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Help please---wormy quartersawn white oak cabinets?

Posted by melissastar (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 23, 10 at 10:16

Looking for help/feedback asap, please. My cabinet maker says he has found some nice highly reflective quartersawn white oak for the mission style cabinets in the kitchen being remodeled (arts and crafts style). But, he says, it's wormy oak, rather than clear. He wants to know if that's OK and I don't have a clue. I've looked at some pictures and I see the difference, I just don't know enough and haven't seen enough woodwork to know if it will look odd or appropriate in the kitchen. I'm going for an old, been there forever, but really well-kept, addition to the cabinets, we're talking soapstone sink, stone floor arts and craft style tile backsplash. And the house itself is a 1907 Victorian/Arts and Crafts rowhouse.

Any and all thoughts welcome. Am cross posting this to the Kitchen forum too.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help please---wormy quartersawn white oak cabinets?

Provided the infestation is not active, a few worm holes in the cabinets looks pretty cool. But too many doesn't. Also, the larve create galleries underneath the surface of the wood, not visible, that can effect the stability of the cabinets. Tell your guy you want to look at the cabinets. If they acheive the look you want, and are stable, then I think they would be attractive. Is your guy going to put the old face frames over new carcases, or is he going to install the old cabinets intact? Then again, you can acheive the same look by punching holes in new wood, provided he is a good finish man.

RE: Help please---wormy quartersawn white oak cabinets?

Unless it's uniformly quite wormy, a scattering of wormholes and the attendant punkiness that accompanies such damage is going to look like some poor choices in the material selection, grain/color-matching process. It could easily look accidental and not intentional.
If the worminess is evenly distributed throughout the entire project, it would be fine.

RE: Help please---wormy quartersawn white oak cabinets?

If the wood has been kiln dried, residual bugs will not be an issue.

Wormy oak (red or white) is often just a shotgun splattering of BB sized holes and usually is not uniform throughout the lot of #1 common or #2 common wood, unless it is specifically graded wormy.

Worm holes and knots and mineral stains in wood are typically associated with a casual or country look, as opposed to more formal looking and uniform clear wood.

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