Hardwood Varieties Used in Amish Furniture
Here are your top options for hardwood in Amish furniture pieces.
Knowing exactly what you’re getting in a given furniture product is important to many buyers, and this includes those looking for high-quality Amish furniture for any part of their home. Amish furniture is made from only the very highest-quality forms of hardwood, and there are a few specific wood species that tend to be most common and beneficial here.
At Amish Crafted Furniture, we’re proud to showcase Tulsa’s best showroom of fine Amish furniture, and also to detail product specifications for any of our pieces – including the wood varieties used in construction. Here’s a look at the most common hardwood varieties found in Amish furniture, starting with a quick word on a common scale used to define wood hardness – one that’s often important for those comparing wood options.
Understanding the Jacnka Scale
When it comes to measuring the hardness of varying woods, a common method is the use of what’s known as the Janka Hardness Scale. This scale, which is expressed in pounds of force required to push a steel ball halfway into the wood sample, can be used to compare the relative hardness of different wood species.
The Janka scale runs from 0 to 4,000. As you might have expected, the higher the Janka rating, the stronger the wood is – meaning it’s more resistant to dents, grooves and other minor damage.
Now, readers should be aware that virtually all of the hardwood varieties used for Amish furniture come in the bottom 50% of the Janka scale. Wood types found at the very highest end of this scale are more commonly used in applications such as flooring, where durability is key. Nevertheless, some hardwood varieties commonly used for Amish furniture – including those detailed below – offer plenty of strength and beauty.
One of the most common and popular wood types for Amish furniture is oak, which actually comes in a couple different main varieties:
Red oak: This hardwood species is one of the most popular options for many forms of furniture, with a Janka rating of 1,290. It’s known for strength and durability, plus has a very noticeable grain pattern. Its reddish-brown color is also a major plus.
White oak: This wood species is slightly harder than its red counterpart, with a Janka rating of 1,360. It has more of a tan/gray color in comparison to the reddish-brown look of red oak, and is slightly more resistant to moisture as well.
Another popular option, and one of the single strongest within the realm of Amish furniture, is hickory. It has a Janka rating of 1,820 – one of the highest on the entire hardwood furniture scale. Its reddish-brown grain pattern is quite striking and it offers remarkable durability in comparison to many other wood species commonly used in furniture construction.
Hickory also brings a “rugged” look that many buyers find appealing, largely due to its large grains and bold colors.
On the softer end of the scale within Amish furniture, cherry is one of the most beloved and attractive options. With a Janka rating of 950, it’s not as strong or durable as oak or hickory, but many buyers appreciate its beautiful color (which ranges from light pink to reddish-brown) and smooth grain pattern.
Another great quality of cherry is the way its grain and warm qualities will deepen with time. As this wood ages, it takes on a rich and more consistent color – making it an excellent choice for those looking for a piece of furniture that’s just as timeless as it is beautiful.
For those looking for a striking, elegant and unique look, walnut is a great choice. Not only does it boast one of the best grain patterns of any hardwood species commonly used in Amish furniture construction, but its Janka rating (1,010) also falls somewhere between that of oak and cherry – representing both strength and beauty.
Walnut can range from light to dark, and the grain pattern can be either subtle or very noticeable – with buyers able to customize their purchase according to their own preferences.
Another very common hardwood type used in Amish furniture is maple. Brown maple is particularly popular, with a Janka rating of 950. It’s known for its subtle grain patterns, but these can become more noticeable over time.
Maple is one of the most affordable woods for Amish furniture. It has a distinctive and uniform light brown color that’s quite attractive, and is much harder than many of the softwoods used in furniture construction.
There are a variety of hardwood species commonly used for Amish furniture, each with its own Janka rating and aesthetic benefits. At Amish Crafted Furniture, we’re here to help clients around Tulsa and beyond find the perfect piece for their home, offering a variety of options from oak and hickory to cherry and walnut. Contact us today to learn more about our hardwood Amish furniture selection and the kinds of pieces our builders will create for you.