What is Tiger Oak and Should You Be Using It?

Coco Chanel once said that you have to be different to be irreplaceable. This expression applies not only to people, but also to objects. In business, manufacturers try to differentiate their products from the competition as much as possible to gain a competitive advantage. This principle is still used in the furniture industry today, and one of the most commonly used woods is tiger oak. You may wonder why it is referred to, and some say it is referred to because it looks like a tiger’s eye. He has become popular over time. Let us tell you more about his discovery and whether you should try it.

Discovery of the tiger oak

Although still in demand today, the tiger oak dates back to the late 19th century. In the 18th century. In the 19th century, settlers focused on providing food and shelter rather than the luxury of having furniture. However, as in Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once the basic needs were met, they continued to want the more subtle things in life, such as B. Furniture. Oak became the raw material because it was easy to work with, but it didn’t last long. Mid-18th century At the end of the 19th century, oak was replaced by walnut and mahogany, which were preferred for formal furniture. The oak remained in the land. However, mahogany and walnut are prohibitively expensive materials for most people, so they should be changed.

The need for this change was also due to the growth of the middle class in America and the shortage of nuts. The demand for furniture increased and the only raw material readily available was fine oak, namely white oak. But people wanted more than the natural color of the white oaks, so improvements had to be made. A quarter turn was made on the white oak, creating a tiger oak. The cut produced a pattern reminiscent of the eyes of a tiger, hence the name tiger oak. To get rid of the pale colour of white oak, yellow and orange tones were also applied, so that by the end of the 19th century oak had become the most popular colour. Century. The age of the golden oak has arrived.

Over time, furniture makers realized that quarter-sawing oak to make tiger oaks was a waste, as they had to throw away most of the wood. The problem was that the emerging upper class needed new furniture, and with the end of mass production, wasting wood was no longer an option. So they used tiger oak veneer instead of tiger oak and flat-cut oak, and untrained eyes didn’t notice the difference. Eventually, even the white oak could not meet the demand for tiger oaks, so the craftsmen had to be smart. They tricked customers into thinking they were buying tiger furniture made of oak by rolling a pattern of oak grains that gave the impression of a tiger’s eye. The tiger oak is still popular today.

Tiger oak production process

According to Hunker, tiger oak is a lumber produced using a special cutting method called quarter-sawing. The result is a lumber with a characteristic grain that is used in high-tech applications. Contrary to popular belief, quarter sawing does not refer only to oak, but can be made in many other ways. But by quarter-sawn oak is meant only the tiger oak. The difference between flush cutting and quartersawing is the angle used. While normal lumber is cut at a 30 degree angle, quarter-sawn lumber is cut at a 60 or 90 degree angle. The trunk is sawn into wedge-shaped quarters, hence the name quartersaw. The cuts are made along the plane of each corner and go to the center of the trunk. Each bleed is made alternately on the face of the wedge, and as the wood is cut, the boards become narrower and narrower. The grain is straight and vertical and perpendicular to the surface of the wood.

Should you use tiger oak?

The beauty of the tiger eyes on the furniture is enough to sell anything made from tiger oak. In addition to its appeal, tiger oak is very durable and much more resistant to moisture than other wood species. However, these benefits are not enough to make use of them. If you run a business, this may not be the best solution. According to Reference, tiger oak is not economical because it produces fewer boards per foot of wood. It also takes a lot of work, as each wedge must be turned before it can be cut. Don’t forget the waste of quarter-sawing and combined with tiger oak, it’s an expensive product compared to flat-sawn oak. So sales can also be an issue as they can be limited to upper class customers.

Despite its flaws, tiger oak is still a sought after wood in the furniture industry. With white oak and red oak, the rays and spots visible on the surface of the board as a result of cutting along the annual rings are very attractive. They give the oak a distinctive feature, and without them there would be no Mission-style antique furniture. Its ability to resist warping, twisting, impact and moisture makes it even more attractive. In addition, oak remains one of the favorite materials in the furniture industry. According to the ABC office, oak wood is readily available worldwide, which broadens its use. The furniture made from it is very durable because it is solid and stable. It has a high tannin content, making it resistant to insect and fungal attack. While white oak was used in shipbuilding for its water resistance, red oak was used for flooring, but both are still used in the furniture industry today.

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