Well, that's what counts. And red oak is preferred by many over white oak for
appearance. Rays are sometimes even bolder when quartersawn. I've got some
parts of my staircase in this house in red oak with rays you wouldn't believe.
It does not fume well, by all reports. I'm not up for trying fuming until we're
back in a permanent location, so can't comment. I'll try both and some others
when that happens.
"Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal."
I'm an afficionado but haven't yet built any. Next year, though!
Traditional is white oak, and they typically used wider boards back
then because they were available. I'll guess that the width is from
8/4 thickness lumber which was available to them, cut for the qsawn
Let's hope not. That belongs in the driveway or garage.
I haven't seen anything that narrow in any picture from the
twenty or so books I've read on A&C furniture.
The 1909-1912 copy of Popular Mechanics' "Mission Furniture:
How To Make It" shows a parts list for the library table top
as "1 top, 1-1/8 by 30 by 42 in., S4S". For the tabouret top,
"from the planing mill, secure one piece 7/8 in. thick and 17
in. square", so really wide qsawn oak was readily available
back then. (Gawd, if only that were still true!)
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QS WO moves about half as much as plain sawn stock, so Michael's Furniture
(in-house Resto domestic manufacturer) is using plain-sawn 8/4 flipped 90
degrees for both lower cost and reducing warranty claims due to wood
Even if I could find 17" wide QS white oak, I doubt more than a 6-7 inch
section would be true QS stock, so narrower pieces - five to eight inches
wide - are pretty much the limit these days. My library table is about the
same size as the Resto desk, and uses 5 sticks for the 28 x 60 top. Over
the last year, it's been pretty stable, losing just under a 1/4" in width
between seasonal extremes.
FYI - Resto is a great place to get the SWMBO interested in A&C stuff.
Although the designs are derivative, the scale is about right and seeing
these pieces in the flesh really helps. My cost of about $500 for the
library table versus $1800 for Resto's was also a selling point (although
the hand-hammered pulls I'd like to put on would jack things up by another
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