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American Hardwoods

American Ash - (Fraxinus spp)

(Other names: Northern ash, Southern ash)

 American Ash

The sapwood is light coloured to nearly white and the heartwood varies from greyish brown to light brown, to pale yellow streaked with brown. The wood is generally straight grained with a coarse uniform texture. American ash is similar in appearance to European ash.

 

Main Uses

Flooring, architectural, furniture, doors, kitchen cabinets, panelling, tool handles, sports goods and turning.

 

Strengths

A versatile, good-looking wood, offering great value for a wide range of joinery and furniture applications. Ash has very good overall strength properties relative to its weight. It has excellent shock resistance and is good for steam bending.

 

Work Properties

Machines well, is good for nailing, screwing, and gluing, and can be stained and polished to a very good finish. It dries easily with minimal degrade, and good stability means there is little movement in performance.

 

Durability

Non-resistant to heartwood decay. The heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment, and the sapwood is permeable.

 

Other Information

Light brown flecks or mineral streaks, sometimes referred to as glassworm, are common and are treated as a natural characteristic and not considered as defects.

 

 

 

 

American Hard Maple - (Acer saccharum, Acer nigrum)

(Other names: Sugar maple, black maple)

 American Hard Maple

The sapwood is creamy white with a slight reddish-brown tinge and the heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The amount of darker brown heartwood can vary significantly according to growing region. Both sapwood and heartwood can contain pith fleck. The wood has a close fine texture and is generally straight grained, but it can also occur as ‘curly’, ‘fiddleback’, and ‘birdseye’ figure.

 

Main Uses

Flooring, furniture, panelling, kitchen cabinets, worktops and tabletops, interior joinery: stairs, handrails, mouldings, and doors. The hard-wearing properties and tight smooth grain make this species ideal for high traffic flooring applications, such as theatres, concert halls, gymnasiums, and basketball courts. Excellent for sawing, boring, turning, finishing. Good for plaining, drilling, carving, moulding, and gluing.

 

Strengths

The wood is hard and heavy with good strength properties, in particular its high resistance to abrasion and wear. It also has good steam bending properties.

 

Work Properties

Hard maple dries slowly with a large shrinkage, so it can be susceptible to movement in performance. Pre-boring is recommended when nailing and screwing. With care it machines well, turns well, glues satisfactorily, and can be stained and polished to an outstanding finish.

 

Durability

Rated as slightly or non-resistant to heartwood decay. The heartwood is resistant to preservative treatment, but the sapwood is permeable.

 

Other Information

The lighter coloured sapwood tends to darken over time on exposure to UV light.

 

 

 

American Red Oak - (Quercus spp)

(Other names: Northern red oak, Southern red oak)

 American Red Oak

The sapwood of red oak is white to light brown and the heartwood is often a pinkish reddish brown. The wood is similar in general appearance to white oak, but with a slightly less pronounced figure due to the smaller rays and a more porous end grain structure. The wood is mostly straight grained with a coarse texture.

 

Main Uses

Construction, furniture, flooring, architectural interiors, internal joinery, stairs and mouldings, doors, kitchen cabinets, panelling and coffins. Excellent for planning, drilling, moulding, and finishing. Good for sawing, boring, turning, carving, nailing, screwing, and gluing.

 

Strengths

The wood is hard and heavy, with medium bending strength and stiffness and high crushing strength. It is very good for steam bending.

 

Work Properties

Red oak machines well; nailing and screwing is good although pre-boring is recommended, and it can be stained and polished to a very good finish. It performs best when dried slowly, reducing the opportunity for degrade such as splits and warp. It has a high shrinkage and can be susceptible to movement in performance under variable moisture conditions

 

Durability

Rated slightly non-resistant to heartwood decay, moderately easy to treat with preservatives.

 

Other Information

This attractive looking oak is becoming the wood of choice for designers and architects for furniture, joinery, and flooring in export markets around the world. Availability is good due to the large production and a high proportion of long, wide boards with uniform grain can be obtained.

 

 

 

American White Oak - (Quercus spp)

(Other names: Northern white oak, Southern white oak)

 American White Oak

Similar in colour and appearance to European oak. The sapwood of American white oak is light coloured, and the heartwood is light to dark brown. White oak is mostly straight grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays than red oak. White oak, therefore, has more figure.

 

Main Uses

Construction, furniture, flooring, architectural joinery, exterior joinery, mouldings, doors, kitchen cabinets, panelling, railway sleepers, timber bridges, barrel staves and coffins. Excellent for drilling and finishing. Goof for sawing, planning, boring, turning, carving, moulding, nailing, screwing, and gluing.

 

Strengths

A hard and heavy wood with medium bending and crushing strength, low in stiffness, but very good in steam bending.

 

Work Properties

It machines, nails and screws well, although preboring is advised. As it reacts with iron, galvanised or copper nails are recommended. Its adhesive properties are variable, but it stains and polishes to a good finish. The wood dries slowly, and care is needed to avoid checking. Due to its high shrinkage, it can be susceptible to movement in performance under variable moisture conditions

 

Durability

The heartwood is resistant to decay, extremely resistant to preservative treatment, and the sapwood is moderately resistant to treatment. Its natural durability means that white oak heartwood can be used externally without preservative treatment, but localised climate and exposure conditions should be considered.

 

Other Information

White oak tends to be consistent in colour throughout its wide Northern to Southern range. It compliments European oak, and its colour consistency makes it one of the first choices for many furniture, flooring and joinery manufacturers.

 

 

American Tulipwood - (Liriodendron tulipifera)

(Other names: Yellow poplar, tulip poplar)

 American Tulipwood

The sapwood is creamy white and may be streaked, with the heartwood varying from pale yellowish brown to olive green. The green colour in the heartwood will tend to darken on exposure to UV light and turn brown. The wood has a medium to fine texture and is straight grained.

 

Main Uses

Construction, furniture, interior joinery, kitchen cabinets, doors, panelling, mouldings, edged-glued panels, plywood (USA), turning and carving. Excellent for planning, moulding and finishing. Good sawing, drilling, boring, turning, carving, nailing, screwing and gluing.

 

Strengths

A medium density wood with low bending, shock resistance, stiffness and compression values, with a medium steam bending classification. Tulipwood is very strong for its weight and is ideal for laminated beams and structures.

 

Work Properties

A versatile timber that is easy to machine, plane, turn, glue and bore. It dries easily with minimal degrade. It has very good dimensional stability and has little tendency to split when nailed. It takes and holds paint, enamel and stain exceptionally well.

 

Durability

Non-resistant to decay. Heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment, sapwood is permeable. The absorptive properties of tulipwood mean that it is potentially ideal for preservative treatment.

 

Other Information

Cost effective and versatile with designers and architects uising it as their wood of choice due to its natural colour variegation. Burls and swirls in the grain are a common occurrence and are not considered defects. A heavy purplish-blue mineral colour is limited in the upper lumber grades and unlimited in the Common lumber grades. Because the Common grades are generally stained or painted in finishing, a grey colour is allowed in the wood after surfacing.

 

 

American Black Walnut - (Juglans nigra)

(Other names: Black walnut, American walnut)

 American Black Walnut

The sapwood of walnut is creamy white, while the heartwood is a light brown to dark chocolate brown, occasionally with a purplish cast and darker streaks. The wood is generally straight grained, but sometimes with wavy or curly grain that produces an attractive and decorative figure. The dark heartwood will lighten in colour as it ages overtime with exposure to UV light.

 

Main Uses

The sapwood of walnut is creamy white, while the heartwood is a light brown to dark chocolate brown, occasionally with a purplish cast and darker streaks. The wood is generally straight grained, but sometimes with wavy or curly grain that produces an attractive and decorative figure. The dark heartwood will lighten in colour as it ages overtime with exposure to UV light.

 

Strengths

Walnut is a tough, hard timber of medium density, with moderate bending and crushing strengths and low stiffness. It has a good steam bending classification.

 

Work Properties

Works easily with hand and machine tools, and nails, screws and glues well. It holds paints and stains very well and can be polished to an exceptional finish. It performs best when dried slowly, reducing the opportunity for degrade. Walnut has good dimensional stability.

 

Durability

Rated as very resistant to heartwood decay, it is one of the most durable woods even under conditions favourable to decay.

 

Other Information

When steamed, the sapwood, which is not considered a defect, will turn a darker colour to assist blending in the finishing process and is admitted without limit. Discuss with your supplier for more information. Main Uses A favoured wood for using in contrast with lighter coloured.

Contact Information

If you have questions about any of our American Hardwoods please call us on 01785 284718 or email sales@shelmoretimber.co.uk

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