Selecting your Wood: Traditional Timbers in Amish Style Furniture, Part 2

Every piece of Amish furniture is made with such skill and attention to detail, the materials used must be of the highest quality. The wood used for our Amish furniture is selected by our craftsmen to endure and match the quality of the build itself. There are several favorites, including cherry, walnut, and hickory – which we’ve described in detail here.
There are other favorites, too. And since many pieces are custom built, it’s important to be informed of the different wood species and the characteristics of each.


At The Amish Craftsman, we offer two species of maple – brown maple and hard maple. Maple is generally a straight-grained wood with a fine texture. This makes it easier to machine and bend, and its natural light color makes it a favorite for light finishes. The brown maple offers a slightly darker natural color with more variation, so the straighter lines can be attained in a richer tone.

Red Oak

Red Oak is the most plentiful species of oak in the U.S., mostly because it grows so quickly. This tree shoots up, making its grains long and straight. The color of the red oak is…well, reddish. It varies from a light brown to a pinkish red-brown, and takes a stain easily and beautifully. The combination of red oak’s natural straight lines, reddish coloring, and classic course texture makes it a popular choice. (The Red Oak is also the state tree of New Jersey, just in case you’re into trivia!)

White Oak

Like the red oak variety, white oak is also a strong and hard wood. But unique to white oak are its distinctive open grain and course texture that works well with steam bending. The lines are not as straight as red oak and maple, giving the white oak’s grains more curves and character. The quarter-sawn white oak is the most popular material used in Amish furniture, due to its natural beauty, hardness of material, and workable texture.

Each species of wood offered at The Amish Craftsman has its own strengths and characteristics. And while each type of wood differs from the other, all the furniture built by our craftsmen is made of solid wood and crafted by hand. We welcome the opportunity to share more with you. Please feel free to peruse our website, schedule a showroom visit, or call us for more information.


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