Solid Timber Table Tops

Timber Species used at Evostyle

At Evostyle, we are committed to using the best sustainable timber species that is also economical and beautiful. Although we work with some Australian timbers, we have now begun to use American hardwoods extensively. 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

Most timber species that are recommended for fine joinery, comes from the USA. This is because of their sustainable practices, as well as the large variety of species available with beautiful colours, grains and textures. The USA has more temperate hardwood species than any other region in the world. 
Most of the timber is sourced from private properties and harvested in small pockets. Due to a greater understanding and public desire to conserve forests globally, the last 80 years has demonstrated improved forest management. This has been achieved by state and federal regulations following extensive research on U.S. hardwood forest management. You can read more information and view reports on this from the American Hardwood Export Council – www.americanhardwood.org. However it is important to note that even though the U.S. has increased exports in recent years, through careful management of its forests, the U.S. is growing more hardwood each year than it harvests, ensuring reliable and long term supplies. (For example, the net volume of hardwood growing stock in the USA has increased from 184,000 million cubic feet in 1953 to 400,000 million cubic feet in 2007.)

BEST SPECIES FOR FURNITURE

AMERICAN ASH

Other Names: Northern Ash, Southern Ash
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• Distributed throughout Eastern USA
• Good availability as lumber and veneer
• It is sometimes separated for colour and sold as White Ash (sapwood – outer wood) or brown ash (heartwood – centre wood)
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• Similar in appearance to European Ash
• The sapwood is light coloured to nearly white in appearance
• The heartwood varies from greyish brown to light brown, to pale yellow streaked with brown
• The wood is generally straight grained with a course uniform texture
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Very good overall strength properties relative to its weight
• Excellent shock resistance and good for steam bending
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Ash machines well
• Good in nailing, screwing and gluing
• Can be stained and polished to a very good finish
• It has good stability – it dries very easily with minimal degrade
• Good stability means there is little movement in performance
OTHER INFORMATION
• Generally a versatile, good-looking wood, offering great value for a wide range of joinery and furniture applications
• Light brown flecks or mineral streaks (sometimes referred to as glassworm), are common and are treated as a natural characteristic and not considered as defects
• Known also as Northern Ash (grown in northern regions) or Southern Ash (grown in southern regions)

AMERICAN WHITE OAK

Other Names: Northern White Oak, Southern White Oak
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• Wide distribution throughout Eastern USA
• Very widely available in lumber and veneer in a full range of grades and specifications
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• Similar in colour and appearance to European Oak
• Sapwood is light coloured
• The heartwood is light to dark brown
• The wood is usually straight grained with a medium to coarse texture
• White Oak has more figure than Red Oak
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• A hard and heavy wood
• Medium bending strength
• Medium crushing strength
• Low in stiffness
• Good in steam bending
• Increasingly being used by architects and designers in structural applications because of its good overall strength
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Machines well
• Nails and screws well (although pre-boring is advised)
• Reacts with iron, so galvanised or copper nails are recommended
• Stains and polishes to a good finish
• Wood dries slowly, so care needs to be taken in the drying process to avoid checking
• Has high shrinkage, so it can be susceptible to movement in performance under variable moisture conditions
OTHER INFORMATION
• White Oak can vary in colour, texture, characteristics and properties according to the growing region
• White Oak tends to be consistent in colour

AMERICAN RED OAK

Other Names: Northern Red Oak, Southern Red Oak
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• Wide distribution throughout Eastern USA
• The oaks are by far the largest species group growing in the Eastern hardwood forests
• Red Oaks grow more abundantly than White Oaks
• Excellent availability as lumber or veneer
• Wide range of grades and specifications available
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The sapwood is white to light brown
• The heartwood of Red Oak is often a pinkish reddish brown
• The wood is mostly straight grained with a coarse texture
• Similar in appearance to White Oak, but with a slightly less pronounced figure
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• The wood is hard and heavy
• Medium bending strength and stiffness
• High crushing strength
• Good for steam bending
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Machines well
• Good for nailing and screwing (although pre-boring is recommended)
• Performs best when dried slowly (reducing the opportunity for warping and splitting)
• High shrinkage and can be susceptible to movement in performance under variable moisture conditions
OTHER INFORMATION
• Red Oak can vary in colour, texture and other characteristics and properties according to the growing region. Some Red Oak can have a distinct pink or red colour, other supplies can appear very similar to White Oak.
• The large volume of Red Oak production ensures that lumber availability is good and that a high proportion of long, wide boards with uniform grain can be obtained. Therefore Red Oak is increasingly available sorted to width and lengths

AMERICAN CHERRY

Other Names: American Black Cherry
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• Found throughout Eastern USA
• Not all that common (probably because of price), however it is still widely available in a full range of specifications and grades as both lumber and veneer
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The heartwood of American cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown, and will darken on exposure to light
• The sapwood is creamy white
• The wood has a fine uniform straight grain, smooth texture, and may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• The wood is of a medium density
• Good bending properties
• Low stiffness
• Medium strength
• Shock resistant
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Cherry is easy to machine
• Nails and glues well
• When sanded stained and polished, it produces an excellent smooth finish
• Dries fairly quickly, with moderately large shrinkage
• However is dimensionally stable after kilning
OTHER INFORMATION
• The subtle range of red tones found in the heartwood, make this species very fashionable for high-end applications
• On exposure to UV light, Cherry products with a natural finish will generally darken in colour over time
• Cherry is known to be a premium wood, and has naturally occurring pin knots and gum streaks which are not considered defects
• Known also as American Black Cherry

ROCK MAPLE

Other Names: American Hard Maple Sugar Maple, Black Maple
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• Found throughout Eastern USA
• A cold weather tree favouring a more northerly climate
• Widely available as lumber and veneer
• lumber – the higher quality grades are selected for white colour, however this means limited availability
• veneer – figured maple (birdseye, curly, fiddleback) is generally only available in commercial volumes as veneer
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The sapwood is creamy white with a slight reddish brown tinge
• The heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown
• Both sapwood and heartwood can contain pith fleck
• The wood has a close fine texture and is generally straight grained, but it can also occur as “curly”, “fiddleback” and “birdseye” figures
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• The wood is hard and heavy with good strength properties
• Has high resistance to abrasion and wear
• Good bending properties
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Dries slowly and therefore has large shrinkage (so it can be susceptible to movement in the final product)
• Pre-boring is recommended when nailing and screwing
• Can be stained and polished to an outstanding finish
OTHER INFORMATION
• American Hard Maple has very hard wearing properties, and together with its tight grain makes this species ideal for high traffic flooring applications (e.g. theatres, gymnasiums etc)
• On exposure to UV light, the lighter coloured sapwood will tend to darken in colour over time

AMERICAN SOFT MAPLE

Other Names: Red Maple, Silver Maple
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• Wide distribution throughout Eastern USA
• As demand increases in the export markets, availability is improving
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• Very similar to hard maple in most respects
• May be more susceptible to regional colour variations
• The sapwood is generally greyish white, sometimes with darker coloured pith flecks
• The heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown
• The wood is usually straight grained
• Generally sold unselected for colour
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• The wood is about 25% softer than hard maple
• Has medium bending and crushing strength
• Low in stiffness and shock resistance
• Good steam bending properties
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Machines well
• Great for staining and polishing
• Glues, screws and nails only satisfactorily
• Good stability, therefore little movement in performance
OTHER INFORMATION
• Often used as a substitute for hard maple
• Often stained to resemble other species
• Red maple and Silver maple are quite different in appearance. The Red Maple is much more consistent in colour, and tends to resemble hard maple. Silver Maple has a wide range of colours and can have a slightly softer texture

AMERICAN WALNUT

Other Name: Black Walnut
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• Throughout Eastern USA, but predominantly central USA
• One of the few American species planted as well as naturally regenerated
• Reasonable availability in both lumber and veneer
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The sapwood is creamy white, sometimes a caramel colour
• The heartwood varies from light to dark chocolate brown, occasionally with a purplish cast and darker streaks.
• The wood is generally straight grained, but sometimes with wavy or curly grain that produces an attractive and decorative decorative figure
• The dark heartwood will lighten in colour as it ages over time with exposure to UV light
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Walnut is a tough, hard timber
• Has medium density
• Moderate bending and crushing strength
• Low stiffness
• Good for steam bending
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Machines well
• Nails, screws and glues well
• Holds paint and stain very well
• Can be polished to an exceptional standard
• Good dimensional stability
OTHER INFORMATION
• Can vary a lot in colour, even in the same piece of lumber

TASMANIAN OAK

Other Names: Mountain Ash, Victorian Ash, Australian Oak
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• This hardwood can be found in the mountain regions of Tasmania and eastern Victoria
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• It is the largest of the eucalypts
• The heartwood can be either pale pink or pale straw
• The sapwood is not always clearly differentiated
• The texture is rather coarse
• The grain is straight
• Growth rings are noticeable 
• Gum veins are common
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Reasonably high strength
• Stable timber
• Termite resistant
• Good for steam bending
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Relatively easy to work with
• Excellent staining qualities
• Glues satisfactorily
DURABILITY
• Heartwood is not durable
• Sapwood is resistant to borer attack 
MAIN USES
• Furniture
• Joinery
• Plywood
• Cooperage 
• Panelling 
OTHER INFORMATION
• Major species for the south-east coast of Australia

JARRAH

DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• This hardwood is relatively common throughout the south-west corner of Western Australia
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The heartwood is a dark red
• The sapwood is pale yellow
• The texture is relatively coarse but even
• The grain is slightly interlocked, sometimes producing a fiddleback figure
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• A dense timber
• Satisfactory for steam bending if straight grain is selected
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Relatively easy to work with
• Glues satisfactorily
• Care is needed when nailing (pre-drilling is recommended)
DURABILITY
• Heartwood is durable
• Sapwood can be susceptible to borer attack
MAIN USES
• General construction
• Flooring
• Panelling
• Joinery
• Heavy furniture

SPOTTED GUM

DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• This hardwood is relatively common throughout the Eastern states of Australia
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The heartwood is pale to dark brown
• The sapwood is distinctively paler
• The texture is moderately coarse
• The grain is variable
• The frequent presence of wavy grain produces an attractive fiddleback texture
• Slightly greasy nature
• Gum veins are common
• Shrinkage is moderate
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Satisfactory for steam bending if straight grain is selected
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Relatively easy to work with
DURABILITY
• Heartwood durability varies from moderately durable to durable
• Sapwood is very susceptible to borer attack
MAIN USES
• Heavy engineering construction
• Flooring
• Plywood
OTHER INFORMATION
• It is the main Australian species for handles subject to high impact forces, e.g. axe handles

BLACKBUTT

DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• A large hardwood growing in abundance in the coastal forests of NSW and QLD
• Limited quantities are imported
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The heartwood is pale brown with occasionally a pinkish tinge
• Sapwood is distinctively paler
• The texture is medium and even
• The grain is usually straight, but can be interlocked 
• Gum veins are common
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Only fair for steam bending
• A poor base for paint finishes because of its tendency to surface check
• Stain finishes can be used satisfactorily
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Can be stained, painted and polished, but there can be issues with painting because of its tendency to surface check
• Can have issues with gluing – especially with old wood
DURABILITY
• Heartwood is durable
MAIN USES
• Poles
• Sleepers
• flooring

EUROPEAN BEECH

Other Name: 
DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• This hardwood is common throughout Europe
• Limited quantities are imported
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• The sapwood is creamy and not clearly distinguishable
• The heartwood is pale brown
• The texture is fine and even
• The grain is usually straight
• Shrinkage is relatively high
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Tends to vary considerably in strength
• Very suitable for steam bending
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Relatively easy to work with
• Easy to glue
• Turns well
• Pre-drilling may be required when nailing or screwing
DURABILITY
• Heartwood is not durable but usually readily penetrated by preservatives
MAIN USES
• Furniture
• Veneer
• Flooring
• Joinery
OTHER INFORMATION
• Can vary a lot in colour, even in the same piece of lumber

RADIATA PINE

DISTRIBUTION AND AVAILABILITY
• This softwood is readily available in most parts of the world
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
• Easily propagated
• Grows quickly (4 – 10 times that of Eucalypt hardwoods)
• Adapts to a wide range of soil conditions
• Relatively free from disease
• Mostly found in cooler climates
• The heartwood is pale yellow-brown
• The sapwood is not often clearly distinguishable visually
• The texture is fine but uneven
• The grain is straight except for a central core (of about 100mm in diameter), which has a spiral grain
• This spirality can cause considerable twisting during drying, if the stack is not adequately weighed down.
• Growth rings are prominant
• Easy to dry – usually in a kiln
• Moderate shrinkage
PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
• Unsuitable for steam bending
• Prone to surface checking when exposed uncoated to the weather
WORKING PROPERTIES
• Relatively easy to work with except for the knots
• Nails satisfactorily
• Difficult to glue if there is a high resin content
• Clear material can be painted successfully, but knots, resin streaks and growth rings are often difficult to work with
• Unlike Eucalypts, radiate pine does not stain concrete and fibre cement
DURABILITY
• Heartwood is not sufficiently durable for external use
MAIN USES
• General construction
• Flooring
• Panelling
• Furniture
• Joinery
• Plywood
• Particleboard
OTHER INFORMATION
• Known to be the major general purpose timber in Australia

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