Oak is a fantastic native English wood. It has many uses both as an architectural timber, building material and for interior decoration.
British oak beams are wonderful when being used structurally. The wood is usually supplied 'green', fresh sawn from the tree. It is also known as 'wet' at this point. Green oak is easier to work and it is used because it can work out to be cheaper than seasoned oak. With green oak, the wood will shrink over the first few years and develop surface cracks.
In contrast, seasoned oak can take up to 7 years to mature. In that time, the wood will dry and split and release stresses. This means that the finished look is more predictable, which is why it is also called 'steady' oak. Steady oak is becoming increasingly popular with architects for restoration projects, but also for their newer builds, because the seasoning time also improves stability.
Construction grade oak is mainly used for structural work. It can be obtained as an entire frame if desired. It is very strong and has been used in traditional English houses for centuries. Oak was particularly popular in Tudor times because it was a quick way to erect a house.
The way a timber frame is made hasn't changed much in hundreds of years. Cut and assembled in the workshop, it is produced in the form of a kit, which can then be constructed on site. Joints are created by hand using traditional techniques and are then tightly secured with oak pegs so that the frame can be lifted into place.
The large structural oak beams, in a fire situation char on the outside causing an insulated layer that protects the rest of the beam from burning. This is a useful property to have as it protects the building from total collapse.
Oak is an incredible material for building with. The beams of the frame can withstand all sorts of extreme British weather conditions. An Oak beam is just as sturdy and dependable as a steel joist and is long lasting, practical and will look better with age.
Oak beams come from a sustainable source too, making them an attractive option for ethically minded builders. If they are British grown oak beams, used in British building projects, the carbon footprint and transportation costs are also good.
British oak beams are great for building and that is why they have been used for centuries and why they will continue to be used well into the future for projects both new builds and renovations.
As well as using oak for the beams in a house, oak flooring looks great under foot, and wide oak flooring can look simply stunning, completing the English wood look and bringing warmth and elegance to a building. Tables, shelves, chairs, lamps and other furniture items are great in oak too. They last well and the grain creates a unique piece of furniture each time – no two pieces will ever be the same. Oak is a truly great building material.
Frequently Asked Questions
Another Garden Furniture Question?
Ive finally found some garden furniture i like, hoorahhhh !
BUT - I found some which is fixed but very, very expensive and theirs something which is almost identical but comes flat packed which is almost half the price. Their both made from solid wood, so what do you think would be the better buy?
Rebecca, you made me laugh with your answer lol....
You have to assemble the one that is flat packed. That may be difficult. Its cheaper so there is a tradeoff. I have a brother who is handy so I would get the unassembled furniture. good luck!
I bought this bed, I can't find the same wood type computer table. Does this wood resemble other wood?
They call the wood finish "Heritage Birch." I am trying to get the same wood color for my computer desk but this is not very popular. I was hoping you guys could come up with one that is alike it! Thank you!
The Bed & The Wood Finish: http://www1.thebrick.com/brickb2c/jsp/catalog/product.jsp?id=8164QBED&navAction=jump&navCount=3
I think one problem you may be encountering is that the bed is a more traditional style, material, and color while computer desks usually have a more modern design with exposed metal, glass, and fasteners.
As soon as I read "Heritage Birch", I knew we would have a problem because the only part of that that makes sense is "Birch". "Heritage" could mean anything, but it usually means "old or traditional looking". It is often dark to cover flaws in materials or workmanship and can be used to mask cheap materials, though in this case, the bed appears to made from actual wood and wood veneers. The description of Birch is accurate because it has a flat, closed pore, even grain pattern that is often stained to look like other woods, in this case, aged Cherry.
When searching for a matching computer desk, ignore the "Heritage" part of the description and look for Cherry or Mahogany in the color options listed. Words like aged, traditional, classic, or antique may be used to describe the rich red colors that may be available. There is no standard for furniture manufacturers to adhere to in regards to colors and finishes, so you're going to have to do your own research and quality control.
If you're visiting stores, take an accurate photo of the bed with you to ensure you're getting as close a match as possible. Online shopping is going to be a little more difficult because you're going to have to rely on the individual retailer's descriptions and photographs in order to find a match. You're also going to have to do some looking in order to find anything that has the classic design of the bed and you may have to go to a custom furniture or cabinet shop to get exactly what you want. The color should be easy because its a common dark Cherry or medium Mahogany stain, though it bears little resemblance to either species in their unstained state, at least until they've naturally aged over many many years. Its been a very popular color for wood furniture for centuries and a lot of modern design still uses this rich red color in order to match more traditional forms.
Its hard to describe some things, and color is certainly one of those because by its very nature its difficult to put into words. A visit to a home center or paint store with a photograph may help you come up with examples of stain and finish samples that could help you with your search as well. Personally, I prefer real wood veneers and solids over high pressure laminate (Formica) as it looks and feels more natural, though there are laminates that will match the bed very well. A home center will have samples in their kitchen design areas that may also aid in your search if thats something that interests you.
Sorry about the length, I hope there's information you can use somewhere in there. I think you need to concentrate your search on the color and less on the wood because a lot of species can be stained to look like the bed. Poplar, Maple, Cherry, and even Pine, can be made to resemble it, not to mention a lot of odd foreign species, which is where a lot of unassembled furniture comes from.
Keep your receipts and make sure anything you buy online has a good return policy.
Cheap wood tack trunk?
I was looking for a wooden tack trunk around 33" L x 22" H x 22" D pretty cheap, at least under 400 or 500. Or any good plans for building one? Thank You!
I would love to build you a wooden tack box. I wholesale pet furniture www.mywooddogcrate.com and would like to make wooden tack boxes to add to my product line.
My plan was to use raised panel design with 1/4 inch panels to keep the weight down.
If your idea is similar to mine I can make your tack box for 5 without shipping. I was thinking about designing one that can be shipped unassembled and easily assembled by you to saved shipping cost. Send me pictures of similar products that you like.
That would be solid wood furniture grade construction with 2 coats of lacquer on it. I would lose money on it,but at least now I have something to take pictures off and your feedback to start off with.
I can be reach at 717 324 5684