Oak and why does it make great furniture?

Oak as you are probably already aware is a hardwood, commonly used in construction such as furniture making. What makes Oak so desirable for this its strength, density and ease to work.

There are over 600 species of Oak across the northern hemisphere from Europe, to north America, Asia and even some varieties that grow in northern parts of Africa and across all these areas oak has been used for hundreds of years for making anything from building frames, ships, barrels, corks and of course furniture.

The reason for this is oak is very dense, and boasts a density of 0.75 grams per cubic centimetre which compared to other woods used in furniture construction such as pine which typically has a density of  0.43 per cubic centimetre is big difference. This is important as the denser a piece of wood is the ‘harder’ it is and so the stronger and more durable it is. This is why oak furniture if crafted properly produces pieces of furniture that maintain their shape and robust build quality for 10s of years.

But this isn’t the only reason oak makes such a great material for building furniture, oak timber is naturally high in tannin, a substance that makes the wood more resistant to fungus and insects, slowing the rate at which oak wood decays and even rots.

Finally oak has a beautiful and highly desirable natural compact grain pattern that is visible when the logs are quarter sawn (quarter sawn is the method in which logs are cut in to planks etc). These patterns do differ between species and the most sought after oak comes from North America, such as American light oak and the famous red oak trees. Whilst of the two red oak has the deeper, richer colour American light oak is far more commonly used in furniture production as red wood oak often has large opening in the grain pattern the make it more susceptible to fungus growth. It is therefore best avid particularly in outdoor furniture.

So why if oak is very popular all over the world and make great furniture is it more expensive than some other woods such as pine?

 This is purely down to two reasons, firstly while oak is a fairly easy wood to work with for a hardwood pine is extremely versatile leading its self to a variety styles and designs and is also lighter in weight. Secondly Oak like most hardwoods are more dense because they are slow growing and reach maturity (that is the age in which they produce acorns) much later than pines. This means that your beautiful new piece of robust and durable piece of oak furniture has already spent many years developing its natural grain pattern and strength before it is felled.

Oak is often regarded as an investment. It may be a more expensive initial cost but will outlast most other wood furniture, meaning once purchased quiet often it will last a life time. Picking a good grade A oak piece or set for the bedroom, living room or even kitchen is likely to save you money in the future.

Some Of Our Most Popular Oak Furniture Ranges.

Click the pictures to find out more about these range or use the shop by style button in the menu above.


February 18, 2015 — adam jones