Oak is one of the most versatile hardwoods that looks just as good in high-end modern kitchens as it looks in traditional Amish furniture. Perhaps one reason for its versatility is the number of distinct grain patterns that can be obtained as a result of the manner in which the logs were sewn. The flat cut lumber is grainy, showing the same pattern of ovals and curves which follow the contour of annual rings that can be found on ash for example. The grain in the rift cut is even and uniform to such an extent that the seams are totally invisible when the planks are glued together and the whole resulting surface looks like a huge solid slice of wood. When quarter-sawn, the medullary rays become visible, creating a ribbon-like pattern known as flecking. In the white oak, the heartwood color varies from tan to light brown; in the red oak it has reddish undertones. In both species the sap is light-colored but quite narrow, therefore little
sap ends up in the finished product. The wood is heavy and hard with great resistance to wear and decay. When stained, its coarse grain becomes heavily emphasized; for this reason, flat cut-oak stained to a dark color can mimic very closely the look of wenge wood.