Hardwoods used by Jacobs Joinery

Every project undertaken by Jacobs Joinery is different - it's what bespoke joinery really means! Since each project is unique the wood used is different - below we describe some of the timber used by Jacobs Joinery with a few notes about the nature of the wood, its suitability for different uses and its strength and weaknesses.

This page will, like wood itself, grow - so do return to find out more!


Iroko is a large hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa. It is one of the woods sometimes referred to as African Teak, although it is unrelated to the teak family. The wood color is initially yellow but darkens to a richer brown over time.

The wood is used for a variety of purposes including boat-building, domestic flooring and furniture. From the late 1990s, it was used as part of the txalaparta, a Basque musical instrument constructed of wooden boards, due to its lively sound.

It is a very durable wood; iroko does not require regular treatment with oil or varnish when used outdoors. Although it is almost as durable as teak, it does not have the same stability.


Beech trees grow throughout central Europe and the United Kingdom and it is also found in West Asia. Beech has a straight grain and a fine, even texture.

The steam bending properties of beech are exceptional and this is utilised a great deal in the manufacture of furniture and fittings in bespoke shopfitting joinery.

Beech veneers are used a great deal in the manufacture of plywood and furniture. The attractive appearance of beech veneers makes it suitable for decorative veneering.

The uses of beech, both as whole wood and veneer, include high-class joinery, reception counters and reception desks.

European Oak

As its name suggests European Oak is found in Europe and the UK and also in Asia Minor and North Africa. The steaming properties and not as good as beech but are rated as very good. If European Oak is allowed to come into contact with iron it develops a blue stain, so care must be taken where it is used in decorative furniture.

European Oak has a moderate to severe blunting effect on saws which should therefore be kept sharp. An attractive wood, it is ideal for bespoke joinery and is to be found in high class joinery such as coffins, church pews and flooring.

european oak
american white ash

American White Ash

Sometimes known as North American Ash it is noted for its strength in bending. It machines well: good when nailed, screwed, drilled and glued and can be stained and polished to a good finish.

It is strong, shock resistant and has a high crushing strength and shows little movement in service.

It is used in furniture, cabinet making and high class internal joinery. It is also used in the manufacture of sports equipment and tool handles.

  • Jacobs Joinery constructed and installed the new 'Harry's Kitchen' dining areas with Hollywood Bowling Centres using American White Ash - featuring booth seating with upholstered seats and American White Ash Cappings.

American Black Walnut

The heartwood of this tree is a rich dark brown with a rather coarse grain. It is a tough, hard timber which has good steam bending characteristics and moderate bending and crushing strengths.

In the United States of America it is the normal wood for rifle butts and gunstocks. It is widely used for high quality bespoke furniture, interior joinery and it is used as a veneer.

black walnut
Jacobs Joinery use a range of different hard wood from sustainable sources to supply clients in southern England. From this wood we will make a range of bespoke furniture and fittings - including receptions counters, office furniture and point of sales counters. See our Projects Gallery.
Pride in Quality, Delivery and Cost