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Wonders of Wood: How We Use Different Types Of Wood

Seeing our company name, most immediately think of maple syrup - and that's okay because our name is an homage to the Rainville/Brown family history of making syrup. Maple is still relevant to us, though, as many of our first products were made from hard maple, and, still today, hard maple is found throughout the line. It's not exclusive, though - we work with many types of wood, each with its own unique properties. Below are a few examples and their uses:


With toys being the core of our business, maple is incredibly strong and can stand up to many hours of play and use. Once sanded smooth, there is minimal risk of splintering which is why we make products for the youngest children out of maple. It also has a smooth grain pattern and finishes well.

Examples: Printed Wind Spinners, Building Blocks, Shape Stackers, Teethers

Smoky Maple

A variant on standard maple, Smoky Maple (sometimes called Dark Maple) is kiln-dried at a hotter temperature, removing additional moisture from the wood. During the process, the color darkens naturally to give it hue that is commonly compared to walnut.

Examples: Smoky Maple Cutting Board, Deluxe Mancala Board


Most only know pine wood in the form of building materials (structural elements, flooring, etc.) but it is also a great option for finished products, too. As a local softwood, pine provides a woodsy aesthetic, is easily workable, and is plentiful in our region.

Examples: Scoots, Natural Wind Spinner, Chatterblocks, Rocker-Feller Rocking Horse


As it darkens over time with exposure to light, cherry takes on a rich red-brown that is highly-desirable. Similar to maple, it is considered a workable hardwood, often with a smooth, clear grain pattern.

Examples: Cherry Woodgrain Puzzle, Cheri Rattles, Stacking Dudes

Red Oak 

If you’re looking for a more pronounced grain pattern, oak is the wood for you. The lines in the wood stand out more than a muted pattern like maple often is. Like cherry, oak will darken slightly over time with exposure to light.

Examples: Tap Handles (select varieties), Chinese Checkers (select varieties)

Birch Plywood 

This is not your rough construction-grade plywood - it is smooth, layered birch hardwood that possesses unique strength due to its alternating grain direction. This results in greater strength with thinner material.

Examples: Lift & Learn Puzzles, Mountain Spirals, Checkerboards

Recycled (a.k.a. Upcycled or Reclaimed) Material

Recycled material is upcycled from shipping material (Pallets, Cants, Bunks) The nails and broken pieces are removed so only usable wood is left. This material contains many different wood species giving it a unique look for every product made.

Examples: Pallet Signs, Joyals