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The Future of American Oak: Availability of Set & Long Lengths

The Future of American Oak: Availability of Set & Long Lengths

The Future of American Oak: Availability of Set & Long Lengths

Victorian Ash has long been the timber of choice in the staircase, joinery and furniture industries due to its availability, high quality and long lengths. However, since the Victorian government started reducing log allocation a few years back, it has become harder to get hold of and the quality has started dropping. The roll on effect of this has been an increase in demand for alternate timber species such as American Oak.

In Australia, American Oak is promoted by Australian Sustainable Hardwoods (ASH) as "Glacial Oak", and is generally quite a good alternative to Australian Oak (a general term used for a selection of species including Victorian Ash, Messmate and Tasmanian Oak) as it is a similarly defect free timber species, with a nice grain structure. Unfortunately however, it does not tend to run quite as long as the Australian grown hardwoods. Lengths that are imported into Australia are rarely over 3.6 metres; with 2.7-3.2 metres being the most common range of lengths seen in packs. For products such as treads, risers, and furniture legs, this does not pose any real issues. But for products such as handrails, stair stringers and dowels, this has caused quite a deal of grief.

To address this, we have begun offering finger-jointed varieties of our two most popular American Oak products: the 50mm dowel handrail and the 43mm dowel handrail. It is our intention to roll out this finger-jointed material across our other ranges in the coming months.

As you can see by the photos the results of the finger jointing are fantastic, and we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from many of our trade and wholesale customers who’ve had the chance to preview the product.

In addition to now being able to provide long lengths of handrail/dowel, offering finger-jointed American Oak has other benefits. It allows us to provide set-length products in large quantities, as opposed to species like Victorian Ash where we can only provide random lengths. This is especially useful for those looking to build feature walls, or on jobs with many similarly sized staircases or rails. It also helps minimise wastage, and therefore tends to be a more cost effective option.

If you would like more information on our new finger-jointed material, or would like us to sent you a sample or product images prior to purchasing, feel free to reach out to us directly.

View Our Range of American Oak Handrails

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