Oak has all the characteristics required to make the finest furniture, and it is this that has led to its immense popularity for hundreds of years, and just as much so today.
Oak has all the characteristics required to make the finest furniture, and it is this that has led to its immense popularity for hundreds of years, and just as much so today. Oak trees are hardwoods which mean that they are strong and hard, yet easy to work with which makes it very useful for building and furniture making. There aren't many other hardwoods that can compete with the flexibility that it has, and once dried out and weathered it has the ability to be used for everything from interior paneling and railroad ties to building boats and whiskey barrels.
A dense wood with a coarse, heavy grain, as it ages it slowly darkens to a rich honey brown. These characteristics make it not only suitable for furniture but also a preferred material for building fine pieces that will be appreciated for years to come.
American White Oak and Red Oak, and English Oak from the European variety are the most common types used in manufacturing furniture as its properties allow it to be flexible and molded into all kinds of shapes required in furniture design.
The great thing about this type of wood is that it can be manipulated into shapes and forms very easily which means it's immensely popular with designers and can be found in all manner of furniture items. It makes first-rate legs and spindles for straight-backed dining chairs and wooden rocking chairs; it can also be steam-bent which is when steam is applied to enable it to be slowly bent into the required curved shape often used for oak barrels and kegs amongst other things.
In comparison to other types of wood oak is highly resistant to dents and marks and takes some force to actually damage it, and even if it does receive some due to general wear and tear it just improves the look! A hardwood, it can be difficult get nails into it so find that most solid oak furniture is secured with dowels and glue, wooden pegs, or pocketed wood screws, which are actually stronger than nails.
After it has been seasoned, dried, and smoothed, oak turns into an exceptionally strong material that would take a lot of effort to damage, break and mark unless a lot of force is used. Due to this it's a fashionable preference for turning it into a number of objects and items from ornaments and decorative pieces to dressers and sideboards. It can also tolerate a heavy load without buckling or bending which makes it perfect not only for furniture but also bookshelves, and stair treads and wooden flooring in particular as it can cope with a lot of foot traffic.
Take notice to how the piece is assembled, a good quality solid oak furniture made by a skilled craftsman will have Dovetail joints on drawers and be made of solid wood all over. If see a piece like then always check it over carefully before making a purchase, ensure the back of the unit and the bottoms of the drawers are all solid too as these are the places manufacturers might try to save money by placing oak veneers instead in these areas.
Pull out the drawers and they should glide smoothly, ensure there are no gaps at the joins, and sets like dining room furniture with various parts to it should be stained in the same colour and match, once start looking at a few pieces soon get to identify quality.
It can cost a lot of money to buy 100% high grade solid oak furniture but the look it can give a home is well worth the expense. Add to collection an item at a time, for example dressers and buffet hutch, as quality is important and they make great family heirlooms so want something that will be admired and is beautiful to look at. If afford it then think about getting a piece custom-made, take time looking around for ideas before getting any estimates.
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