Using Oak in Furniture Design
Oak is naturally a high density wood with heavy grains. It is hard and has strong resistance against fungal infection and as it ages, it will become darker in color. Such characteristics are the reasons why a lot of people are using oaks since hundred of years ago to design and create admirable pieces of furniture.
There are several commonly used types of oak, namely the American Red Oak and White Oak as well as some other varieties of European oaks. We can often find them in musical instruments, flooring, railroads, boats and of course, home furniture. Hardwoods that came from oak trees have the strength and flexibility which many other woods cannot compete. Therefore furniture manufacturers are able to shape and mold them to come up with many different designs.
Beginning as a raw material that has gone through all the process and treatment, one would need quite an effort to actually damage a remarkably strong hardwood product. Any general wear and tear, even if there are some minor dents and marks, would probably just make the wood look better. A high tolerance wood like this is very suitable to make bookshelves, cabinets, floorings and other modern living room furniture where it could support heavy loads without bending or buckling.
After learning about the wood quality, now it is time to know how to pick the right solid wood furniture. Most well-built oak furniture are not secured with nails, instead dowels, pegs, screws and wood glue are used, which are rather stronger. As for the finest solid wood products, they are combined with woodworking joints and one for example is the Dovetail joint. It is a popular interlocking technique used only by skilled craftsmen but this incredible mark of craftsmanship can still be seen in today's contemporary furniture.
However, not all 'solid wood' furniture are 100% made of solid wood. You must check carefully before paying the price because some products are built along with plywoods or veneers to lower the cost. These substitute are usually placed at the back and bottom of a furniture, especially in a drawer. Typically, a good wooden modern furniture design should not have any gap around the joints and the wood stain should be matching and in the same color.