According to Craftsman Style, "The characteristics and the sterling merit of oak are so well known to all that it would seem like a waste of time to describe it. Since the very earliest records of man oak has played an important part in life. Its fruit, acorns, has fed man and beast and its wood has served every conceivable purpose from that of forming humble huts to stately castles and mansions, from shrines and churches to battleships." Oak has been the wood of choice for many of America's most beloved mission and craftsman-style furniture makers, like Gustav Stickley, Greene and Greene and Frank Lloyd Wright.
At Vermont Woods Studios we use White and Red Oak --long favorite woods for furniture building. Oak is a solid, sturdy and very durable hardwood with generally uniform coarse texture and prominent rays. It is not uncommon to find different grain contrasts in the same piece of solid oak wood furniture. The lighter, almost white grain was closer to the tree’s bark (sapwood) and the slightly reddish tan colored grain was closer to the tree’s center (heartwood). Oak wood may darken slightly over time, taking on more amber tones however the change is very subtle, unlike the significant color change with cherry wood. As you can see in this picture of a cross section of an oak tree, the contrast is much less than for a cherry tree.
Learn more about our wood types on our wood page, or use the links below to read about specific types: