What Makes Wood “Rustic”?
Allegheny Wood Works is proud to be one of the only manufacturers to offer a full line of rustic products to our customers. To quantify this, let’s take a minute to explain about what makes something “Rustic”, and what that means at Allegheny Wood Works.
The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines rustic as “made of the rough limbs of trees” and “made of rough wood”. Here at Allegheny Wood Works, we couldn’t agree more with this definition.
In a non-rustic product, the majority of lumber with rustic character is pre-sorted by our lumber vendors leaving only lumber with a minimum of character to be sold as “clear” lumber.
It is these “defects” that we are looking for to give all the character and color variations that define a rustic product. These defects include the following:
Knots – a hard place or lump, from which a branch or stem grows in a tree. Knots are typically round and darker than the surrounding wood, though they can be other shapes or colors. Knots range in size from the size of a pinhead or pencil eraser to knots as large as four inches or more! Knots take stain differently than the surrounding wood, and stand out as the main character in a rustic product.
Mineral Streaks – this is an area of the wood that has a different color, generally due to minerals that have been absorbed by the soil. Mineral streaks run parallel to the grain, and add great character to the wood. Mineral streak is especially prevalent in oak, maple, and hickory.
Gum Pockets – gum is formed when there is an injury to a tree while it was growing. Gum pockets run with the grain and darken when finish is applied. Gum pockets are most prevalent in maple, cherry, and cedar.
Punky Wood – Punky wood is a part of wood that is softer than the surrounding wood. Punky wood is generally found towards the center of a log. While punky wood is soft, it is easily stabilized and reinforced with cyanoacrylate glue. Punky wood can be found in any wood specie, but is most prevalent in alder, cherry and maple.
Wind Shake – Wind shake is caused when trees are grown in high wind areas. When the trees are bent too far, small cracks form in the wood, which heal over time. The cracks are noticeable when finish is applied, and are the main cause of gum pockets.
Worm Holes – worm holes are caused by certain species of insects that use trees as their main food source, or as a place to nest. Bore holes are typically less than 1/8”, and lend great character to wood products. So much so that there are “wormy” selections of several wood species where boards with worm holes are specially selected and sold separately for a premium.
Allegheny Wood Works, as true fans of real wood, believe that rustic products have a unique beauty that really highlights the natural character of any species of wood. Our doors can include any amount or combination of the features listed above. In a rustic door, the lumber dictates the amount of character and you get what you get. Only character that will affect the structural integrity of the door will be removed. The number and size of these features cannot be guaranteed. The only thing that can be guaranteed is that your door will be gorgeously, randomly, naturally rustic!