With the price of white oak bordering on ludicrous and added to that patchy availability, clients have been asking about a good alternative. WHITE ASH. Used Au Naturale it is two or three shades lighter than white oak. On the density scale, Ash is only a few points behind White Oak. In other words, it is very dense and it wears well.
For the nerd in you, check out this page about white ash trees, memorize what they look like, the scientific name and the shape of the leaves. Impress your friends when you are driving around “look at that ancient fraxinus americana!”
Ash looks good with an oil-rubbed finish, but other finishes include “white oil” (a lightly pigmented version of an oil rubbed finish,) and “ebonized” (which usually means painted black.) “Amber Ash” is the same species of wood, but has a larger ratio of heartwood, giving it darker streaks of color.
This past summer Sam and I drove a packed delivery van-full of Ash furniture cross-country to a couple of awesome clients. Here are a few of the pieces, most of them with steel bases fabricated by Clint Beveridge in Camden.
This sideboard was a really fun build, the box joints and integrated handles are boss! Good call clients! Sorry we couldn’t keep this one, wife:(