Choosing A Prime-Stock Wood Species For Your Home Design

egg and dart moldingSome woods are more highly prized than others for carving and home design. These ones are not recommended for dramatic stains or coats of paint! Take a look at three options that are popular in America for high-quality, luxury design.

Black Walnut

While this particular species of walnut tree is, in fact, native to North America, it’s also been prime stock since colonial days. This wood is incredibly sturdy, making it historically a popular option for everything from rifle stocks to family heirloom furniture pieces. While the wood sometimes leans grey, the deep, moody, purple-brown of finer heartwood cuts is highly prized. Imagine that beautiful color on your simple egg and dart molding or architectural wood carvings. Lovely and statement-making. Anything but a clear stain is discouraged for this unique wood.


Ah, tropical mahogany, conjuring images of graceful fireplace corbel designs, intricately carved wood trim, and richly colored vintage molding. Fun fact: Mahogany is generally thought of as a hardwood, but most species of mahogany actually have a midrange Janka rating. What is the Janka rating, you ask? The Janka system is a way of determining the relative hardness of woods by driving a .444 inch steel ball into the wood sample until half the diameter of the ball is embedded and then calculating the force required to do so. White Oak, for example, has a higher Janka rating than most mahogany species. Even so, mahogany is a coveted classic hardwood due to its reddish hue, rarity, and relative strength.

White Oak

White Oak has a finer texture than its cousin, the red oak, and is harvested far less often. Originally used for majestic colonial and British ships and favored by coopers for barrel-making, white oaks are relatively rare today compared to 450 years ago. They picked up popularity as home design material when the Victorians stained and polished it, marketing it as Golden Oak. Its wood errs more on the tan side than white, but its pale color and fine grain make it a beautiful choice for everything from wood onlays to dainty egg and dart molding.

Although we don’t typically have these three options on hand, our experts and artisans at Enkeboll are happy to order one for your special project. Call or email to discuss making your creation out of one of these prized exotic cuts.

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Choosing A Domestic Wood Species For Your Home Design

fluted molding


When people are choosing classic, authentic wood for their home’s new fluted molding, fireplace corbel designs, or custom kitchen cabinets, many Americans are opting for domestic wood options. There are many quality hardwoods to be found in North America, and supporting the domestic companies who grow and harvest that wood is a wonderful thought. To understand the difference between some of these common North American hardwoods, we’re going to briefly talk about the selection that we readily offer here at Enkeboll.


Poplar is great for applying various stains and paint colors over. While fine cuts of poplar can be found, it’s mostly a plain-looking, creamy-colored wood. Poplar is also among the softer hardwood species, so it’s not recommended for heavy-duty projects. It does work beautifully for a nice fluted molding or traditional corbels, which don’t sustain much wear and tear.


Highly durable maple can have beautiful, subtle grains in its typical creamy-white natural color. However, it looks heavenly with darker stains. Many people love to use a deep stain on maple wood to mimic woods like mahogany and cherry. Others like to celebrate this natural American wood by incorporating oak leaf and acorn motifs.

Red Oak

Oaks are a beautiful, plentiful North American wood. In fact, more than 52% of all North America’s hardwood trees are oak species. Oak woods are incredibly sturdy. Red Oak, in particular, is beautiful, having a slight pinkish undertone and more dramatic color variation than its white oak cousin. If you’re going for a particular stain, remember that the undertones of red oak will possibly affect the ultimate color of the stain.


The fine-grained cherry is a favorite to show off on cabinets and furniture. Cherry is usually pictured with a characteristic reddish-brown hue, but it can range to blonde tones as well. The color of the wood can often darken with age, so use caution. Cherry wood molding or trim looks lovely unstained or with a light coat as classic old-world vintage molding.


Much like poplar, alder is a simple, soft hardwood that is suitable for stains or a lovely coat of paint. But don’t totally discount its natural look. Especially in the southwestern U.S., knotty alder is often used for rustic-looking doors and kitchen fixtures.

Remember that with different grains and stains available, you can get pretty much any look you want out of these woods. Ask our experts at Enkeboll to see what we have in stock for you.

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The Craftsman Fine Homes Fine Woodworking

The Craftsman Fine Homes Fine Woodworking has been using Enkeboll woodworking products in their custom projects for a while now. Below you will see some photos of their amazing work in recent projects.

The Craftsman Fine Homes Fine Woodworking can be reached by:
Phone: (214) 384-3826 cell
Phone: (972) 562-6755 cell

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