Wood Types

Different woods are the palette of the furniture maker. They provide color and texture,
strength and beauty to handmade cabinetry.
Every wood has a distinctive grain structure. Woods such as white and red oak, ash and
walnut have “open-pores”. These woods have small holes in their surface that give the piece
a textural quality. When a stain is applied to this type of surface, the stain tends to collect
in the “open-pores” and appears darker than the rest of the piece. Tight grained woods
include maple, alder, and cherry. These woods are smooth to the touch and can take finish evenly.
Each material has its own characteristics and advantages please contact our representative
to help you choose which type will create the effect you desire. At Mona Cabinets we make sure that only
high quality and safe materials are used in the production of our custom kitchens and other wood cabinets.

Colour: a light tan to reddish brown. Visibility between heartwood and sapwood is extremely low.
Density: medium density, medium crushing strength, low stiffness, low bending strength and has a low shock resistance.
Grain: generally straight, with a moderately fine, uniform texture.
Machinability: works well with both machine and hand tools. It has good nailing and gluing properties, finishes well and it is moderately light in weight.
Finishing: Takes a stain extremely well to complement such woods as Walnut and Cherry. Distinctive Characteristics: Red Alder is typically found in the western part of North America. On  average this species tends to be knottier than other hardwoods.  A good Cherry substitute

01 Alder

Color: creamy white to light brown heartwood, light sapwood 
Density: very hard, excellent shock resistance 
Grain: distinctive wide-open grain, has occasional brown streaks 
Machinability: very good
Finishing: Takes all finishes well, pigmented stains will bring out the grain nicely. 
Distinctive Characteristics: excellent Oak substitute, “Golden Oak” 

02 Ash

Colour: Generally a uniform and pale yellow to almost white.
Grain: bamboo does not have any sapwood/heartwood or growth rings. Texture is very uniform, and ranges from medium to fine depending on density.
Machinability: not necessarily difficult to work with, but depending on the species, it may require some special care. Bamboo glues, stains, and finishes well.
Distinctive Characteristics: One of the most unique plants on earth. Unlike trees, bamboo grows initially at full width, with no tapering or horizontal growth. After just one year, bamboo reaches its full height, and in subsequent years, the stem continues to harden. The strength of the bamboo continues to increase for the next two to four years; most species of bamboo are considered fully mature in just two to three years.

03 Bamboo

Color: pink to reddish brown heartwood, sapwood is creamy to pink 
Density: very hard, heavy in weight, excellent shock resistance 
Grain: moderate tight, fine grain with evident flecking at times 
Machinability: machines well at slow speeds, pre drill for nailing and screws
Finishing: Should take a finish well. 
Distinctive Characteristics: Very hard, cheaply priced substitute for Oak, Ash, Hickory, does not impart taste or odor, usually only available in 1”. Very hard to kiln dry properly.

04 Beech

Color: cinnamon, light reddish brown to pink heartwood, sapwood is creamy-white to yellowish 
Density: hard, medium weight 
Grain: uniform, fine grain, small pores 
Machinability: generally good, some swirled grain will chip out if tooling is not sharp
Finishing: Takes finish very well. 
Distinctive Characteristics: very durable and strong

05 Birch

Color: red to deep reddish brown heartwood, white to yellowish sapwood 
Density: medium weight, moderately hard, stiff and strong 
Grain: fine, closed grain 
Machinability: excellent
Finishing: Takes a finish well, however light to natural finishes are recommended. 
Distinctive Characteristics: Beautiful markings  (gum streaks, pin knots sometimes) and red color will darken to a rich reddish brown with age.

06 Cherry

Color: tan to reddish brown heartwood, cream to yellowish sapwood  (variable mixture of heart and sap) 
Density: very hard, strong, stiff and heavy 
Grain: moderately coarse open grain 
Machinability: excellent machinability, but very abrasive on tooling
Finishing: Will take stains. 
Distinctive Characteristics: The combination of its hardness, strength, toughness, and stiffness are unmatched by any other hardwood.

07 Hickory

Colour: heartwood varies in color from a salmon red to an orange brown when it is freshly cut. The wood then darkens to a red brown color when seasoned. It frequently has dark streaks; its sapwood can be wide and is much lighter in color — either white or pink and sometimes gray.
Density: extremely dense and weighs about 56 pounds per cubic foot when seasoned, making it denser than teak. Extremely shock resistant. Low stiffness and moderate steam bending rating
Grain: The wood has a natural luster and a warm glow, especially when planed.
Machinability: can be hard to work, having sever blunting effect on tools and moderate difficulty.
Distinctive Characteristics: Wood is stable in service and has excellent strength properties.

08 Jatoba

Colour: ranges from light, pink-red to deep red or reddish brown. The sapwood is clearly demarcated and is much lighter in color.
Grain: Makore has a fine texture with closed pores. It also tends to have a natural luster and shine from its high silica content. The grain can be straight, interlocked, or wavy.
Machinability /Finishing: works well with both hand and power tools. Finishes and takes screws and nails well and has good gluing properties.
Distinctive Characteristics: Wood has a high silica content, which can cause blunting. The heartwood is very durable and extremely resistant to preservative treatments.

09 Makore

Color: blood red to reddish brown, sometimes lighter in color with pale red to grayish tinge 
Density: medium texture, moderately heavy 
Grain: fine grain with interlocking parallel runs at times (ribbon) 
Machinability: excellent
Finishing: Takes stain well, will soak it up quite a bit. We suggest using sanding sealer. 
Distinctive Characteristics: Has long been a premier choice for high end furniture and millwork. Usually the grade is excellent and average width is wider than most domestic hardwoods. Excellent exterior uses.

10 Mahogany

Hard Maple
Color: creamy white to off white sapwood-tinged occasionally with slight red brown heartwood 
Density: hard, heavy and strong, very resistant to shock and abrasive wear 
Grain: closed grain, uniform texture. Some of the figured Hard Maple is available (Curly, Birdseye, and Quilted)  
Machinability: excellent, will tear out with dull tooling
Finishing: Finishes very well. Some of the figured woods will show variable levels of penetration. 
Distinctive Characteristics: Great wood for applications requiring hardness. Birdseye and curly patterns are available.

11 Hard Maple

Soft Maple
Color: creamy white to grayish white sapwood, heartwood can be brown to greenish brown with some mineral streaks. 
Density: moderately hard and strong, not quite as strong as Hard Maple 
Grain: fine, tight closed grain, some flecking evident 
Machinability: excellent
Finishing: Finishes well and also takes a stain very well. 
Distinctive Characteristics: The name “Soft Maple” is misleading. This is a very reasonably priced hardwood that is often substituted for Hard Maple in moulding, trim, furniture applications due to price. It can be stained to look like other woods (Cherry, Birch, and Hard Maple).

12 Soft Maple

Red Oak
Color: pinkish red to blonde in color 
Density: very hard and strong 
Grain: Openly porous and with dramatic grain patterns. Like White Oak, it is offered in Quartered and Rift grains also. 
Machinability: excellent
Finishing: Due to porous nature it will soak up stains but also offers a wide variety of finish tones. 
Distinctive Characteristics: This is probably the most popular hardwood used in modern woodworking. Broad grains give this a pronounced appearance.

13 Red Oak

White Oak
Color: light tan to brown heartwood, sapwood,  sapwood is creamy white to gray 
Density: very hard, shock resistant, and very dense, heavy 
Grain: moderately open grain on plain sawn, Quartered and Rift is straight grain 
Machinability: fairly well, can be tough on tooling
Finishing: Takes a finish well. 
Distinctive Characteristics: Highly resistant to the  environment, very hard, may be a bit more color consistent than Red Oak. Quartered and Rift sawn have a striking grain  appearance.

14 White Oak

White Pine
Color: sapwood is yellowish white to cream colored, heartwood is reddish brown to creamy tan 
Density: soft and very lightweight 
Grain: mixed broad to tight grain with significant difference between winter wood and summer wood (growth rings). 
Machinability: excellent
Finishing: Takes a stain and paint very well. 
Distinctive Characteristics: One of the few softwoods produced like hardwood lumber (random width and length), it has been often called “God’s gift to the woodworker” due to its diverse properties and uses.

15 White Pine

Colour: Sapele is salmon-colored when first cut, but it matures to a medium to dark red-brown color.  While the heartwood is a rich brown to reddish brown, it often features a ribbon striped figure which is a pale yellow.
Density:    The wood has medium density, medium bending and shock resistance, high crushing strength.
Grain: interlocked, and sometimes wavy. Fine uniform texture and good natural luster.
Machinability:    The wood works easily with machine tools; nails, screws and glues well.
Finishing: Finishes well and has a natural luster.
Distinctive Characteristics: Besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quartersawn boards, Sapele is also known for a wide variety of  other figured grain patterns, such as: pommele, quilted, mottled,  wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback.

16 Sapele

Color: brown to deep purple brown heartwood, sap is brilliant white to cream color-gray 
Density: fairly light weight, medium texture 
Grain: moderately open grain 
Machinability: excellent machining characteristics, turns, sands, and carves well
Finishing: Unsurpassed in finishing! Clear finishes and oils will bring out satiny grain. 
Distinctive Characteristics: The dark heartwood makes this very distinctive. Try using pieces with sap mixed with heart.

17 Walnut