wood from the western part of the U.S. The reason for this has a lot to do with the colder weather in the east.


Oak

Oak Wood Grain

Oak has a reputation as wood that is utilized for furniture that is both finer and more durable. Oak comes from deciduous trees in the U.S., Europe and Canada. It is a type of wood that is heavy, hard and open-grained. Oak comes in varieties that are both white and red.



Cherry

Cherry Wood Grain

Cherry is also referred to as fruit-wood, and it is a type of wood that is strong and fine-grained. In order to further stress its mahogany-red tone, it is often finished with a dark or a medium color. Its already rich coloring further is enhanced when it ages and when it is exposed to more natural light. Easy to both polish as well as carve, cherry resists warping.

Teak

Teak Wood Grain

Teak is found in India, Indonesia and Central America. It is a hardwood that is high-quality and dark-brown to yellow in color. Because of its durability and its heaviness, it is a type of wood that was initially used to build ships. Today, though, teak is used to build decking and outdoor furniture.

Pine

Pine Wood Grain

A softwood, pine is known to grow in many parts around the world and in many varieties. Pine is normally light yellow in its color. It is a wood that features a striation pattern that is broadly spaced. Pine is a wood that is great for any place one wants a light and airier feeling.




Redwood

Redwood Wood Grain

Redwood is known to possess a fine texture and a straight grain. Featuring prominent growth rings, redwood is deep red to light red in color. Redwood has been observed to endure weathering more gracefully than other forms of wood. As such, it is popular for outdoor decks and furniture.


Rosewood

Rosewood Wood Grain

Made from tropical trees, rosewood is a brown or dark red hardwood. Rosewood features hard, heavy and dense properties, meaning it is stable and highly resistant to rotting. Rosewood is a favorite wood for use in Oriental furniture, but it is gaining in popularity for cabinets and European designs of furniture. High-quality rosewood furniture is distinct because of its silver lines.


Cedar

Cedar Wood Grain

Cedar wood stems from different kinds of trees from different parts of the world. As such, cedar wood is a highly diverse kind of wood that is used in various applications. For example, California incense cedar is commonly utilized for making pencils. Another example is Japanese cedar, which is cedar that is popular for use in building houses, seeing how lightweight it is.


Walnut

Walnut Wood Grain

In North America, walnut wood is very prized for its use in cabinetry as well as high-quality furniture. Walnut is liked by builders because it does not bog them down with exorbitant weight. However, walnut is still recognized as being durable, hard and strong. Walnut is known to take finishes successfully, and it is ideal for woodworking.



More Resources

To discover more about wood types, click on these links:

Low Angle View of Forest Canopy