Sycamore European (Acer, pseudoplatanus)
Trade Names: Sycamore, European Sycamore, English Harewood
Origin: Central Europe, Atlantic coast to the Ukraine.
Range: Frequently found in Central Europe. Most interesting growing area for the veneer industry is Western Europe. The special figured Sycamore is to be found in Great Britain to the greatest extent.
Uses: High quality veneer for architectural and furniture purposes. Generally used for all wood products where particular importance is attached to the white color. Very popular for solid tables in pubs, also used for sports equipment and tool handles. When figured it is in high demand worldwide for architectural projects.
Properties: The wood is almost white. The veneer must be dried soon after slicing otherwise it will turn yellow under the influence of light and air. Heart discoloration is possible but since the logs normally have large diameters this is not such a problem. Worse is the tendency of the annual rings to develop green stripe in certain growing areas. Black pin knots occur frequently; these are so hard they can damage the knife causing scratches. This is why such pin knots are drilled out during veneer production.
Machining: The wood can be machined well and easily with all tools although higher power is required due to its hardness. Planed surfaces are very smooth.
Seasoning: Extra care must be taken during drying since the wood tends to check and warp very easily. Color changes can occur if dried improperly.