Different woods are preferred by different furniture makers due to their textures, strengths and beauty.
Each type of wood has characteristics to be considered when building a piece of furniture. Some are very hard and durable; some are flexible and suitable for bending. "Hardwood" is a term applied to trees that lose their leaves in winter. "Softwood" describes evergreens such as fir, pine and redwood. The actual durability a wood is described in a range from very soft to very hard.
Every wood has a distinctive grain structure. Woods such as white and red oak, ash and walnut have "open-pores". These woods have small holes in their surface that give the piece a textural quality. When a stain is applied to this type of surface, the stain tends to collect in the "open-pores" and appears darker than the rest of the piece. Tight grained woods include maple, alder, and cherry. These woods are smooth to the touch and can take finish evenly.
See Highland Hardwoods (on Links page) for more information about available species.
Website Designed by Diana Frye. Selected photographs by Jim Dugan or Charley Freiberg