Beech (Fagus, sylvatica)
Trade Names: Beech
Origin: Europe/North America
Range: Distributed all over Europe and in the northern part of North America. One of the most frequent and important European species, rather sparse in North America.
Uses: One of the most widely used woods in Europe for veneer, furniture, parquet flooring, and chip board. Excellently suited for steam bending (seating furniture). Beech is also well suited for work benches and construction timber. Compared with other European species Beech is large in dimension (often 60 cm and more in diameter). In the veneer form it is produced as steamed, slightly steamed, or white Beech. In the middle of the nineties beech became a remarkably fashionable wood in the veneer and solid wood sectors. Lesser known in the US, used primarily for lumber and steam bending.
Properties: Reddish-white to reddish-brown, often with a brown heartwood when older. In some regions the Beech tends to have great tension and buckles as a result of irregular annual ring formation. Dark stains and mineral streaks occur frequently and reduce the value of the wood.
Machining: Working of Beech presents no difficulties either by machine or hand. It can be easily planed, turned and molded.
Seasoning: The strong tendency to check and warp can only be counter-acted by slow and careful drying. Steamed wood dries slightly faster.