The biggest variance among different types of wood are the veins within it. Cherry, alder, walnut, and maple all have fairly little veins of grain in them, while oak has medium to large veins in it.
For example, if a large box is engraved into a piece of cherry and a piece of oak, the box engraved into the cherry would have a uniform appearance, whereas the area engraved, or the background, would be smooth with little variation in vein height. The oak, on the other hand, would vary greatly in height and have a non-uniform appearance.
—Amy Dallman, Epilog