At the Old Stables, we only use the finest premium woods, sourced from only respectable sustainable wood farms and sawmills across Britain.
We take enormous pride in our choice of materials, ensuring we can trace provenance of our English Oak and English Brown Oak, and only using trusted suppliers for importing our American Black Walnut.
Old Stables oak tables are made exclusively from homegrown English Oak, a strong, stable, and beautiful furniture-making material, grown slowly and evenly over a long period.
We consider English Oak to be the gold standard of furniture-making oak.
The British Empire favoured English Oak as the perfect wood to frame her battleships; it is this same strength and lustre that has made oak a mainstay of furniture makers for centuries.
Grown for a longer period than European Oak, English Oak trees create long straight-grained boards with oak’s trademark long flowing grain patterns running the full length and thickness of the table. Unlike European oak, English Oak is consistent in its colour and tones with none of the darker grain lines found on European oak boards.
We source all our English Oak from Whitney Sawmills in Herefordshire, which is part of the Woodland Heritage initiative. By doing so we are committing to using quality premium English timber, which can be farmed sustainably for generations to come.
As part of the English Woodland Heritage, the provenance (literally a place of origin) of each tree felled can be traced for each of the boards used in our furniture. This way we can assure you of both the quality of the oak we use in your furniture and also of its homegrown English nature.
Our English Brown Oak dining tables and coffee tables are made exclusively from premium homegrown English Brown Oak, a strong oak material with a unique and gorgeous chocolate brown hue.
English Brown Oak is not a species in and of itself. Rather it is English Oak, and only English Oak, infected with a fungus named Fistulina Hepatica. This attacks the roots and turns the wood a deep brown colour. As a result, when the wood is cut and dried the fungus dies, leaving a rich golden tone.
The true brown oak is unique to British forests; in Europe the effect of the fungus is to turn the oak pink. The decaying effects of the fungus do not persist after the wood has been dried so brown oak can be treated in much the same way as any normal coloured oak.
Waney edge boards of English Brown Oak cut from this wood create extremely eye-catching, heavily featured grain patterns. Boards which are solid brown from end to end are very rare and consequently in great demand. If boards are quarter-sawn, the silver medullary rays displayed on the quarter-sawn boards provide a stunning contrast to the deep, rich brown colouring.
We source all our English Brown Oak from Surrey Timbers and Vastern Timber to ensure consistent quality and guarantee English-grown trees are used. Since English Brown Oak is a rare product, the wood is not graded as there is usually not enough in circulation to warrant it.
Our American Black Walnut tables and storage are made exclusively from prime-grade American Black Walnut, a naturally beautiful hardwood, originating from North-East America and used widely for cabinetry and gunstocks.
There are many qualities that make wood suitable for interior furniture, including strength, workability, maintaining shape after seasoning, and resistance to shock. American Black Walnut ticks the boxes for pretty much everything a furniture maker desires and can be kiln dried without twisting.
A strong hardwood by nature, American Black Walnut is an extremely workable and tactile material, which we can shape to create some amazing components.
It also produces some of the most beautiful natural grain patterns we’ve ever seen, with dark-coloured, straight-grained, true heartwood. Walnut is in our view naturally one of the most beautiful woods not only to work with but to look at and touch after finishing as well.
We source all our prime-grade American Black Walnut from British timber suppliers with reputations for sustainable wood farming and quality products, ensuring that the boards meet our grading criteria for usage at every stage.
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