Solid Wood Furniture: Natural Wood Variation and Wood Properties


 Solid Wood Properties

(Image Above: Natural Wood Variation and Wood Properties)
Wood Types
One of the most commonly used materials in the world for furniture is wood. Almost any type of wood can be used to build furniture.
Wood, like all natural materials, has inherent disparities in color and grain pattern. Each furniture piece will have its own unique variation that will include knots, black lines, color difference, tiger grain, color variation or shadow. No two boards will be an exact match. The unique characteristics will have various effects with different degrees of warmth, emphasis, and contributions to the beauty to the surrounding furniture.
Oakwood is a very popular wood because it has properties to make it last longer. This type of wood is very hard wearing and heavy. Oakwood has a density of about 750 kg/m3 and has great strength and hardness. Oak also has very attractive open wood grain markings. Sometimes oak is streaked with green, yellow or black mineral deposits.
Birchwood is a durable and attractive wood type, which takes stain well and easily affordable. This type of wood is strong and comparable to oak. They even have a similar color tone to oak but unlike oak, it has a close grain. This wood comes in blonde tones and looks great with or without a stain added to them.
Ash wood
Ash wood comes in various colors and can range from white to pale brown. This type of wood is a tough hardwood with great bending abilities. To tell this apart from the other woods types, you can refer to the wood grain. Ash wood has a straight wood grain but generally, you won't find many pieces of furniture made with this type of wood. This is due to the decline and accessibility of the trees and is most likely only available from larger lumberyards.
Plywood is a wood type that is also known as a laminated board. Plywood is made up of thin sheets of solid wood that has been bonded together in alternating orientations. The benefits of plywood include its ability to bend, making it ideal for making curved wood furniture. Plywood is typically finished with a veneer and is characteristed by its distinct layered edge.
Variations in Wood Pattern and Grain

An endless variety of patterns occur in wood creating a rich diverse surface that is unique from piece to piece.


Knots are a type of imperfection in a piece of wood that vary in shape, size, and color. There are all sorts of different types of knots ranging from closed knot, open knot, black ring knot, red ring knot, sound knot, unsound knot pin not and knot cluster. You will notice growth rings around these knots that typically shows the age of the wood.


Black Line

Black line is also known as Spalting. This is caused by fungus growing in trees and logs. In this effect, it produces black streaks usually growing with the grain. This can result in a beautiful marbling. Wood types that are prone to spalting are woods such as maple, birch, and beech.


Tiger Grain

The unique tiger stripe grain pattern can be commonly found in red oak, white oak, hard maple, soft maple, and other wood species. The tiger stripes are mostly found along with burl grain. Wood with these grain characteristic is usually quite dense compared to other species of wood types. This makes it quite difficult to work with and sand so pieces with such characteristics generally cost a lot more than your average furniture.


Color Variation

Color variation refers to the different colors in the wood grain. It is the range of colors that can occur within the species of wood. This characteristic is often the reason that a wood piece made with this type of wood to have character. Color variations in the wood can be enhanced with a clear or light finish. However, some may prefer to tone down the color variation by adding a dark stain to the wood piece.



Shadow or sticker stain can appear in white woods. This stain appears on the wood during the processing of the lumber. It is a chemical nature that is leftover during the drying process from the contact with stickers. Weather conditions during the drying process can also affect the coloring, which is difficult to control in certain weather conditions. The stain that is left over is usually quite deep and impossible to remove from the surface.