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Species

Heartwood/Sapwood

Stair Parts, Inc uses all natural wood to manufacture our products.  As a result, color and grain variations are to be expected in the products you receive.  Hickory, white oak, Brazilian cherry and lyptus have significant natural multi-color variations.  We do our best to match wood characteristics when possible, however custom quotes are available on a case by case basis if this is a priority for your order.   


American Cherry

Characteristics
There are many species of cherry wood in the United States, but the black cherry is probably the most prominent wood used for commercial purposes. It is a moderately heavy wood, with an average weight of 35 lbs/cu. ft. Cherry heartwood is a reddish-brown color, with somewhat darker reddish-brown grain patterns throughout. It is a stiff, strong wood that has a high resistance to shock and denting. Also, it has a fine uniform texture, and typically, a straight grain pattern. But occasionally it can show some interlocking, which adds to its interest and beauty. Cherry is moderately durable, but indoor use is recommended.

Properties
Black cherry is exceptionally easy to work with machine equipment as well as with hand tools. Metal fasteners hold well and pre-drilling is not usually required, because cherry wood does not have a tendency to split. Cherry ranks high for steam bending strength. Also, it turns very well and is considered one of the better woods for carving. Cherry wood will accept most all types of glue. If the project will be exposed to high humidity, oil based or plastic glues work best. Because of its fine grain pattern, glues do not penetrate into the wood as well as open grained woods. As a result, water based glues may lose some of its strength due to the humidity. Cherry sands well, and if the proper grit sequence is used, a smooth, scratch-free surface can be achieved prior to the finish. Wood filler is not usually necessary because of the fine texture of the wood. Cherry will accept all types of stains, but clear finishes such as lacquer, varnish, or some of the plastic finishes, placed directly on the raw wood will enhance the natural beauty of the grain patterns. If an oil finish, like Tung or Danish oil is desired, apply it first and then after it is dry, apply a furniture wax coat to help protect the finish and give it a greater luster.

Main Uses
Cherry has beautiful grain patterns, which lends itself to fine furniture, cabinets, paneling, veneers, jewelry boxes, burial caskets, and grandfather clocks. Other uses include moldings, turnings, carvings, woodenware and novelties. In addition, is considered a tonal wood, and is prized for making speaker cabinets, and musical instruments, such as guitars and drums.


Brazilian Cherry

Characteristics
Brazilian Cherry is an extremely heavy wood; hard to cut, variable heartwood regarding color, from light brown to pink, to reddish brown, with some intense shadowing. Thick sapwood, notably differentiated, white slightly yellowed, uniform medium texture, regular to irregular grain of wood, rough and of poor shine surface; imperceptible scent and taste.

 Properties

While the sapwood of jatoba is gray-white, the heartwood tends to a salmon-red to orange-brown color when fresh, becoming russet or reddish brown with dark streaks when seasoned.  With its inherent beauty, rich coloring, and extreme hardness, this species is understandably one of our most popular exotic woods.  In addition to its warm reddish tinit, this moderately lustrous wood is notable for its hardness and durability.  Brazilian cherry is extremely dense wood and very strong.  In view of its high density and interlocked grain, Brazilian cherry is difficult to saw and plane; however, it sands nicely to a smooth surface.  Due to its hardness, nailing may require pre-drilling and adjustment of the angle of penetration.  

Main Uses

Hardwood flooring  - prefinished and unfinished.  For being very heavy and of high mechanical properties, Brazilian cherry wood may be used for interior finishing such as beams, rafters/joists, wooden planks, door frames, parquet and flooring boards, in external engineering such as sleepers and double tee junction, frames, decorating wooden sheets, furniture and others.


Hard Maple

Characteristics
Sugar maple is a fine, even textured wood that is sometimes referred to as hard or rock maple. Its color ranges from cream to pinkish-tan. It weighs 45 lbs/cu. ft. which classify it as a heavy domestic hardwood. Its grain pattern is usually straight to wavy, but on rare occasions can have a desirable birdseye pattern. Maple is above average for hardness, strength, and stiffness. It is also well known for its high density, excellent toughness and shock resistance. Durability is not one of its strengths, so only indoor use is recommended.

 Properties

Sugar maple usually machines well, but at times can be somewhat difficult to cut. It can have a dulling effect on blades and cutters. When this occurs, usually it will require more pressure to push the lumber, or cause burning. Using carbide blades and cutting at a slightly slower speed can usually solve these problems. It is not recommended for hand tool use due to its hard, dense characteristic. It also can be turned and carved without problems, as long as sharp tools are used. Maple ranks above average for bending strength and excellent for holding fasteners, but re-drilling is required. Gluing is usually no problem as long all-purpose PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue is used. But be careful not to over tighten the clamps. The fine, even texture of maple does not require filler, and makes it very suitable for achieving smooth glossy finishes. Stain blotching can be a problem, especially with darker stains. Blotching occurs when stains are absorbed unevenly into the wood. To prevent blotching, a shellac wash coat should be applied prior to staining.

Main Uses
Maple has a wide variety of uses. Some of these include: cabinets, musical instruments, tool handles, counter tops, cutting boards, butcher blocks, and pool cues. Its close grain pattern and high shock resist characteristics make maple very suitable for roller skating rinks, dance floors, basketball courts, and lanes for bowling alleys, as well as bowling pins. Birdseye maple is frequently sought after for high-end cabinets. Because of its unusual and interesting grain pattern, birdseye maple is more expensive than the typical maple grain patterns. 


 Mahogany (Sapele)

Sapele is a large African tree that occurs from Sierra Leone to Angola and eastward through the Congo to Uganda.  The heartwood ranges in color from that of American mahogany to a dark reddish or purplish brown. Color The texture is rather fine. The grain is interlocked and produces narrow and uniform striping on quarter-sawn surfaces. It can be straight, interlocked, irregular or wavy.  The wood works fairly easily with machine tools, although the interlocked grain makes it difficult to plane.  Sapele finishes and glues well. The heartwood is rated as moderately durable and is resistant to preservative treatment.  As lumber, sapele is used for furniture and cabinetwork, joinery, and flooring. As veneer, it is used for decorative plywood.

Poplar

Yellow-poplar is also known as poplar, tulip-poplar, and tulipwood. Sapwood from yellow poplar is sometimes called white poplar or whitewood. Yellow-poplar grows from Connecticut and New York southward to Florida and westward to Missouri. The greatest commercial production of yellow-poplar lumber is in the South and Southeast. Yellow-poplar sapwood is white and frequently several centimeters wide. The heartwood is yellowish brown, sometimes streaked with purple, green, black, blue, or red. These colorations do not affect the physical properties of the wood. The wood is generally straight grained and comparatively uniform in texture. Slow-grown wood is moderately light in weight and moderately low in bending strength, moderately soft, and moderately low in shock resistance. The wood has moderately high shrinkage when dried from a green condition, but it is not difficult to dry and is stable after drying. Much of the second-growth wood is heavier, harder, and stronger than that of older trees that have grown more slowly. 

 Seldom used for its appearance, poplar is a utility wood in nearly every sense and is preferred when painting wood.  The lumber is used primarily for furniture, interior moulding, siding, cabinets, musical instruments, and structural components. Boxes, pallets, and crates are made from lower grade stock. Yellow-poplar is also made into plywood for paneling, furniture, piano cases, and various other special products.


Red Oak

Characteristics
Red Oak is a coarse textured, primarily straight grained wood with large pores, although some interlocking grain patterns can occur. It weighs on the average of 46 lbs/cu. ft., and its color ranges from a light to medium-tan, with slight pinkish- brown grain patterns throughout. It is considered a tough, heavy, strong, and stiff hardwood. Also, red oak is very dense, and has a high shock resistance rating. It is not a very durable wood, so indoor use is necessary.

Properties
Red oak is ranked above average for machine use, but is not recommended for hand tools due to its hardness. Also, red oak turns well, but sharp tools should be used for best results. Carving can be a challenge, and is not recommended. Red oak holds metal fasteners very well, but pre-drilling is required. Oak accepts most adhesives well, but epoxy glues are not recommended. Also, when using PVA glue, do not allow metal clamps to come in contact with the glue, because they will turn the glue dark and discolor the wood. It is always recommended to clean up any excess glue immediately before it dries. Sanding usually does not pose a problem, but like any other wood, it will burn if not careful when using a power sander. It is recommended to use wood filler prior to any finish work. Oak receives stains well, and polishes to great a finish. Because of its warm colors and beautiful grain patterns, clear finishes, without prior staining, tend to bring out its natural beauty.

Main Uses
Oak has many uses, some of these include: cabinets, flooring, millwork, molding, trim, veneer, paneling, and plywood. Also, it is used for making barrels, caskets, tool handles, wooden ware, and various turnings. Oak furniture, such as dressers, night stands, beds, file cabinets, and desks are desirable. Oak steam bends very well and is useful for manufacturing chairs and other furniture where bending is required. 

 

Walnut

Characteristics
Black Walnut has a straight to wavy grain pattern, with a coarse texture. It weighs an average weight of 40 lbs/cu. ft., which ranks it above average for hardwoods. Its color ranges from a rich-brown to a dark purple- brown. Walnut possesses above average density, hardness, and shock resistance, as well as for stiffness, toughness, and strength. Walnut is considered a durable wood, and has a high resistance to decay.

Properties
Black Walnut has excellent woodworking qualities with both power machines and hand tools. It holds fasteners well and usually does not require pre-drilling, except near the ends of boards. Walnut is an excellent wood for turning, and is easy to carve. It sands without problems, and will accept most all types of glue. Due to its large open pores, filler should be applied prior to starting the finishing procedures. Walnut does finish extremely well and can be polishes to a high luster. Also, it accepts all types of stain, but due to its dark color and beautiful grain patterns, Walnut usually doesn't require staining. Clear finishes or Danish Oil will bring out the natural beauty.

Main Uses 
Due to its availability, strength, workability, and beauty, Walnut has many varied uses. Some of them include: grandfather clocks, file cabinets, desks, as well as all types of fine furniture. Others include musical instruments such as organs, pianos, and string instruments. In addition, veneer, stocks for rifles and shot guns, carvings, and various types of bowls, and novelties are made.


 White Oak

Characteristics

The heartwood and sapwood of red oak are similar in appearance, which is light-colored with a reddish tone.  It is slightly redder in color than White Oak, which can have a white to cream to light brown color.  The grain of red oak is open, and also somewhat coarser, and so more porous than that of white oak, which tends to have longer rays.  These distinctive rays are what make white oak so prized for construction of “Mission” style furniture and woodwork.

Depending on whether the wood is plainsawn, riftsawn, or quartersawn, the grain of both red and white oak can have a plumed or flared appearance, a lighter grain patter with low figuring, or a “flake” pattern that is referred to as “tiger rays” or “butterflies”.  Red oak boards can show a pronounced variation in appearance, depending on subspecies group, origin, growing season, and other factors; white oak, however, shows much less variation.

 Properties

White Oak is slightly harder than red oak, and also more durable.  However, both types are notably stiff and dense, have high shock resistance, and resist wear.  Because of the high concentration of tannic acid in white oak, it is particularly resistant to fungi and insects. 

 Both red and white oak have good resistance to splitting and excellent holding ability.  Red Oak sands better than white; by contrast, white oak has better machining qualities.  Because of its relatively high porosity and low concentration of tannin, red oak works better for bleached floors than white oak, which can turn green or brown when the surface comes in contact with bleach or water-based finishes. 

 Main Uses

Oak is practically synonymous with high-quality, durable, and distinctively attractive wood floors.  In addition, it is widely used in ship building, furniture and veneers, kegs and casks, truck and trailer beds, caskets, paneling, and mining timbers.  Oak also makes a nice burning fuel wood, and it yields tannin for the formulation of dyes.




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