Wood Species

Standard Wood Species

Red Oak

Red Oak is the most abundant hardwood found in the eastern U.S., accounting for about 30% of the hardwood market. The sapwood of Red Oak is white to light brown and the heartwood is a pinkish reddish brown. The wood is similar in appearance to White Oak, but with a slightly less pronounced figure due to the smaller rays. The wood is mostly straight-grained, with a coarse texture and is easily machined.

Hard Maple

Found throughout the northeastern U.S, Maple has been a favorite for furniture makers since the colonial days. Sapwood, which is most commonly used, ranges in color from nearly white, to an off-white cream color, sometimes with a golden or reddish hue. The heartwood tends to be a darker reddish brown. Maple has a fine even texture and is generally straight grained with some waviness. Birdseye is a figure found commonly in Hard Maple and can also be found with curly or quilted grain pattern if desired.

Premium Wood Species


Found throughout the Midwest and Eastern U.S, the cherry tree has long been used for its fruit, medicinal properties, and furnishings. Heartwood is a light pinkish brown when freshly cut, darkening to a deeper golden brown with time and exposure to light. Sapwood displays a pale yellowish color. The wood has a fine uniform, straight or slightly wavy grain, smooth texture, and may naturally contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.


Mahogany, also known as Honduras mahogany is a tropical hardwood indigenous to South America, Central America and Africa. The wood varies slightly in color from a light reddish brown to a medium red and tends to darken with age. Mahogany is characterized as having straight to interlocked grain and a medium coarse texture. This wood grain is generally straight and free of voids but can display stripe, ribbon, fiddle back or ripple figures.


Walnut, found mostly in the eastern US, makes up less than 1% of commercially produced hardwoods. Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is pale yellow-gray to nearly white. Grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Has a medium texture and moderate natural luster. Figured grain patterns such as curl, crotch, and burl are also seen.

White Oak

White oak is a domestic hardwood that is widely available and affordable. It is a very strong wood that displays a straight and consistent grain. One striking characteristic of White Oak is the presence of medullary rays that appear when the wood is quarter sawn. In addition, due to its unique cellular structure, white oak is remarkably water resistant which has made it ideal for exterior applications and distillery barrels. In the early 1900s white oat was the standard for furniture building. Today, while it is still popular in the furniture making industry, it is used in many applications such as trim, exterior framing, and general construction.

Shoto also offers custom wood species and cuts for your furniture. Please contact our factory for more information.

Wood can be specified as natural or stained using Shoto standard stain offerings (see Wood Stain Colors) Custom stains are available which require a customer submitted sample. All exposed wood products are finished utilizing a 3-step, low gloss, catalyzed conversion varnish.