Solid Wood Furniture – Our Wood Types

Amish Direct Furniture specializes in great quality and well designed solid wood furniture. As well as being beautiful, it’s all built to last – so while it may be slightly more expensive than the stuff you’d find at budget stores, you won’t be replacing it a couple of years down the line. We only offers solid wood furniture. Our solid wood furniture is made from solid hardwoods that are grown and cut right in the United States. Mature hardwoods supply the nation, and much of the world, with timber used for everything from railroad ties to quality furnishings. U.S. hardwoods are appreciated around the world for their warmth and lasting beauty in furniture, cabinetry, millwork and flooring. Just as each tree is different from the next, so too are hardwood products individually unique. Different species of hardwood are characterized by an infinite variety of graining and distinct textures. Additional characteristics occur when, as the tree grows and matures, limbs fall off leaving behind a knot on the hardwood surface. All of these natural markings add character to the woods appearance without effecting the durability or stability of the wood.

 

American Hardwood

Red Oak

red oak

The standard wood for our solid wood furniture is Oak. Oak is characterized by its orange reddish hue with the sapwood being white to light brown. The wood has a pronounced opened grain and is very durable with good wear-resistance. The stain absorbs into this open grain pattern becoming darker where the grain is close and lighter where the grain is more open. This is an ideal choice if you desire a warm look.

Oak has a rating of 1290 on the Janka Hardness Scale*.

American Hardwood

Brown Maple

brown maple

Brown Maple is a unique combination of brown, tan, white and cream streaks, and has a more rustic appearance. It is a softer wood so it is more prone to scratches and denting with heavy use. Brown Maple’s naturally soft grain best absorbs medium to dark stains and its smooth surface is ideal for painted finishes. Choosing a lighter colored stain will best showcase the natural range of grain colors in Brown Maple, while a darker stain will blend the grain colors better.

Brown Maple has a rating of 950 on the Janka Hardness Scale*.

American Hardwood

Cherry

cherry

Cherry wood has a fine satin-smooth texture and a circular grain pattern. The heartwood of cherry varies from a rich red to reddish brown, while the sapwood is creamy-white in contrast. Over time it will darken with exposure to light and heat. The wood may also naturally contain brown pith flecks and small pit pockets. Because it is a softer wood, it is more prone to denting with heavy use. Cherry wood has a natural reddish hue and this warmth is intensified by all of the cherry stains. When stained, this fine grain has a very even-toned finish.

Cherry has a rating of 950 on the Janka Hardness scale*.

Natural Cherry Wood Variations
Natural variations and characteristics of Cherry wood. Cherry board photo courtesy of Woodcraft magazine.

American Hardwood

Quartersawn White Oak

quartersawn white oak

Quarter Sawn White Oak has a unique grain pattern which is achieved by cutting the wood at a 90 degree angle to the tree’s growth rings. If you love furniture with texture, then Quarter Sawn is a great choice. This wood has a cooler white to sage undertone and is very durable with good wear-resistance. Because Quarter Sawn White Oak is cut at an angle, it exhibits a tight grain with dramatic light and dark tones. Quarter Sawn White Oak absorbs stains richly and evenly. The natural variation of color exhibited in the wood grain is enhanced with staining.

Quarter Sawn White Oak has a rating of 1360 on the Janka Hardness Scale*.

American Hardwood

Hard Maple

hard maple

Hard Maple is one of the hardest domestic woods in the USA. Because of its hardness, it is very durable. The sapwood is creamy white with a golden hue and the heartwood varies from light to dark golden brown. The wood has a close, fine texture and a light circular grain pattern. The light tone of Hard Maple makes the stain colors appear bold and bright, while the hard and smooth texture makes it less suited to dark stains. The hardness can prevent the stain from soaking into the wood, which can create darker stained areas. This wood captures light and brightens any space.

Hard Maple has a rating of 1450 on the Janka Hardness Scale*.

American Hardwood

Hickory

hickory

Hickory has a contrasting reddish and cream color graining and it is a beautiful wood for furniture. It has a medium grain that gives an earthy feel with a smooth look. It is also the strongest wood type that we offer. Every wood is prone to natural elements such as humidity. Each wood will swell and contrast due to humidity but hickory will do it the most. Hickory moves roughly a ¼” per foot just due to humidity changes. With hickory, you will need to be more mindful on changes in humidity. Most modern homes are equipped with a humidifier and dehumidifier built into the AC system but we always recommend picking up a hydrometer.

Hickory has a rating of 1820 on the Janka Hardness Scale*.

American Hardwood

American Elm

american elm

Elm wood is one of thee prettier woods we offer. We currently do not list elm as an option and for the better part do not promote elm either. While elm is a very pretty wood, it is also the softest wood our builders offer. We do not recommend elm on a table set. If anything were to drop on your table top, it will leave a very noticeable dent on the table top. While we understand wear and tear will happen regardless down the road, there are stronger woods that will last far longer in regards to durability. Elm is typically 15% extra over your price for oak. If the piece you were interested in is $1000 is oak, it would cost $1150 is elm. Elm’s appearance is a very feathery light grain.

Elm is currently not available online. If you are interested in ordering a piece in a Elm, please use our message form on our contact us page and we will help you with ordering.

Elm has a rating of 830 on the Janka Hardness Scale*. View our stains and finishes page to view our stains on Elm.

American Hardwood

Black Walnut

black walnut

Walnut is of one the woods that will vary the most in regards to colors. We currently do not list walnut as an option and for the better part do not promote walnut either. Walnut is the most expensive wood we offer. Walnut can be anywhere from 40% to 90% extra over oak. If the piece you were interested in is $1000 is oak, it could cost anywhere $1400 to $1900 is walnut. Walnut’s grain is typically straight but can vary.

Walnut is currently not available online (expect for select pieces). If you are interested in ordering a piece in a Walnut, please use our message form on our contact us page and we will help you with ordering.

Walnut has a rating of 1010 on the Janka Hardness Scale*. View our stains and finishes page to view our stains on Walnut.

American Hardwood

Rustic Woods

rustic wood

Rustic woods still show the knots of the wood. Typically rustic woods are also cheaper than their normal “clean” looking counter-parts. Only certain woods are available in a rustic appearance too:

  • Cherry
  • Quartersawn White Oak
  • Hickory
  • Walnut

With rustic woods, you can either have the knots filled in with epoxy or not. We recommend filling in knots with any surface. An example is a rustic cherry table without the knots filled in. It makes it difficult to clean the table top and if anything falls into one of the knots, it becomes a pain to fish out whatever fell into the hole.

Rustic woods are currently not available online. If you are interested in ordering a piece in a rustic wood, please use our message form on our contact us page and we will help you with ordering.

American Hardwood

Red Cedar

cedar

Aromatic red cedar is a unique wood. Unlike most other woods, it carries a distinct fragrance. It also has color combinations ranging from an off-white to deep red. Aromatic red cedar is actually from the juniper family and is considered a soft wood. It’s natural resistance to rot has long made it a favorite for outdoor use. Area farmers favored cedar for fence posts because of its longevity. It is also popular for use in lining closets and clothes chests to repel insects.

Quality Construction

In addition to high-grade wood, Cedar Woodcrafts uses quality hardware in manufacturing its products. ¼” thick aluminum makes a strong, long lasting glider arm. Springs act as shock absorbers on swings, adding to the comfort of the experience. Swing chains hang from steel hooks with nylon bushings, making them more durable and eliminating annoying squeaks. And since the parts are zinc, you don’t have to worry about rust.

Information

Janka Scale

Photo curiosity of The Wood Database.

This number is incredibly useful in directly determining how well a wood will withstand dents, dings, and wear—as well as indirectly predicting the difficulty in nailing, screwing, sanding, or sawing a given wood species.

hardness
Photo curiosity of The Wood Database.

The actual number listed in the wood profile is the amount of pounds-force (lbf) or newtons (N) required to imbed a .444″ (11.28 mm) diameter steel ball into the wood to half the ball’s diameter. This number is given for wood that has been dried to a 12% moisture content, unless otherwise noted.

For reference, White Oak has a Janka hardness of 1,360 lbf (6,000 N), while the super-hard Lignum Vitae has a hardness of an astounding 4,500 lbf (20,000 N). (Who could imagine a wood species that is over three times harder than White Oak?) On the lower end of the spectrum, Basswood has a hardness of around 410 lbf (1,800 N).

This section is provided by The Wood Database.

Natural Hardwoods and Humidity Changes

As with many things there are always pros and cons. With any natural piece of wood, it is prone to changes in humidity. When there is too much of it the wood will swell and when too little it will shrink. This is not a defect and is the result of natural movement in wood. To avoid shrinking and swelling, the best route is to better control the environment your piece of furniture is in. Typically most homes have a dehumidifier and humidifier built into the furnace but sometimes running an extra dehumidifier or humidifier makes an immense difference. The best range for most solid woods is 40-45% humidity. If your home is around 35% or 50% humidity you’re usually safe but don’t let it sit at those numbers for too long.