Wood – The Real Stuff – Quarter Sawn Oak

 Wood … seems we have forgotten what real wood looks like these days !  Everything is made of chip board, MDF, plywood or plastic.  Often we see poor imitation or  microscopically thin veneer (like a skin) over plywood that is used for most cabinets.

 The Arts and Crafts  Movement appreciated wood – oak to be specific – quarter sawn oak to be even more specific.  Stickley, Morris and others produced the beautiful, sturdy furniture of quarter sawn oak.

It looks like this:

 

 

 

 

 

The reason it looks the way it does is because of the the way the wood is cut out of the log.  The cheapest and easiest way to cut the log is known as “plain sawn,” which means that it is simply cut straight across the log.  If you are a worker of wood, you would understand that cutting the log this way means  that your grain, resulting from how the cut goes across the growth rings,  will vary.  This can cause the wood to be less stable, less work able and less consistant.

Heart wood (the center) is different the the newer growth on the outside of the tree.

The illustration below shows different ways of cutting a log.

 

 

The Morris chair is an excellent example of Craftsman, oak furniture, adapted from a design by William Morris’s firm, Morris & Company. It was a reclining chair before the days of the La Z Boy, first marketed around 1866 and still sold today.

The design features a seat with a reclining back and moderately high armrests, which give the chair an old-style appearance. The characteristic feature of a Morris chair is a hinged back, set between two un-upholstered arms, with the reclining angle adjusted through a row of pegs, holes or notches in each arm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

A Morris chair is an early type of reclining chair. The design was adapted by William Morris’s firm, Morris & Company from a prototype owned by Ephraim Colman in rural Sussex, England. It was first marketed around 1866.

The design features a seat with a reclining back and moderately high armrests, which give the chair an old-style appearance. The characteristic feature of a Morris chair is a hinged back, set between two un-upholstered arms, with the reclining angle adjusted through a row of pegs, holes or notches in each arm. The original Morris chair had dark stained woodwork, turned spindles and heavily decorated upholstery, in typical Victorian style.