about our woods
The Sheffield Media Cabinet - shown in solid oak
Oak possesses a strong, heavy, rugged appearance and rest assured, this look isn't deceiving. If this is what you're after, then oak is for you.
A favorite of furniture builders and owners for centuries, oak has come to embody the very idea of strength and durability. Likely, this reputation comes not just from oak's high density and hardness but also from its prominent, radial-patterned grain which seems designed specifically to visually communicate its physical strength.
When your oak furniture first arrives it will appear rather pale, with a barely perceptible, reddish cast. Over time, the oak will oxidize to a golden honey color and the reddish cast will disappear. As with most woods, exposure to sunlight will accelerate the speed and intensify the degree of oxidation.
Appearance aside, one thing everyone can love about oak is that its heavy grain pattern helps hide the inevitable surface scratches that occur over the years. This makes oak a great choice for kitchen tables, heavily used desks, or anything for the kids.
Occasionally oak will contain a streak of sapwood which comes from the outer most section of a log. Oak sapwood may have a slight greenish-gray cast. This is a naturally occurring feature and we make no attempt to avoid it.
Oak is an excellent candidate for staining. Its heavy grain is the result of very open-grained sections of the log running through an otherwise very closed-grain wood. When oak is stained, the closed-grained areas absorb moderate amounts of stain evenly while the open-grained areas absorb much more of the pigment. The result is that the oak's distinctive grain pattern is further accentuated.