What is the difference between Band Sawn and Smooth?

When it comes to choosing the perfect wood finish for architectural wooden lamps, two popular options stand out: Band Sawn and Smooth. Each finish offers a distinct aesthetic and texture, making it essential to understand their differences before making a decision.

Band Sawn Finish:

A Band Sawn finish showcases the unique beauty of wood through its textured appearance. This finish is achieved by cutting the wood using a band saw, which creates visible marks on the surface. The resulting texture adds character and depth to the lamp, emphasizing the natural grain patterns and adding a touch of rustic charm. Band Sawn finishes are perfect for those seeking a more organic and handcrafted look.

Smooth Finish:

In contrast, a Smooth finish offers a sleek and refined appearance. Achieved through meticulous sanding techniques, it results in a flat and even surface that showcases the natural beauty of the wood grain. The Smooth finish provides a clean and contemporary look, lending a sense of sophistication and elegance to architectural wooden lamps.

Consider the overall design theme, intended lighting effect, and personal preference when deciding between Band Sawn and Smooth finishes. Both options offer their unique appeal and can contribute to the overall visual impact of your Idaho Wood lamp or timber product.

What is the difference between Unfinished and Natural Timber Oil finish?

When it comes to choosing the right wood finish for Idaho Wood lamps, two popular options to consider are Unfinished and Natural Timber Oil. Each finish offers distinct characteristics and benefits, making it important to understand their differences before making a decision.


An Unfinished wood finish refers to leaving the wood surface in its natural state without any additional coatings or treatments. This option allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine through, showcasing its unique grain patterns, color variations, and texture. Unfinished wooden lamps provide a raw and authentic look, perfect for those who appreciate the charm of natural, untreated wood. However, it's important to note that unfinished wood may be more susceptible to staining, moisture damage, and fading over time.

Natural Timber Oil:

A Natural Timber Oil finish involves applying a specialized oil-based product designed to enhance and protect the wood's natural beauty. This finish penetrates the wood, enriching its color, highlighting the grain, and providing a protective layer that helps to repel moisture and resist wear. Natural Timber Oil finishes provide a warm and lustrous appearance, offering both aesthetic appeal and durability. The oil finish nourishes the wood, creating a natural sheen while allowing the texture and character of the grain to remain prominent.

It is important to note that without care, your Idaho Wood lamps will still eventually patina and grey over time.

What is the difference between Eased and Drawn Knife edges?

Eased Edges:
Eased edges are characterized by their smooth and slightly rounded profile. This edge style is achieved by carefully sanding and rounding the corners and edges of the wooden light fixture. The result is a softened appearance that offers a more modern and contemporary feel. Eased edges create a clean and sleek look, promoting a sense of refined elegance and sophistication in the architectural lights.

Draw Knife Edges:
In contrast, Draw Knife edges embrace a more rustic and organic appeal. This edge style is achieved by using a draw knife—a traditional woodworking tool—to remove thin, shavings of wood along the edges. The result is a textured and uneven surface that showcases the natural character and craftsmanship of the wood. Draw Knife edges create a sense of handcrafted authenticity and bring a touch of nature's raw beauty to the wooden architectural lights.

Why Are There Cracks in my Timber Porch Posts?

What is checking?

Checking is the separation of grain that occurs in timber as moisture levels change and timber dries.
It looks like cracks and splits in the wood.

Why is my timber cracking and checking?

Cracking and checking is a side effect of timber/wood trying to reach a natural equilibrium with its
environment. It occurs because wood shrinks as it dries.

Have you ever noticed that at certain times of year, the doors in your homes seem to close smoothly
and easily, while in other seasons they swell and are a pain to latch?

That’s the swelling and
shrinking of wood responding to its surrounding atmosphere.
Timber starts drying from the outer layers inward in order to reach a balance with its environs. As the
outer layers dry and shrink, the moist, hard center (or heart of the wood) don’t give them room to
shrink or compress. The cracks and checks are the wood’s way of relieving this pressure. When the
opposite happens, and a wooden structure starts sucking up moisture, it begins to swell.

Wood is like a sponge, it can absorb, retain, and release water. When you use a chisel or similar tool
on a piece of green (raw/wet) wood, sometimes water will spurt out.

When will I notice these cracks and checks in my timber?

It can really happen any time. You may notice some checking almost immediately as the outer layers
begin to dry. Every species dries out at a different rate, but on average, timber air dries at about 1
inch per year. You’ll see cracks and checks appear as this happens. You’ll probably notice this
happening most in the summer, as the heat dries the timber faster.

But seriously, should I be worried about all these cracks in my

Probably not. If anything, checks and cracks actually help improve structural integrity because it
releases the tension and pressure built up by shrinking wood.

However, if a wood beam has split all the way through, you’ll definitely want to investigate further and
test structural integrity.

Timber is supposed to have cracks and checks!

To summarize – checks and cracking are a natural part of timber frame buildings and add character
and uniqueness to your structure. They do not compromise structural integrity. It’s just a natural side
effect of the wood’s inclination to reach equilibrium with its surroundings.