Common Wood Types Used In Amish Furniture| Amish Crafted Furniture

Common Wood Types Used In Amish Furniture| Amish Crafted Furniture

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. Here is some specific information about the different wood types we offer: (Please contact us for other wood species, such as Hickory, Rustic Cherry, and Walnut)

Quarter Sawn Wood

If you like the artistic texture of wood grain, you likely would love having your solid hardwood furniture built with quarter sawn wood. Quarter sawn wood, usually white oak, makes the natural wood grain even more striking than if sawn the standard way, which is horizontally.

While most people aren’t certain what quarter sawn is, it really describes itself, quarter sawn. Quarter-sawn refers to the direction that the wood is cut. For most furniture, logs at sawmills are cut horizontally with the grain of the wood. To get quarter sawn grain, the log is cut in half, then each half is cut into quarters. Each quarter is sliced one section at a time, preserving and in most cases exposing the side of the grain instead of the plane of the wood grain.

Quarter sawing wood allows the grain’s natural flakes and rays to come alive, especially when stain and finish are applied. Because quarter-sawn wood is smaller in width than regular cut wood, it tends to be a more stable wood as well. In other words, quarter-sawn wood does not expand or contract as much as horizontally sawn wood.

Many solid hardwood antique pieces, especially Arts and Crafts Mission furniture, were constructed out of quarter-sawn wood for that reason. Changing room temperatures and humidity levels did not have as much effect on quarter-sawn wood as regularly sawn wood. Consequently, wood furniture was constructed using quarter-sawn wood as a way to protect the various pieces from cracking or warping, especially since there was no kiln-dried wood then.

Even in today’s world with numerous varieties and styles of furniture, quarter-sawn wood continues to be in high demand by customers.

Red Oak



1290 on the Janka Hardness Scale*

Red 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.

Quarter Sawn White Oak


1360 on the Janka Hardness Scale*

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.

*Rustic Quarter Sawn White Oak is the same wood as QSWO and is sawn at the same 90 degree angle as the QSWO. The difference in the wood being a less expensive wood choice is because, the RQSWO is the left over scraps of the QSWO, and also has more of a rustic look showing blemishes such as knots. Customers often choose this wood for the rustic look, and although the cost is less the wood species remains the same high quality as the QSWO.


950 on the Janka Hardness scale*

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. 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.

*Sap Cherry is a less expensive wood species than the Cherry Wood, however this wood has creamy streaks-with a white contrast, some of which are not very visible especially when customers choose a dark wood stain. Customers may choose this wood for the lessor price, and then choose a dark stain to hide the streaks while still achieving the look and feel of the Cherry Species.

Brown Maple


950 on the Janka Hardness Scale*

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.

The Janka Hardness Test

*The Janka hardness test is a measurement of the force necessary to embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter in wood. It is the industry standard for gauging the ability of various species to tolerate denting and normal wear, as well as being a good indication of the effort required to either nail or saw the particular wood.