Timber choice

With so many timbers available, we are happy to advise on the most suitable materials for use, ensuring each joinery project remains in keeping with your individual tastes and requirements.

  • American White Ash – This hardwood is white, quite dense, strong and straight-grained. Used for furniture and floorings.  Used mainly for internal uses due to high perishability in contact with ground soil.
  • American White Oak – This wood is the best and most valuable of the white oaks and is relatively rot resistant. White Oaks have cellular structures called tyloses which gives the wood a closed cellular structure which does not allow water to pass.
  • European Oak  – Used for stairs, furniture and cabinetmaking, high-class joinery, ecclesiastical work, pews, screens and carving.
  • Beech – Fine short grain makes this hardwood easy to work, steaming makes the wood even easier to machine. It has an excellent finish and is resistant to compression and splitting. A versatile wood used for many aspects of joinery from furniture to stairs.
  • Douglas Fir – Softwood used for structural applications that are often required to withstand high loads. It is used extensively in the construction industry although would not recommend for external doors.
  • Sapele – Sometimes referred to as Aboudikro, comes from a large tree up to 45m high, native to Africa. The heartwood has a medium to dark reddish brown colour, has a cedar-like scent when cut. Sapele works without difficulty with hand and machine tools. It is used for flooring for its durability and beautiful graining, quality furniture, joinery, shop fitting and office furniture.
  • Accoya – is a brand name for a high technology wood created via acetylation wood modification process.  It is extremely durable and stable and is ideal when timber is exposed to the elements, it makes a good alternative to hardwood and it is highly sustainable.
  • Tulipwood (Poplar) – This is a fine grained stable softwood. It is easy to work and commonly used for cabinet, furniture and framing.
  • Iroko – Sometimes referred to as African Teak. This hardwood is used for internal and external joinery. Although it is almost as durable as teak it does not have the same stability. Colour is initially yellow but darkens to a richer brown over time. The material can contain large, hard deposits of calcium carbonate in cavities and the timber around them may be darker in colour.
  • Birch – Fine-grained hardwood, pale in colour. Timber is suitable for veneer and birch ply is among the strongest and most dimensionally stable plywoods, although it is unsuitable for exterior use. Birch ply is also used to make furniture.
  • Western Red Cedar – this soft red-brown timber has a tight, straight grain and few knots.  It is valued for its distinct appearance and aroma and its high natural resistance to decay, being extensively used outdoors for posts, decking, fencing and shingles.  It takes on a silvery appearance when exposed to the elements for some time.  It is also used to line closets and chests for its pungent aromatic oils and believed to discourage moths.
  • Utile – sometimes called Sipo Mahogany it is in the Meliaceae family and is somewhat related to the true mahoganies.   It is possibly the finest ‘Mahogany’ type hardwood available from Africa today. Useful for furniture, counter tops, high-class exterior and internal joinery.
  • MDF – (Medium-Density Fibreboard) an engineered wood product formed by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibres combined with wax and resin and formed into panels by applying high temperature and pressure.  MDF is denser than plywood.  Used for many capacities such as furniture, shelving, laminate flooring, doors and decorative moulding.  Moisture Resistant MDF is also available.  Some people prefer using MDF because it has a lower impact on the environment.  MDF is solely made from waste products, the leftover scraps that would otherwise be dumped in a landfill.
  • Engineered Timber – products retain and enhance the beauty and appeal of natural wood whilst improving its stability and performance.  Offering finger jointed technology, engineered products not only improve the performance of timber, they also make timber work in applications where previously its characteristics have made it unsuitable.  It is free from the problems associated with knots, splits and staining.