Steamed Beech Hardwood

Steamed Beech

Steamed European Beech is a hardwood species with a straight grain and fine, even texture. It is characterized by a subtle grain pattern, with occasional dark red heartwood or darker veining, and short flecks that are unique to Beech. The colour of the wood ranges from whitish to pale brown and may darken to a pale pinkish-brown when steamed. Quarter sawn, it may display an attractive broad ray figure on radial surfaces. Beech is a light coloured wood that is commonly used for door beads, skirtings, door veneers, furniture, cabinet work, and office building reception desks. It is a versatile wood that can be used for a variety of applications.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
English Beech, French Beech, Danish Beech, Romanian Beech.

Durability Notes:
Beech is non-durable and can be vulnerable to the common furniture beetle and the death-watch beetle plus Longhorn beetle can attack the sapwood.

The drying and seasoning of Steamed Beech 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; Steamed Beech - It dries fairly quickly, but can warp, check, split and shrink. Care is needed in both air and kiln-drying. 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.

Beech is very suitable for steam-bending and is often used for this. It has medium stiffness and high crushing strength. Beech has a tolerable blunting of cutters and tools. For nailing and screwing pre-drilling is necessary. Beech glues easily, stains and dyes well and takes an excellent finish. It is a very good wood for turning.

Typical Uses:
Solid and laminated furniture such as decks, benches and chairs (including bentwood furniture), quality joinery, kitchenware, tools, tool handles and workbenches, turnery, musical instruments, toys, bobbins, domestic flooring, decorative veneers and plywood.

Moisture Content:
12-18% KD

Wood Worker's Thoughts:
Nice to work with and finishes well. Grain tight and consistent although can be seen as uninteresting - arguably more attractive than it's un-steamed cousin. Overall a very good light coloured hardwood (with a 'pinkish tint compared to un-steamed beech').

Commonly asked questions about Steamed Beech Wood

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

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