European Beech is a deciduous shade tree from Europe. The heartwood and sapwood are cream to pale pink in colour with a straight grain and fine, even texture. It is common practice to steam the timber, which turns it to a darker pink-red colour. Grain is straight, with fine to medium uniform texture and moderate natural luster. It has no characteristic odour. Slicing the veneer usually requires the wood to be prepared with steam, which gives the wood a more golden tone. Flatsawn surfaces tend to be very plain, while quarter-sawn surfaces exhibit a silvery fleck pattern.
The fruit is known as beechnut or mast. Each one consists of traingular nuts surrounded by a spiky cover. It is favoured by many kinds of wildlife and is also edible for humans, though you may find that they taste quite tart due to tannin levels.
Allergies/ Toxicity: although severe reactions are quite common, European Beech has been reported as been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation.
Common Uses: Furniture, Cabinet making, Staircase construction, Mouldings, Flooring, Chairs, Decorative veneer, Desks, Baseboards, Joinery, Musical instruments, Plywood, Tool handles, Toys, Rotary Veneer, Workbenches, Upholstery frames.
Beech is used extensively for any kind of interior application. It dresses very smooth, sands to a
high polish and takes particularly any type of finish well. Beech is a hard, strong and heavy close-grained hardwood. Its fine texture makes it an ideal wood for domestic flooring. Beech is especially wear resistant, making it appropriate for heavy-duty economical flooring and staircase construction as well. Its excellent shaping and turning properties make it an excellent wood for brushes and handles, stair balusters and railings and other turned and shaped woodenware.
Beech is a good toy wood because of its non-toxic qualities and its lack of any tendency to splinter on corners of square toys. Its unique spine, a combination of strength, stiffness and hardness adapts to the manufacture of slim, delicate turnings with high-strength requirements, such as veneers, chairs, upholstery frames and dowels.
Beech is not difficult to machine although it is very strong and hard and quite heavy. It is one of the few hardwoods that is available in good quantity, and up to now, has suffered more from lack of knowledge of its excellent physical properties and possible uses than from any deficiency. It has long been forced to masquerade in various wood product assemblies under the identity of other hardwoods due to lack of knowledge of Beech as an all-purpose hardwood. It is considered to be among the best known and most useful commercial timber in the world, and is always in demand. European beech is available in various lengths, wide boards and in the form
of veneers. European Beech is moderately priced.
Beech offers medium resistance to hand and power
tools and has a moderate blunting effect. Pre-boring is
necessary for nailing, it glues easily, stains well and takes
an excellent finish.
The steam bending properties are extremely good, even
tolerant of knots and irregular grain. It has medium
stiffness, high crushing strength and medium resistance
to shock loads.
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