Wood species native to Indiana are as individual as people and the grains within each species is as varied as snowflakes. However, there are general characteristics for each species that will allow you to determine which is right for your specific piece.
Commonly used for furniture because of its strength and durability, oak is light colored with a prominent “striping” in the grain.
Quartersawn White Oak
Cut parallel to the wood’s grain rather than across the grain makes quartersawn white oak less likely to crack or warp and produces a grain with smooth “striping.”
Because brown maple is cut from the center of any soft maple tree, it’s color can range from light tan to medium brown. The grain is usually fairly smooth and more even than other woods so it is especially suited to dark stains or paint.
The color of hard maple is determined primarily from the cut. Its heartwood is light reddish brown while the sapwood is a very light color. It has a fine, uniform texture and close, straight grain. It has good woodworking qualities and takes most finishes well.
Cherry is noted for its reddish color and closed grain. It is moderately hard and finishes beautifully in stains ranging from light to dark.
The characteristics of rustic cherry are the same as its counterpart except that natural “imperfections” such as knots, worm holes, pitting and other marks are showcased rather than covered.
Extremely hard and dense, hickory is probably the heaviest and strongest wood used in furniture-making in America. Because it is difficult to work with, only experienced craftsman can bring out its bold, flowing grain patterns and highlight its natural coloring from nearly white to dark brown.
Rustic hickory features bold grain patterns and many variations in color as well as natural knots, swirled grain, mineral streaks and other distressed markings. Choosing a lighter finish will bring out these energetic characteristics while medium tones subtly tone them down.
Ranging in color from light to chocolate brown, walnut is often complimented with a clear finish to preserve its natural beauty although it takes just about any finish quite well. It is not as heavy as some woods, but is very strong and durable.