Sycamore Hardwood


Sycamore, also known by its botanical name Platanus x acerifolia, is a light red-brown wood with a fine to medium texture. It is typically straight-grained and features many and very clear rays, which give it a separable and attractive fleck figuring, known as lacewood. This effect is only seen in quarter sawn wood. Sycamore is a versatile timber and can be used for a variety of applications, including furniture and joinery, cabinetmaking and more. It is a sustainable and legal source, making it a great choice for eco-friendly projects.

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Also Called:
London Plane, Buttonwood, Platane, Sycamore

Durability Notes:
Sycamore is non durable. The heartwood has little resistance to decay, and the sapwood is vulnerable to the common furniture beetle. Sycamore will accept preservative treatment.

The drying and seasoning of Sycamore 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; Sycamore - dries fairly quickly, but care is needed to prevent impact on the grade and quality of the wood, as the wood has a tendency to split and distort. 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.

Sycamore has low stiffness, a medium rating in all other strength categories and a very good steam-bending classification. It works well with both machine and hand tools and has tolerable blunting effect on cutters. It is an excellent turnery wood and screws, nails, glues and stains well. Drilling and morticing qualities are satisfactory. Sycamore can be brought to an excellent polished finish.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Veneers, Decorative Panels, Cutting Boards.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 12-18% for KD

Commonly asked questions about Sycamore Wood

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

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