Chestnut (Sweet) Hardwood

Chestnut (Sweet)

Sweet Chestnut is a beautiful and unique hardwood, with a distinct yellowish-brown heartwood and a pale sapwood. The grain is usually straight, but can also be found in a spiral pattern, and the texture is coarse. Shakes are common in older trees, making it an ideal choice for furniture, joinery, mouldings and more. Sweet Chestnut is a versatile wood species, with a high density and strength, making it a great choice for many applications. Its botanical name is Castanea sativa (Fagaceae).

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Also Called:
European Chestnut, Chataignier (French), Spanish Chestnut, Edelkastanie, Tamme Kastanje (Dutch), Esskastanie (German)

Durability Notes:
Sweet Chustnut is durable but the sapwood is vulnerable to attack from the common furniture beetle and powder-post beetle. The heartwood is durable and very resistant to preservative treatment. Can be used for decking.

The drying and seasoning of Chestnut (Sweet) 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 (Sweet) - dries slowly and can impact on the grade and quality of the wood severely, with collapse, honeycombing and moisture pockets. 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.

Sweet Chestnut has medium crushing strength, very low stiffness and resistance to shock loads and good steam-bending properties. It works well with both hand and machine tools and has only a slight dulling effect on cutting edges. Sweet chestnut takes screws, nails, glues and stains well. The wood can be polished, oiled or varnished to an great finish.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Flooring, Decking, Interior Trim, Outdoor Structures, Musical Instruments, Tool Handles, Carving, Firewood.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 12-18% for KD

Possible Health Risks:
Dermatitis, possibly caused by bark lichens

Commonly asked questions about Sweet Chestnut Wood

Is Chestnut a hardwood or a softwood? Chestnut is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Sweet Chestnut hardwood or softwood? - Sweet 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 Sweet Chestnut? Sweet Chestnut can be described as brown, dark brown, dark red, red

Is Sweet Chestnut good for outdoor use? or is Sweet Chestnut good for exterior use? Sweet Chestnut is most suited for exterior/external use. Sweet Chestnut can 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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