Boxwood (European) Hardwood

Boxwood (European)

European Boxwood, also known by its botanical name Buxus sempervirens, is a hardwood species with a warm yellow hue, ranging from butter to lemon in colour. The grain is usually straight, but can occasionally be irregular, and the texture is fine and uniform. Small, tight knots are also common. European Boxwood is a very versatile timber suited to a variety of uses, such as carving, turnery, tools and more. If currently available from sustainable and legal sources, it can be used to create a wide range of products.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Box, Buchs, Buis, Buchsbaum, Gewone Palm

Durability Notes:
Boxwood (European) wood has some durability but is considered non durable and not suited for exterior applications

The drying and seasoning of Boxwood (European) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Boxwood (European) - needs very slow seasoning under cover to prevent end splitting, which can be severe if it is dried in the round without end coating. Boxwood is very stable in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Boxwood is a hard, dense and heavy wood. It has good crushing strength, high stiffness and good steam-bending qualities. Boxwood has a tolerable blunting effect on cutters and is rather challenging to plane. Boxwood turns well. Pre-drilling is required for nailing and screwing and it glues adequately. Boxwood stains, oils and polishes well and can be detailed well when carved or turned.

Typical Uses:
carving, inlay, turnery, decorative boxes, veneers, small decorative items, musical instruments, chess pieces.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about European Boxwood

Is Boxwood a hardwood or a softwood? Boxwood is a hardwood. It is the same for; is European Boxwood hardwood or softwood? - European Boxwood is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Boxwood family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is European Boxwood? European Boxwood can be described as brown, light brown, yellow/brown

Is European Boxwood good for outdoor use? or is European Boxwood good for exterior use? European Boxwood is most suited for internal/interior use. European Boxwood should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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