Chestnut (Horse) Hardwood

Chestnut (Horse)

Horse Chestnut (Aescelus hippocastanum) is a versatile timber that can be used for furniture, joinery, cabinetmaking and more. The heartwood of Horse Chestnut is typically creamy-white or yellowish, though it can range from yellow to light brown depending on when the tree is felled. The grain of Horse Chestnut can be cross-, spiral-, or wavy-grained, and the tiered rays often produce a ripple or mottle figure on the wood's longitudinal surfaces. It has a fine, close, uniform texture. If harvested from sustainable and legal sources, Horse Chestnut is a great choice for any woodworking project.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
European Horse Chestnut, Conker Tree

Durability Notes:
Horse chestnut is non durable and has little or no resistance to decay fungi, the sapwood being vulnerable to the common furniture beetle.

The drying and seasoning of Chestnut (Horse) 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; Chestnut (Horse) - dries quickly and easily with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood, but can be liable to distortion and end-splits. Movement in service is small. 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.

Horse chestnut has very low stiffness and low bending strength. Crushing strength is medium. Chestnut works easily with both machine and hand tools. Chestnut glues, screws and nails without difficulty. It planes, sands, stains and polishes adequately.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinets, Flooring, Mouldings, Joinery, Turnery, Musical Instruments.

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

Commonly asked questions about Horse Chestnut Wood

Is Chestnut a hardwood or a softwood? Chestnut is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Horse Chestnut hardwood or softwood? - Horse Chestnut 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 Chestnut 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 Horse Chestnut? Horse Chestnut can be described as brown, light brown, yellow/brown

Is Horse Chestnut good for outdoor use? or is Horse Chestnut good for exterior use? Horse Chestnut is most suited for internal/interior use. Horse Chestnut 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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