The straight grain of Ash lumber is similar to that of oak. Ash is a hard, open pored wood that is tough with a high shock tolerance, yet it is elastic and is an excellent choice for steam bending. The typical Ash grown in Northeast Iowa is the White Ash, which pulls white and yellow coloring from the sapwood. Generally, the White Ash have a big brown heart, which will pull light to medium tones of brown. With these coloring characteristics, options are available for white, brown, or variegated.
The wood is very light, soft, easily worked, and almost white in color. It is one of the favorite woods for the wood carver; in addition, the wood is used for frames of honeycombs, boxes for other foods and fruits, crates, barrels, Venetian blinds, slats and veneer for hidden parts of cabinets and furniture.
Cherry has a slight tight grain pattern that is similar to Hard Maple. The wood found in Cherry is as strong as Hard Maple however it is two-thirds as hard and may dent. Its innate beauty comes from its rich dark tones found in the heartwood of the Cherry tree. The sapwood (outer portion of the log) has a pale yellowish color. The color of the wood deepens to a deep reddish brown when exposed to the sun and will naturally darken over time.
Hard maple usually has a straight tight grain; however, it occasionally produces a figured or curly grain. Hard Maple is exceptionally hard and is resistant to most abrasions, indentations and shock. The Northern White Maple grown in our region has a creamy white sapwood and light reddish-brown heart and may contain brown or black streaks
The grain pattern of Hickory is mostly straight, however it may wander from the straight lines to form a triangular pattern which often times comes to a sharp point. Hickory is harder than oak and highly stress resistant. The color variation in hickory can range from white to brown and may contain streaks of deep brown caused by birds pecking on the hickory tree. Hickory can take on yellow tones. With such extreme changes in color, hickory is most often sold in its calico (variegated) form but may also be purchased as a rustic product including a variety of colors, knots and other natural characteristics.
Red Elm is known for its strength and toughness. It is a closed grain wood with interlocking grain which makes it resistant to splitting while its elasticity lends itself well to applications that require bending. Red Elm has a reddish-brown coloring with the heartwood dimming to a yellowish green. Red Elm is a rarer wood species; however, it is one of the specialties of our milling facilities at Kendrick Forest Products and is readily available for customers.
The Northern Red Oak is a strong, straight grained wood and is one of the most stable of all domestic woods. The open pores in Red Oak absorb more of the stain so the grain patterns often become more evident. The sapwood of Red Oak is white to light brown while the heartwood is a pinkish brown and carries red tones
The term “Soft Maple” does not refer to any specific species of maple, but rather, it’s a broad term which includes several different species of maple. The term “Soft Maple” is merely used to differentiate these species from Hard Maple. Depending on where you live, different species might be sold as Soft Maple. Some of the most common are Red Maple and Silver Maple. Each of these maples have their own characteristics regarding strength, hardness, weight, etc., but overall, they are not as hard nor as strong as Hard Maple.
If you love wood and want the deep, rich and luxurious look associated with dark wood, then Walnut is the wood of choice. Walnut is a warm chocolate wood that is highly prized for its dark-colored heartwood. It is hard, dense, tight-grained and polishes to a very smooth finish. Walnut is characterized by wavy, bold grain patterns. If you prefer grain patterns that change from cabinet to cabinet, walnut is the way to go. Since it is prized for its deep rich color it will not change significantly when stain is applied, staining walnut will deepen the richness and natural characteristics of the wood. Because of its color, hardness, grain and beauty it is prized for furniture and cabinets.