Sen (Acanthopanax, ricinifolius)
Trade Names: Japanese Ash, Sen
Range: Japan, Korea and into Russia. Best known growing area for high quality veneer logs is Hokkaido in northern Japan.
Uses: Used exclusively as veneer for bedroom furniture and decorative panels. Sen is seldom used for decorative interiors. In Japan, however, Sen is considered to be an all round wood species and is used for almost all purposes.
Properties: The wood is uniformly whitish to yellowish-brown in color. When freshly cut the wood has an acrid, unpleasant odor. Due to fluting Sen veneer tends to buckle and to require pressing. Moreover, dark patches are often found scattered over the surface.
Machining: This moderately hard wood can be machined cleanly and easily by all woodworking methods. Very smooth surfaces are obtained due to the straight grain.
Seasoning: Sen can be dried comparatively quickly but shrinks strongly in the upper humidity range. Therefore, a slow drying schedule is necessary to minimize inner tension.