Lime, European Hardwood

Lime, European

European Lime, also known by its botanical name Tilia vulgaris and related species (Tiliaceae), is a versatile timber with a range of uses. It is initially pale yellow or uniform white, and ages to pale brown after extended exposure. The grain is commonly straight and has a fine and uniform texture, generally with little or no figure. The sapwood is not distinct from the heartwood. European Lime is ideal for carving, turnery, musical instruments and much more. It is a sustainable and legal source of timber, making it an excellent choice for projects both large and small.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Linden, Linde, Tilleul

Durability Notes:
European Lime is non durable and should be used for internal applications.

The drying and seasoning of Lime, 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; Lime, European - The wood dries at a pretty rapid rate and in prone to distortion. Slow kilning is advised to minimize impact on the grade and quality of the wood. There is medium movement 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.

European lime is rated as medium in bending and crushing strength and low in resistance to shock loads and in stiffness. It is dense and resistant to splitting. Lime works nicely with both hand and machine tools. It is, however, inclined to be woolly in its finish, so sharp, thin-edged tools are advised. It has only a slight blunting effect on cutters. The wood turns, drills, glues and stains well. It is rated satisfactory for polishing and generally finishing. Lime carves very well, as it resists splitting in any cutting plane.

Typical Uses:
furniture, flooring, interior joinery, musical instruments, carving, veneers, turned objects.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 12-18% for KD

Commonly asked questions about European Lime Wood

Is Lime a hardwood or a softwood? Lime is a hardwood. It is the same for; is European Lime hardwood or softwood? - European Lime 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 Lime 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 Lime? European Lime can be described as light brown, white/cream (very light brown), yellow/brown

Is European Lime good for outdoor use? or is European Lime good for exterior use? European Lime is most suited for internal/interior use. European Lime 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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