Spruce Softwood


Spruce wood is a species of coniferous tree, scientifically known as Picea abies, and commonly referred to as Spruce. It is widely distributed across the northern hemisphere, and is a popular choice of timber for a variety of uses. The wood is characterised by a pale yellow-brown hue, with hardly any separation between sapwood and heartwood. The grain is typically straight, with a fine texture and a natural gloss. Quarter sawn surfaces may also display an attractive ripple figure known as 'flower grain' or Haselfichte. The contrasting colours of the lighter early wood and darker latewood makes the growth rings clearly visible.

Spruce is a highly versatile timber, used in joinery, carpentry, construction and much more. It is a sustainable and legal source of timber, and is widely available from suppliers.

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Also Called:
Baltic Whitewood, Norway Spruce, Common Spruce, Fir, Baltic White Pine, Whitewood, White Deal Swiss Pine, Epicea (French), Fichte (German), Russian Spruce Etc, Also According To Origin: Norway Spruce

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

The drying and seasoning of Spruce 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; Spruce - dries quickly and well, but care must be taken to minimize impact on the grade and quality of the wood. Spruce can be prone to check and split, know may loosen and split and spiral grained timber sections may distort. Movement in use is medium. 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.

Spruce has low resistance to shock loads and low stiffness, medium crushing and bending strength but very poor steam-bending properties. Spruce works easily and well with both machine and hand tools and has only a slight blunting effect but hard knots can damage cutters. Spruce planes, turns, saws, drills, moulds, glues, sands, nails, screws, varnishes, paints and stains well. - a good performer all round.

Typical Uses:
Construction lumber, Decking, Furniture, Flooring, Musical instruments, Paper production.

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

Commonly asked questions about Spruce Wood

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

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 Spruce 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 Spruce? Spruce can be described as light brown, white/cream (vert light brown), yellow/brown

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