American red oak is a classic looking oak wood, with a distinct pale reddish tinge, that injects a unique warmth to its finish. It has slightly less pronounced figure than white oak, due to smaller medullary rays and a more porous end grain structure. The wood is mostly straight grained with a course texture. It is strong, hardwearing and the most used hardwood in the USA. It is also good for steam bending.

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Although called soft maple in most respects the wood of soft maple is very similar to that of hard maple, but due to its widespread growth it may be more susceptible to regional colour variations. Generally the sapwood is greyish white, sometimes with darker coloured pith flecks, and the heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The wood is usually straight grained. The lumber is generally sold unselected for colour.

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The heartwood of American cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken on exposure to light. In contrast the sapwood is creamy white. Cherry can be supplied steamed, to darken sapwood or left unsteamed. The wood has a fine uniform straight grain, smooth texture, and may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.

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