Tag Archives: lumber

Hardwood 101 – White Oak Lumber

White Oak lumber

White oak lumber is a proven material that wears well, even in extreme conditions.

White Oak trees (botanically called Quercus Alba) grow throughout much of eastern North America and can reach heights of 70 to 80 feet, with diameters of 2 to 3 feet. White oaks vary in color from light tan to pale yellow-brown with a pinkish tinge. Its sapwood is white to very light brown, while its heartwood is light to dark brown. It has a straight open grain and a medium to coarse texture. White oak is somewhat more figured than red oak, and has longer rays.

With a Janka hardness of 1360, white oak wood is hard, strong, and durable. It has good strength properties, including medium bending and crushing strengths. It is an excellent steam bending wood and is great when it comes to wear resistance.

White oak is an important source of wood for boat building, cabinetmaking, joinery, furniture, interior trim, ladder rungs, flooring, veneer, paneling, and plywood. It is also commonly used for railroad ties, fence posts, shingles, and woven baskets.

Take a look at these centuries old, rare canal boats made of white oak. They were discovered after an unusually strong thunderstorm in Chicago, Illinois.

When you read the article, you’ll see how well the white oak held up, despite being under water and in the ground for over 100 years!

For additional information on White Oak wood, go to our website. You can also find White Oak lumber, Quarter Sawn White Oak lumber, White Oak thinwood, and Quarter Sawn White Oak thinwood at our online store.

Hardwood 101 – Red Oak Lumber

Rift Sawn Red Oak Wood

Rift sawn red oak is ideal for table and chair legs

The Red Oak tree (also known as Quercus Rubra) can reach heights of 60 to 70 feet, with diameters of up to about 3 feet. It has white to very light brown sapwood and is usually 2 inches wide. Its heartwood is a light tan to pink with a reddish-brown tinge. Red oak is predominantly straight grained, with a coarse texture. Due to the smaller rays present in the wood, red oak has a somewhat less attractive figure than white oak. However, its figuring varies with quarter sawn red oak, which features a ray figured look with a flake pattern.

With a janka hardness of 1290, red oak is heavy, hard, tough, and strong. It has high crushing strength, medium bending strength, and medium stiffness. Red oak is considered a very good steam bending wood. It can be planed, sawn, turned, bored, and sanded well. It also stains and polishes to a good finish.


Plain Sawn Red Oak Wood

Plain sawn red oak lumber is a time honored wood.

Red oak is commonly used for railroad ties, furniture, cabinet making, interior joinery, domestic flooring, plywood, fence posts, paneling, and veneers. However, it is not suitable for exterior work.

If you need an example of the resilience of red oak, take a look at the shipwreck of a warship from the Mongol invasion fleet. The main anchor of the ship was fashioned out of red oak wood and stone.

Red oak is the economical choice when it comes to oak. For additional information about Red Oak, go to our website. There you can browse our online store and learn more about Red Oak lumber, Quarter Sawn Red Oak lumber, Red Oak thinwood, and Quarter Sawn Red Oak thinwood.

Hardwood 101 – Persimmon Lumber

Persimmon Lumber

We have Persimmon wood in stock. Call to order this great instrument making wood.

Persimmon wood is taken from the Diospyros Virginiana tree and is found throughout North America. It is actually the northern most member of the ebony family. The persimmon tree can reach heights of 80 to 120 feet, with trunk diameters of 18 to 24 inches. Persimmon typically has very wide sapwood, with a very small, narrow core of heartwood. Its sapwood is white to creamy-white and sometimes marked with dark spots turning grayish-brown when exposed to air. Its heartwood is brown, black, or variegated, and brown to orange brown streaks can sometimes be present. Its grain pattern is usually close and straight, with a fine and even texture. And as for figuring, the wood has very little.

With a Janka hardness of 2300, Persimmon lumber is extremely hard, dense, elastic, tough, and resistant to wear. It is a very durable wood that has high crushing and bending strengths with medium stiffness. In fact, persimmon is able to be bent to a moderate radius. It also has high shock resistance, good nail holding properties, and works well with sharp hand tools. The small sturdy heartwood is also highly resistant to decay and insect attack is rare.

Persimmon is a great wood to use for musical instruments, drum sticks, striking-tool handles, spools, turnery, domestic flooring, furniture, textile shuttles, and bobbins. Its ability to retain a smooth surface, even after hard usage, makes it a great choice for so many projects.

At one time, persimmon was considered the traditional wood for golf club heads because of its elasticity. Wood golf club heads actually require a process of drying to ensure a strong and resilient product. Read about The Louisville Golf Club Company’s experience with drying persimmon wood.

Go to our website and learn more about Persimmon wood. We also have Persimmon lumber available at our online store.

Hardwood 101 – Hard Maple Lumber

Hard Maple Lumber

Hard Maple is a tried and true hardwood of choice for many woodworkers.

Hard maple sapwood is nearly white and its heartwood is a uniform, delicate, very light reddish-brown or very light tan. It has a fine, even texture. It is very strong and hard, with close straight grains. Hard maple can sometimes be wavy or curly, which produces special figures such as ‘Bird’s Eye Maple’ and ‘Curly Hard Maple.’ The figuring in Bird’s Eye has brownish dots on a whitish background.

With a Janka hardness of 1450, hard maple is ranked as one of the more valuable hardwoods because of its strength and stiffness. It has great wood working properties and is used for a variety of different projects. Hard maple has good crushing strength and bending properties, and very good steam bending qualities. It has above average fire resistance and glue adheres satisfactorily. It takes stain well and gives an excellent result with paint or enamel, and finishes smoothly.

Hard maple is well suited for furniture, interior trim, turnery, paneling, cabinetry, veneer, tool handles, woodenware, musical instruments, and bowling pins. It is popularly used for heavy duty flooring, and is used for dance floors, bowling alleys, and skating rinks. Figured grain hard maple is used for decorative cabinetry.

Check out how important hard maple wood has been in the sports industry. It was used in 1891 for the very first basketball court and is still used today for sports flooring!

When it comes to a great domestic wood, maple has the qualities you look for in lumber, including the range of figuring present in the different species. Go to our website for additional information on Hard Maple and Curly Hard Maple wood. There you can also find Hard Maple, Curly Hard Maple, and Bird’s Eye Maple lumber. We also offer Maple thinwood and Bird’s Eye Maple thinwood.

Hardwood 101 – Soft Maple Lumber

Curly maple lumber

A closeup of Curly Maple in both finished and unfinished forms

Soft maple has creamy white sapwood, and light beige or tannish-brown heartwood, sometimes with a grayish-green hue. Soft maple is a fine textured, diffuse-porous wood, and its grain is normally straight and close, but it can be wavy or curly. The different grain pattern generates special figures like, ‘Curly Soft Maple’ (shown above) and ‘Ambrosia Maple.’  The figuring of Ambrosia Maple has a distinctive wormy pattern.

With a Janka hardness of 950, soft maple is actually 25% softer than hard maple. The wood of soft maple resembles that of hard maple, but it is not nearly as heavy, hard, or strong. However, the better grades of soft maple are used as a substitute for hard maple in some projects. This is because soft maple has good steam bending, and medium crushing and bending strengths. It works well with hand and machine tools, and nails, screws, planes, and bores satisfactorily. It is reliably stable, which also makes it easy to work with. It can be stained and polished to an excellent glass smooth finish.

Soft maple is used for turnery, cabinetry, furniture framing, domestic flooring, internal joinery, kitchen utensils, veneer, plywood, crates, toys, and musical instruments.

Take a look at how soft maple was even used during the Civil War in 1864. This interesting relic of the war was made by George M. Colt , and will forever be known as the Civil War fiddle.

When it comes to a great domestic wood, maple has the qualities you look for in lumber, including the range of figuring present in the different species. Go to our website for additional information on Soft Maple, Curly Soft Maple, and Ambrosia Maple wood. There you can also find Soft Maple, Curly Soft Maple, and Ambrosia Maple lumber. We also offer Maple thinwood.

Hardwood 101 – Holly Lumber

Holly Lumber

Holly Lumber is an exceptional wood for carving.

Holly hardwood lumber (also referred to as Ilex Opaca) comes from North America and is taken from the holly tree. It is commonly 40 to 50 feet in height and has a diameter of 1 to 2 feet, but can reach heights of 80 feet. The holly sapwood is quite wide and much whiter than the heartwood, which ranges from very white to ivory-white in color, with a low luster more closely resembling ivory. Holly features an irregular, very close grain, and an even, very fine texture.

The holly tree has been traditionally connected to Christmas for centuries and its history is important in the traditions of religious and pagan belief systems. It is well known for its red berries and spiny green leaves. Holly is significant to Christmas and is a symbol representing the holiday. It is commonly used in decorative pieces in homes or for uses in festivals. For many, just even thinking about holly brings up the Holidays…and some great cheer!

One unique trait of Holly is how it can spalt (change color from white to a pale grey) when cut down during local rainy seasons or when the ground is moist. How do you prevent holly from spalting? One way is to buy pieces that were cut from logs with minimal sap. It has to be as dry as possible to ensure that it stays white. Any remaining moisture within the log will lead to the wood turning gray.

With a Janka hardness of 1020, Holly lumber is tough, heavy, and a moderately hard wood. It machines very well, with the help of very sharp wood working tools. It also holds screws well and glue adheres without difficulty. Holly finishes very uniformly and is easy to stain to match other wood species. It is sometimes dyed black and used as a substitute for ebony.

Holly is used for carving, engraving, turning, and furniture making. Woodworkers also use this hardwood in inlays because of its white color. Holly lumber is popularly used to make piano, organ, and accordion keys. The ivory white color of the wood is a major reason why it has replaced real ivory. I don’t know about you, but just knowing that this wood is being used for those instruments instead of the tusks of elephants makes me very thankful.

Check out our website to learn more about Holly lumber.

Hardwood 101 – Hickory Lumber

Hickory Lumber

Hickory is very dense and has high crushing, stiffness, bending, & toughness qualities.

Hickory wood is used in making sporting goods, such as fishing rods, baseball bats, drum sticks, bow making, and laminates for tennis racquets. It is a great wood for tool handles, like hammers, hatchets, picks, and axes. It is also used for cabinets, furniture, walking canes, ladders, plywood faces, and veneers. Hickory is also popular for ‘distressed’ or ‘rustic’ hardwood flooring.

Take a look at a curved piece of hickory wood, named “the world’s oldest hockey stick. It was hand carved by a family ancestor in the 1850’s and is appraised at $4 million today!

It’s no wonder why Hickory would be used for such a high-impact sporting good. With a Janka hardness of 1820, hickory wood is tough, heavy, hard, resilient, and capable of resisting impact and stress. Hickory has excellent steam bending characteristics. It is well-known for its high bending and crushing strength, high stiffness and very high shock resistance. Hickory sands, turns, stains, and polishes well.

Rustic Hickory wood

A sample pic of our Rustic Hickory wood.

For additional information about Hickory wood, go to our website. You can also go to our online store and take a look at our Hickory lumber and Hickory thinwood.