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Wood 101

This section of the website has been developed to profile some of the wood varieties that I utilize when making your new furniture pieces. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I have just picked out some of my favourites.


Being a proudly Canadian-based woodworker I am committed to use only 100% sustainably grown, North American wood species. I use Canadian hardwoods first, but there is a lot of overlap with our neighbors to the south and some materials may have their origins there. I consider the use of exotic or tropical hardwoods to be unnecessary given the quality and improved sustainability of utilizing hardwoods we have available in our own backyard.​​

"American white oak is to me the most noble of woods."

                                                                                                                                            - Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson)

quarter-sawn white oak wood example

Quarter-Sawn White Oak

Heartwood is a light to medium brown, Sapwood is nearly white to light brown.


Grain is straight, with a beautiful varied colour and texture. Quarter-sawn white oak is distinguished - and coveted - for its distinctive medullary ray flecks.

Is a strong, dense wood famous for being used to build the most durable 18th century naval warships.

Walnut wood example


Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown. Colour can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish undertone. Sapwood is a pale to medium cream colour.

Grain is usually straight but has areas of beautiful irregular figure.

Alder wood example


Heartwood is a light to medium brown, with a golden/reddish undertone. Colour tends to darken with age.


Grain is straight with an even, medium texture. Available in knotty and clear varieties.

Maple wood example

Hard Maple

Sapwood colour is off-white to white, sometimes with a reddish undertone.

Grain has an even, fine texture and a generally straight grain with some wave to it. Has a very tight, closed grain.

birch wood example


Heartwood tends to be a light reddish brown, with nearly white sapwood. Has a fairly uniform appearance but with some colour gradients across the grain.

Grain is generally straight or slightly wavy, with a fine, even texture.

red oak wood example

Red Oak

Heartwood is a light to medium brown, with a reddish undertone.

The grain is straight with an uneven texture. A very common hardwood that has been popular for decades across Canada. It is quite hard, works well, accepts stain beautifully, and is cost effective.

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