Oh no! Is this a defect? - Commonly misunderstood wood characteristics

Just like humans, no tree is perfect. It is subject to natural imperfections from the time it emerges into a tree as a seedling. There is a wide range of wood defects that varies from natural and acquired defects. For instance, defects a tree sustains during its growth can be caused by a broken branch insect or fungal attacks, or rapid tree growth. Post-harvest, there can be man-made defects caused by incorrect sawing or machining, improper handling of product and storage.

A tree is exposed to many natural forces that cause defects in their wood. Oftentimes, woodworkers find these unique features in wood products fascinating, furthermore, aged wood is be prized by many carpenters for their high-end appearances. 

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  • Knots

A knot is the base of a branch that was broken off from the tree. The portion of the remaining branch receives nourishment from the stem which results in the formation of dark hard rings.


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  • Medullary Rays

Medullary rays are mistaken for damages or repaired wood, however, during the growing process, nutrients are transported from its core stem to other layers so that the sap moves towards the ring, hence causing these marks to appear. Although medullary rays look like scratch marks, it's prized by several outstanding carpenters as they are the most prominent in wood that has been quarter sawn to reduce expanding.


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  • Insect Holes

There are a number of insects that eat wood or use them as nesting areas which result in holes. When the tree is felled, manufacturers ensure that the wood would be treated and insects nesting in the wood would be killed off.  

The damage will be reviewed by experts to conclude if it is negligible or catastrophic; most people love wood with insect holes because they make each tree unique and add characteristics to the final product as long as there are no threats to the structural strength.



  • Wood Ripples

Wood ripples are caused by compression of grain at the base of an old tree. This creates a ripple effect that may have a 3D effect when viewed at an angle.



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Teak can be made for either indoor or outdoor and it is the best wood for furniture due to the high concentration of oil and wax content. These prevent the wood from water absorption and rotting. Also, teak furniture is impervious to being attacked by insects due to the high concentration of natural oil within the wood. The high level of natural oil in teak can cause some parts wood to have a darker shade. Many customers reviewed that different shades of colours in their furniture make them unique and not as dull.