A Guide To Wood: The Best Types For Hand Made Furniture
Pretty much universally, people love the look of solid wood furniture, with its sturdy, striking, eye-catching qualities that remind us of nature and of the value of craftsmanship. But “wood” is not a catch-all material, and in fact the type of wood chosen for a particular piece of furniture will have a great impact on the way it looks, feels and ages. A wood can either be hardwood (meaning that they come from deciduous, angiosperm trees), or softwood (meaning they come from coniferous, cone bearing trees), and within those two categories exist even more variation.
In this post, we’ll look at we think are some of the best types of wood for hand made wood furniture and give you a rundown of some of their individual quirks and characteristics. To say that there’s a hierarchy of woods – that some are just all around better than others – is a misleading way of thinking about wood as a material. Different types of wood certainly have different qualities, but someone might prefer the look of, say, pine, rather than oak; while another person might value oak for its solidness over pine. There are a lot of different ways of looking at wood, and it all boils down to what you want, the person who will be enjoying this piece of furniture for a lifetime.
Oak is a hardwood in the truest sense of the term: prized for its strength and hardness, this awesome wood has a long history of use in barrels, to keep precious whiskey and wine from pouring out while imparting a unique taste to the libation. But we’re not here to talk about whiskey and wine – oak is also a terrific and traditional choice for making furniture, dating back to the Vikings (and if it was good enough for Vikings, it’s good enough for us!). It often has a pleasing, wavy grain, and is very durable, able to withstand warping over time.
Pine is lovely and light, with distinctive, rustic knots and a sharp, light colour. Generally less expensive than oak, pine is nevertheless a great option for solid wood furniture, especially if your house is humid or you plan on exposing the furniture to the elements a bit. Because it’s a softwood, its closed cell structure makes it better at resisting water, which is one of the most common ways a piece of wood deteriorates. If you want to take a look at some stunning pine furniture, like our deluxe bookcase, you can visit our Mississauga location or whichever location is closest and ask one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff members for an example.
The most Canadian of all the woods, eh? Maple, a heavy-duty hardwood with a light, creamy colour that takes well to stains, is surprisingly affordable given its supreme durability and good looks. At Woodcraft, we also use Wormy Maple, which is a type of maple that has been artfully, naturally affected by Ambrosia beetles, nature’s artisans; this unique wood features cool streaks and great structural integrity.
Those are just a few woods to choose from, but of course there’s also reclaimed wood furniture as well as numerous other types of solid wood. At Woodcraft, we’re all about delivering what the customer wants, which means we offer a great range of materials and stains for you to customize your dream furniture. In the end, not all solid woods are the same, but one thing does remain the same: we put the same passion and integrity into every single piece of wood we come across to create a piece of furniture both modern and timeless.