We already told you here that we love wooden furniture and why, although we’re quite sure this is a love that’s easy to understand. But different types of wood have different qualities, so we think it’s worth talking about this. In fact, we’ll be dedicating two articles on the subject and today we’re starting with the wood varieties that are most frequently used:
Beech is quite frequently used in the furniture industry because it’s strong, it’s not expensive and it’s easy to work with (including for pieces that require bending). It is often used in combination with more expensive wood and in those cases it’s “hidden” in less visible pieces. But you’ll also see it as it is, especially since it’s easy to stain, and this characteristic is sometimes used for changing its natural shade into nuances more similar to more expensive wood (cherry or mahogany, for example).
Pine is very easy to work with and is very easy to find, so it’s also not very expensive. Furthermore, since it’s a softwood it’s a good option even for pieces that need carving. So it’s used for pretty much any kind of furniture, especially for unfinished pieces. And let’s not forget about its very special scent.
Ash is the more elegant relative of beech and a good substitute for white oak. It’s easy to work with and it’s ideal for bent pieces that need maximum strength. It’s also not very expensive (although it seems to be harder and harder to find) and it’s available in a wide array of colors, from white to gray and light or reddish highlights. A special variety of ash is the one that’s older than 30, because it changes its color towards an olive shade.
Birch is a bit more expensive, but this yellowish brown wood is also very wide spread, especially since it can be used for any purpose in the furniture industry, both structural and decorative.
Oak is famous for its strength and aspect and this makes it perfect for solid furniture. There are more species of oak used in the field (red or white), but the most noble seems to be the English oak (Quercus robur).
We’ll be back next week with information on the more elegant varieties such as cherry, walnut or mahogany.