Magnolia Hardwood


Magnolia wood is a highly sought-after timber, known for its striking colouration and fine grain. The heartwood is typically straw to greenish-beige in colour, with dark purple streaks caused by mineral deposits and light-coloured lines. The sapwood has a yellowish-white hue. Its grain is straight and the texture is uniformly fine, with a satiny gloss. This versatile wood is often used in cabinetmaking, furniture, joinery, and much more. If sourced sustainably and legally, Magnolia wood (also known as Magnolia grandiflora) can be a stunning addition to your next project.

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Also Called:
Evergreen Magnolia, Cucumber Wood, Southern Magnolia, Black Lin, Mountain Magnolia, Bat Tree, Sweet Magnolia, Big Laurel, Bullbay

Durability Notes:
Magnolia wood is non durable. It is perishable and should only be considered for internal use.

The drying and seasoning of Magnolia 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; Magnolia - Air-drying can bring about excessive tangential shrinkage, with a tendency to warp and check. Magnolia responds well to kiln-drying, with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood. There is small 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.

Magnolia is a medium-density wood, with tolerable qualities of stiffness and hardness and good shock resistance. Magnolia has a low bending strength but a good steam-bending rating. The wood works well with both machine and hand tools. Magnolia planes to a smooth surface and turns very well. Magnolia has only a slight blunting effect on tools. Magnolia drills and routs well but sanding, moulding and morticing are not so easy. The wood is excellent for staining, polishing, painting and varnishing.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Boat Construction, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Carving, Sculpting.

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

Commonly asked questions about Magnolia Wood

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

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