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What makes our furniture truly unique? Discover the oak wood features

Banner natural oak wood features

The natural features of wood give each piece of furniture a unique look. Each product made by hand by SFD is one of a kind. We can say that nature has left its signature on it in the form of unusual patterns. From the following article, you will learn what the different oak wood features are called and how they are produced.

The art of quarter-sawing: Creating unique and visually attractive furniture

This is the method by which all logs are sawn in the SFD workshop.

What distinguishes quarter-sawn oak furniture from the rest of the production of the time is the extra effort that goes into each piece. Traditional continuous sawing of the wood, as shown below, produces flat-sawn boards with a cathedral grain pattern. This is fast, efficient and economical. Making quarter-sawn boards from the same log requires a different cutting method, which is more labour-intensive and expensive. In return, however, you get a completely different grain pattern that exposes the medullary rays.

oak sawn types
Slice logs along different tangents to the rings, as shown in these end-grain views, and you run the gamut from flat sawn to rift sawn to quartersawn boards.

Cut the logs along different tangents to the rings, as shown in these end-grain views, and you get the full range from flat-sawn to rift-sawn to quarter-sawn boards. At SFD Furniture Design, quality always comes first, which is why we have chosen the more difficult route. But the end result is always worth it. We get furniture that is not only functional but also visually appealing.

oak wood sawing types
Types of wood sawing.
BLACK FOREST quatersawn oak example
Examples of quartersawn oak usage on BLACK FOREST tables. Natural oak wood features create very unique patterns.

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The beauty of medullary rays: Unveiling the unique figure of quarter-sawn wood

The “ray fleck”, “flake,” or “figure” is the medullary ray of the boot running outwards from the centre of the boot like the spokes of a wheel. Such a pattern is created when the log is cut at right angles (quarter saw).

oak ray fleck example
Another ray fleck example on oak table top

Unveiling the intriguing patterns: Exploring the natural characteristics of oak wood

Natural characteristics of oak wood include not only those caused by different types of trunk cutting. Very interesting patterns on the wood are also caused by different types of knots, natural mineral stains or cracks.

SFD closed knot oak wood
Knots – vary in size, shape, structure and color.
Black ring knot natural feature on VIRKERÅ coffee table
Closed knot as a natural wood feature on the tabletop.
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Mineral stain – a darkened or discolored wood area, caused by minerals which the tree extracts from the soil, can be either a mineral streak or mineral stain. It is commonly found in oak and appears as a dark, blotchy area with undefined boundaries. It can turn an entire board darker in color.

mineral stains example Basic Nio table
Mineral stains

Heartwood stain – this characteristic can be caused by a buildup of natural extractives, such as sugars.

The exceptional properties of wood in furniture manufacturing

The above properties of wood are an advantage because they are unique and were created by nature during the growth of the tree from which the wood comes. They underline the nobility of the material used to make wooden furniture.

If you enjoyed the article and would like to learn more about this topic, please contact us, we will be happy to answer all your questions.

Artur Bieńko
SFD Furniture Design

Tags: sustainable furniture design, handcrafted furniture, handcrafted dining table, solid oak table, scandinavian table, hygge, interior design, solid wood furniture, hygge home,  bespoke furniture, oak wood features

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