We thought we would take some time today to discuss the benefits of oak in the construction of church pews. At Born Again Pews, everything we make is constructed of solid oak. We truly believe in quality, and quality starts with your materials. By building our products out of this beautiful hardwood, we are able to give you pews that can be passed down for generations.
One of our favorite varieties for making church furniture is white oak, which is actually 16 different varieties lumped into one category. This wood is truly a remarkable specimen of nature. It can be found across the continental United States from Northern Minnesota all the way down to Florida. It is a hardwood tree that can far outlast us with some oak trees living up to 450 years, according to scientific findings.
When fully grown, these majestic trees can reach up to 100feet tall, with their large branches spreading out into a beautiful canopy. Although it has been named the white oak, it is very rare to find one with truly white bark. Instead, many of them have a thick bark that is a light grey color.
In the northern hemisphere, there are over 600 varieties of oak to choose from, each being more intricate and beautiful than the last.
One of oak’s greatest advantages for us and your church pews is its durability. Oak wood is exceedingly strong with a fantastically dense make up that allows it to be resistant to many unwanted fungal and insect attacks. This desirable trait comes at a price, however, and like many great things in this world, that price is time. Oak trees can take up to 150 years to fully mature. Chances are, when you sit in your new or used pews, you may be sitting on a piece of wood that is older than you.
Some of the earliest known uses for oak wood was in the construction of ships. In the 9th and 10th century, Vikings would use axes to hue long strips of wood to use as planking. Oak spent much of its historical life as a workhorse. The great European explorersmapped the world on ships made of oak. Later, colonists shipped their goods across great oceans in similar ships, often storing said goods in oak barrels.
White oak has contributed to some amazing creations. The USS Constitution, a frigate named by George Washington himself, was made entirely of white oak. In the war of 1812, she defeated five British war ships,giving her the nickname “Old Iron Sides” because the cannons of the enemy’s war ships seemed to have no effect on her hull.
But it was not long before this wood began to become prized for its beautiful color, grain, and resilience. In the middle ages,craftsman would fashion beautiful furniture from it for the rich and privileged. Some of these pieces can still be seen in museum collections today.
Another famous use is in the construction of barrels for the aging of spirits. While spirits age, the flavors in the wood become absorbed into the drink over time,producing a rich, smooth tone that cannot be replicated with any other wood.
Mature oak trees repopulate by dropping vast quantities of seeds to the ground. I’m sure you’ve heard of them as acorns. These small round nuts are vital in many small ecosystems and are directly responsible for the health of small rodent populations like squirrels. A mature oak tree will shed thousands of acorns with a very small margin of success. It is estimated that one in 10,000 acorns will sprout a new tree.
But the reason we love oak is because it is just such a wonderful medium from which we are able to create beautiful, sturdy church pews. Having the opportunity to make church furniture for your place of worship out of this incredible material is a true privilege. Its durability and lasting beauty make it a true gift that will allow your pews to become a fixture of your church that will last for generations.