The Lumber

Posted by Max Tukulj on

When it comes to furniture and woodworking, some people know what they want from the start and some need a bit of guidance. If you are looking for your own custom piece and you know the material you want us to use then section is really just extra reading. However, if when you hear the terms hard maple, spalted maple, white cedar, red oak, you get lost, then you've come to right place. Below is an overview of all the lumber type that are available to choose from when designing your custom piece.


Found thought-out eastern Canada, Ash is one of the lightest coloured hardwoods and is very suitable for furniture make and other woodwork. The light colour initially hides the grain pattern of the wood but after finishing it is easy to make them pop. Ash has very good shock resistance and a high strength to weight ratio despite being less dense than other hardwoods. We recommend using darker oil-based stains to highlight the grain pattern or if you want something lighter, keep it natural and admire its subtle beauty.


 Cherry lumber which is used to make furniture and other woodcrafts doesn't come from the same cherry trees which grow the berries people eat. It's all part of the same family of plants, however the cherry lumber that we use come from the species known as Black Cherry. These trees do grow berries just not the ones people are accustomed to. Cherry lumber starts of life as a lighter red or brown colour before darkening with time and exposure to sunlight. As a result of this, light or dark stains can be over powered by the natural colour of the wood. Therefore, we recommend a clear finish that protects the surface while leaving the natural qualities of the wood to speak for themselves.

Eastern White Cedar

Cedar is classified as a softwood and its tendency to scratch and dent easily shows for that. However, the wood has its own natural anti-roti properties and bug-resistance, no need to add anything extra. This makes it ideal for outdoor pieces, decks and even siding or roofs. Since we specialize in custom furniture, Cedar, along with White Oak, are the only woods we use if you're looking for something for the deck or patio. Cedar will turn grey with exposure to sunlight so we recommend a clear finish to help protect from UV damage. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy your custom piece rain or shine. 

Western Red Cedar

All of our Red Cedar is imported directly from where is grows, British Columbia. The trees take their own journey across the country before arriving to be milled and dried. Just like is eastern cousin, red cedar has excellent natural anti-rot properties and bug resistance. Making it ideal for anything that will be exposed to the elements. Characterized by its strong natural aroma and grain patterns, we only recommend a clear finish to help protect from sun damage. Red Cedar is more of a looker compared to white cedar therefore we use it mainly on table tops and surfaces you see.


Elm, or Red Elm, is a less common hardwood which grows in eastern North America. It can have a heartwood similar in colour to black cherry but with a straighter interlocking grain pattern. This pattern also adds strength to the wood making it more resistant to splitting or cracking. Elm can have a coarse texture to it even after sanding, opt for a lacquer or polyurethane if you want a smooth finish, otherwise you can't go wrong with a wood stain or oil. A less traditional hardwood that can bring some charm or uniqueness to any piece. 

Hard Maple

 Hard Maple, or just Maple is one of the more common trees in Eastern Canada. A classic hardwood, maple's strength and resistance to wear and tear make it ideal for any woodworking project. Naturally a light colour with a smooth texture and straight grained, Maple can be hard to work with. With the proper time and care it can be stained to an amazing finish, that really brings out the natural grain patterns. Maple is one of the best choices for countertops compared to other hardwoods due to its hardness and resilience while remaining inexpensive compared to the likes of Walnut.

Spalted Maple

Not to be confused with Soft Maple, this hardwood is actually hard maple or any maple lumber really that has been left to "decay" for a period of a few months before milling and drying. "Spalt" is a fungus which, once the wood is left on the ground, beings to eat its way inside. Not to worry, after the milling process, kiln drying, construction and finishing the fungus spores become inactive leaving the classic black lines you see. It takes time and patience to get quality Spalted Maple lumber and after staining the unique patterns left behind by the fungus are really something to admire. 

Red Oak

 One of the most common and most undervalued hardwoods that is natural to North America. Red Oak has a darker brownish colour compared to White Oak but otherwise the appearance is similar. Unlike its cousin, Red Oak does not have good water resistance properties and therefore should not be kept outside. It makes great furniture pieces including dining and coffee tables and can be finished with any product. Even a clear finish will help add some character to the wood by accentuating the grain pattern.  

White Oak

 Similar to Red Oak but less abundant, White Oak is another wood that has a lot of understated charm. With its own natural water resistant properties, it can be used for outdoor pieces along with White and Red Cedar. Despite being labeled "white" the wood has the same brown tint as Red Oak, however it is lighter overall. Hard and heavy with great wear resistance any piece built from white oak will be an instant classic that will last. If Red Oak is too dark for then White Oak is the way to go, the lighter natural colour make this wood far more versatile. 

Black Walnut

 The gold standard of hardwoods. Walnut is renowned for its dark colour, grain patterns and colour variations based on where is was grown and how it was felled. Resilient and durable, Walnut is one of the harder hardwoods and can be difficult to work with and unfinished the wood looks hazy. However, once finished with an oil stain, which is the only finish we recommend, the true colour of the wood shines through and grain patterns offer an interesting contrast not seen in other hardwoods.   


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