Know Your Lumber

Big Wall Of Stacked Wood Logs Showing Natural Discoloration

Parawood: This solid hardwood is the leading lumber in the furniture industry today. The wood is as hard as maple or ash and is light in color. Its beautiful grain pattern is similar to mahogany.
Parawood is also known as ‘rubberwood’.  These trees are plantation grown for the rubber industry. When the tree ceases to produce sufficient quantities of latex. The tree is cut for processing and then used to manufacture fine furniture and a new tree is planted in its place. This is an example of fully utilizing our natural resources, without harming the environment. Parawood is an eco-friendly hardwood because the lumber is a by-product of a completely different industry.

Alder is a hardwood from the Pacific Northwest. It is very consistent in color and takes stain well. It ranks third behind oak and pine as the wood most commonly used for ready-to-finish furniture. Alder gives the look of many fine hardwoods at a reasonable price.

Maple is especially abundant in the eastern U.S. It is a very light-colored hardwood with a very even grain texture. Eastern maples are generally harder than western maples because of the colder winters and shorter growing seasons. Both are very durable and take any color of stain well.

Oak is a very well-known lumber and has been one of the leading lumbers in the furniture industry for ages. It is a very hard, open-grain wood that comes in red or white varieties. Red oak, which has a pinkish cast, is the more popular of the two. White oak has a slight greenish cast. Both woods stain well in any color.

Pine is a softwood that comes in many varieties from various parts of the world. In the U.S., Eastern white pine, ponderosa pine and sugar pine are some of the varieties used to make furniture. All have yellow coloring with brown knots and add worlds character to your home.

Radiata Pine is a plantation-grown wood from South America that is harder than other pines and has fewer knots. This variety of pine has a beautiful grain pattern.

Paulownia has a working market in the lumber industry and is well sought after in America now because of its sustainable, renewable resource tag. It is also widely used in Asia for furniture, decorative paneling and musical instruments. It is light and strong with a silky smooth finish and takes a wide range of stains. This plantation grown timber produces straight grained, knot-free timber.
Other great features of Paulownia is that it provides the craftsman with a wood that is non-warping, resistant to water damage and rot, unaffected by humidity and does not require kiln drying. Prized in Japan for centuries for it’s beauty, workability and light weight.

Parota is a durable hardwood native of Mexico and South America. The heartwood of the tree is what is used to build furniture.  It is a fast-growing tree that can reach enormous heights (20–30m) and widths (1.5–2.5m) in an incredibly short time, making it an ideal wood for reforestation and obtaining long slab tables and cross-sectional pieces in an environmentally responsible way.
The wood is reddish-brown, lightweight (density 0.34–0.6 g/cm³) and water-resistant; it is used to make items such as doors, windows, furniture, cabinets, and for shipbuilding.

Source Cite:
“Tips on Unfinished Furniture.” UnfinishedFurniture.org. Web. 16 Feb. 2013.
“Sustainable Lumber.” Farr Better Trees. Farr Better Trees, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2006.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterolobium_cyclocarpum#Cultivation_and_uses

Big Wall Of Stacked Wood Logs Showing Natural Discoloration