HIGHEST RATED

MOST REFFERED

FLOORING SPECIALISTS.


arvadafloor.com

KITCHEN

Design & Build

Discover More

BATHROOM

Design & Build

Discover More

CARPET

100s of Styles

Discover More

HARDWOOD FLOOR

Refinish | Laminate | New

Discover More
parallax layer
Glossary of North American Hardwoods:

ALDER

Natural color-Pale, pinkish brown to almost white, little difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Grain-Straight or mildly wavy.

Grain figure-Plain or mildly figured.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close-textured.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.41

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.] – 28 lb.

Hardness-Moderately hard.

Strength-Medium.

Stability-Good.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shock resistance-Good.

Bending-Poor to fair.

Nailing and screwdriving-Fair to good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to Good

Gluing-Good.

Sanding-Fair. (3/0 coarsest grit used without scratching, 4/0 gives best results)

Sawing-Good (Seldom requires special setting or saw conditioning)

Shrinkage-Medium.

Stiffness-Moderate.

Machinability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good

Planing, joining and moulding-Good (10 to 25 degree cutting angles best, finishing to 13 knife cuts per inch).

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Good. (Brad point bits with strong stubby cutting lips best).

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Fair.

Paintholding-Excellent.

Staining-Takes stain well, wiping, NGR and water stains used.

Filling-Seldom filled.

Sealing-Takes any sealer or primer coat.

Bleaching-Good, for light finishes.

Finishing: Good. (Takes and holds all kinds of paints, enamels, shellac, varnishes, lacquers and synthetic top coats well).

Natural finish-Good.

Remarks:

Red Alder is the leading hardwood of the Pacific Northwest and grows along the coast from Sitka, Alaska to Santa Barbara, California but reaches its best growth in Oregon and Washington. Although it seldom grows more than 70 to 80 miles inland, some Red Alder is found along the streams in Idaho. Its stand has been estimated at about 2,640,000,000 board feet and the annual cut average about 23,000,000 board feet.

There are few native hardwoods on the Pacific Coast and Red Alder’s importance ran be appreciated by the fact that Oregon and Washington chair and furniture plants use more Red Alder than all other woods combined. It seasons easily with either air or kiln drying methods. Although green lumber has a tendency to turn reddish brown when exposed to air for prolonged periods, this is just a surface discoloration which is easily dressed off in planing. On plain sawn lumber annual rings provide an obscure pattern, but otherwise the wood contains no decided ornamental figure.

The heartwood and sapwood of Red Alder are usually about the same color, ranging from pale pinkish brown to almost white. Its pores are small, uniform in size and uniformly distributed. in hardness and strength Red Alder ranks between Red Gum and Poplar. The wood is compact, with rather fine, even grain, not very hard and of medium weight and strength. It is moderately stiff and shrinks very little. Red Alder is not durable in contact with the soil or exposed to the weather, but takes all finishing materials well and glues very well.

Red Alder has little use as a veneer but is very extensively used as corestock for plywood and is sometimes used in 37 ply panels for drawer stock. It’s excellent stability also makes it very popular for glued-up tops for tables and case goods. Since it seasons easily, turns and carves well, holds its shape and finishes readily to imitate finer cabinet woods, Red Alder is also very poplar for exposed parts of upholstery and other furniture items. These same properties also suit it admirably as a chair stock material and its stiffness is adequate for most chair applications.

Red Alder generally finishes very well in novelty finishes as well as the standard Mahogany, Maple and Walnut finishes. It does sometime vary in color and texture and the slash grain hardness of Red Alder usually provides any staining operation with a highlighting effect which is used to good advantage by many furniture plants. Where highlighting is preferred and uniformity of color is not required, water stains and NGR stains are generally used.

Where a uniform color effect is required, pigment wiping stains are commonly used to uniform and enhance the wood grain. Sometimes a shading stain is used to even up the tone. When water stains or NGR stains are used, the uneven color and texture is also overcome by the use of a lacquer shading operation between the sealer and top coats.

Red Alder is also used to make a wide variety of novelties, such as floor lamps, hat racks, pedestals, mirror and picture frames, stands and stools. Some store fixture plants use this wood for wall cases rack and shelves, and much is used to make paper plugs which are turned and driven into the ends of paper rolls.

Other products produced from Red Alder include: beehives, buckets, bookends, dairy supplies, egg cases, pulleys, rollers, salad sets, toys wooden shoes and wooden soles for shower sandals and sport shoes. It is also much used for fuel and fireplace wood.


ASH

Natural color-White to brown.

Grain-Plain or fiddle back.

Texture-Ring porous, coarse textured.

Color variation-Medium to extreme color difference.

Specific gravity [at 12% moisture content]-0.58.

Weight, per cubic foot [at 12% moisture content]-41 lbs.

Hardness-Hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Good.

Stability-High.

Shock resistance-High.

Decay resistance-Low.

Bending-Good.

Nailing and Screwdriving-Tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair.

Gluing-Fair to good.

Thermal Conductivity, per hour and square foot-1.05 B.T.U. (measured at 12% moisture content and weight 40 lbs. per cu. ft.) (at mean temperature of 75-degs. F., temperature gradient 1-deg. F.) (per inch of thickness.)

Electrical resistance, at 80G-degs. F. and m.c. 12%-55 megohms.

Sanding-Fair. (2/0 grit is coarsest can be used to polish without scratching.)

Workability with hand tools-Poor.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good. (Requires good setswaged saws best.)

Planing, molding and jointing-Good. (Cutting angle-15 to 30 degs., finish 11 to 15 knife cuts per in.)

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Fair.

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Excellent.

Staining-Good. (Takes any type stain.)

Filling-Good. (Filler is usually brown for standard finishes), (white for contrasting novelty finishes).

Bleaching-Good. (Not too commonly used.)

Sealing-Good. (Takes any sealer or priming coat.)

Finishing-Good. (Takes all finishing materials well-lacquer, varnish, or synthetics.)

Natural finish-Excellent. (Popular treatment for wall paneling), (lightly sandblast to simulate weathering and) (finish natural.)

Remarks:

Ash has properties particularly suitable for furniture; possesses sufficient strength and hardness, but is not too hard to work satisfactorily; holds its shape well, and exhibits a good figure when plain-sawed. It takes an excellent finish and Ash veneer is pleasing and attractive. An ideal handle wood, it is extensively used for tools, agriculture equipment, and sporting goods. It provides a strong stiff material for refrigerators and other implements and containers where it is necessary the wood imparts no odors to food products. Ash is also idea for bent work, upholstery and construction frames, vehicle parts, and aircraft parts, such as propellers, longerons, and bearing blocks.


ASPEN

Natural color-sapwood-whitish to very light gray, heartwood-pale grayish brown or grayish white.

Grain-Straight and mild.

Texture-Diffuse-porous, close textured.

Color variation-Very little.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.38
Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-26 lbs..

Hardness-Soft.

Stiffness-Good.

Strength-Moderate.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Good.

Decay resistance-Poor.

Shock resistance-Moderate.

Bending-Poor.

Nailing and screwdriving-Little tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Good.

Sanding-Fair, inclined to fuzziness. (Will polish with 3/0 without scratching, 4/0 gives best results)

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Fair to good, inclined to fuzz.

Planing, moulding and jointing-Fair to good, inclined to fizz when dressing. (Best cutting angles-15 to 20 degrees, finish-10 to l6 knife cuts per inch, back bevel required for best results).

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips best).

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good. (Takes practically any stain but most used in colored finishes).

Sealing-Good. (Takes any sealer or primer coat).

Filling-Seldom required as wood is very close-textured.

Bleaching-Not required.

Natural finish-Seldom used as wood has little character.

General finishing-Good, provides excellent paint or enamel base.

Remarks:

Aspen is a true Poplar of the Willow family, one of the 11 members of Poplar or Cottonwood group found in the United States. It is generally found in two species: the Big-Tooth Aspen, also known as Large-Tooth Poplar, and Quaking Aspen, also called Popple, and Trembling Poplar. It was long regarded as merely a weed tree and has not been economically important to the woodworking industry until the last few years.

Aspen’s growth is widely scattered over a wide range from the Arctic Circle to lower California and northern Mexico across the northern plains through the Lake States to New England and along the Appalachian Mountains as far south as Kentucky and Tennessee. Aspen enjoys its widest usage in the Lake States where the stand of marketable timber has been estimated at about 6,500,000,000 board feet but only about 40% of the annual growth is currently being harvested.

Reports of a single year’s cut throughout the country shows an annual cut of 153,720,000 board feet, with the Lake States producing about 152,000,000 board feet of the total cut. The lumber usage reports shows about 75% being used for shipping containers, 14% for building purposes, 8% for plywood core stock, 1.5% for furniture and 1.5% for novelties, Venetian blinds, wooden-ware, etc., but this did not include pulp logs or bolts used for props, excelsior and wood wool.

Aspen is a rapid-growth short-lived tree of relatively small size in comparison with other commercial species. It has been known to reach a height of 50 ft. and a diameter of 3 ft. and matures at 60 to 70 years. Aspen is so subject to heart rot, however, that many trees are destroyed before they are 50 years old. It has also been attacked in recent years by a fungus disease, known as Hypoxylon canker or Aspen canker, which attacks the barks and eats its way into the trunk to destroy its structure.

Both hardwood and softwood grading rules are used in grading Aspen, with hardwood rules applied generally for better grades used in cabinet and furniture and softwood rules for construction and container lumber. Users generally seem to feel that Aspen needs better grading practice to provide proper utilization. Manufacturers of food containers complain that some balm-of-Gilead often g-gets mixed into their stocks, with its objectionable odor and taste.

Aspen is very similar in appearance to Cottonwood and is often used as an alternate wood for Basswood in many applications. It has a very broad band of creamy white sapwood and narrow heartwood of grayish-brown or grayish-white color and the transition from sapwood to heartwood is usually not distinct. Lower grades are apt to have small and numerous knots but much has been sorted into better grades suited to furniture manufacture.

While some trouble was first encountered with checking and warping when Aspen first came into general use, checking is not serious in seasoning Aspen with the possible exception of abnormal wood found in the heartwood of old trees. There has been some darkening of the wood at extreme high temperature but it seasons rapidly when milder kilndrying schedules are used.

The wood is fine and uniform in texture, with indistinct grain markings, contains no resin, has good toughness for its light weight and exceptional stiffness, shows a high resistance to splitting in nailing, is soft and easy to work with either hand or machine tools. Although Aspen will have a tendency to fuzz when dressed wet, it machines fairly clean when proper cutting angles and cutting speeds and feeds are used. It has very good gluing and paintholding qualities, gives uniform wear and wears smoothly without splintering. Aspen’s stability is one of its outstanding qualities.

Aspen is a short-fibered wood much used for pulping purposes. Aside from its popular use in paper pulp. Aspen fibers are used as a basefiller for many building, insulating and roofing papers as well as for floor coverings. They are also used to make a structural wallboard, with a binder or excelsior, which is said to be fireproof, soundproof and waterproof.

Where it is available in sufficient quantity, Aspen is rapidly replacing basswood in the manufacture of excelsior. Excelsior manufacturers claim its light color, light weight, toughness and freedom for odor produces top grade excelsior with less machining difficulties than most other excelsior woods.

Due to its tendency to decay rapidly under damp conditions, Aspen is not too much used for outside purposes. It has been used in limited quantities for fencing, pit props in coal mines, and railroad ties, but does not respond too well to standard preservative treatments.

Aspen’s use as a core material has increased considerably due to its ability to take and hold glue, stability, lack of resin, light weight and ease of working. It possesses good uniformity of structure and is a wood of low density to suit it well for core veneer in plywood panels to maintain panel stability and minimize shrinkage stresses in the construction. In veneer cutting Aspen works like basswood as it can be cut successfully without heating the bolts at either the rotary lathe or veneer slicer.

Most Aspen of the Popple variety goes into core and container veneer. Aspen veneer of the decorative grade is usually the silver white Poplar native to Asia and Europe, which was planted in the United States chiefly in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. This has a velvety white sapwood and light brown heartwood, sometimes streaked with brown, to produce veneer of plain or mild figure. Very little highly figured stock is available.

The largest current use of Aspen is by the container industry and it is often rated as high as Ponderosa Pine for container construction. Aspen is noted for its ability to withstand rough handling as a box or crate. Its popularity as a container wood is due principally because of its light color, light weight, high resistance to splitting in nailing, toughness for its weight, and freedom from taste and odor. It also prints very well.

Aspen is preferred as a food container wood for shipping cheese, fruits, meat and other food stuffs. It is used also for baskets and egg crates, and the cooperage industry is using it in increasing quantities for barrels, keg buckets and pails.

Though confined to lumber of relatively small size, Aspen has been used by the building trade for flooring, rafters, sheathing, shiplap, stringers and studding as well as for interior trim and finish. It takes paint very well and is easily worked with hand tools.

Furniture plants have not made an extensive use of Aspen as possible due to the rather limited and somewhat uncertain supply. Its chief applications have been for juvenile and painted furniture, shelving, backs and interior supporting constructions. Workmen like its easy workability and smooth surface and finishers praise its property to take white and tint colors easily. Due to its small size, however. Aspen is usually first glued-up into panels and then dimensioned according to end use.

Other products made from Aspen in some quantity include: clothes pins, brushes, casing, ceiling, door frames, dowels, handles, matches, shoe fillers, shoe forms, shoe lasts, shoe trees, spool heads, toothpicks toys, vehicle body parts and wood wool.

Aspen has long been recognized as a good fuel wood and is said to burn freely even when green. It was also said to be the principal fuel wood of the northern Canadian indians, who also used its bark for medical purposes. The inner bark of the Aspen is the chosen food of the beaver and is used to some extent to make an extract used as a quinine substitute.


BASSWOOD

Natural color-Cream, nearly white.

Grain-Straight, very mild.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close textured.

Color variation-Little difference between sapwood and heartwood, occasional mineral streaks.

Specific gravity [at, 12% m.c.]-0.37.

Weight per cu. ft. [at 12% m.c.]– 26 lbs.

Hardness-Soft.

Stiffness-Fairly stiff.

Strength-Moderate to low.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Good.

Decay resistance-Low.

Shock resistance-Low.

Bending-Poor.

Nailing and screwdriving-Fair to good.

Nailholding and screwholding – Moderate.

Gluing-Good.

Electrical resistance [at 80-degs. F. and 12% m.c.]-45 megohms.

Sanding-Fair but troublesome. (4/0 grit is coarsest that can be used to polish without scratching).

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good.

Planing, moulding and jointing-Fair to good. (Best cutting angles 20 to 30-degs.; finish-9 to 15 knife cut per inch).

Shaping-Fair, if not shaped at sharp angles.

Boring-Good. (brad-point bits with long taper cutting lips are best).

Turning-Poor.

Mortising-Fair.

Paintholding-Excellent for both paint and enamel.

Staining-Good (use only non-grainraising stain as oil stains muddy up because of fuzzy grain).

Bleaching-Not necessary, don’t waste time on mineral streaks, practically impossible to remove).

Sealing-Good (takes any sealer or primer coat).

Filling-Fair (only used for natural and stain-colored finishes).

Finishing-Excellent for paint aid enamel finishes, good for regular finishes where special treatments are used.

Natural finish-Poor, no grain figure. (not advised).

Remarks:

Basswood is light in weight and color, moderate to low in strength, soft and close in texture, easily workable, straight-grained, easily glued, and diffuse porous; has the ability to remain flat without distortion, excellent nailing and screwing properties, good sound and heat insulating qualities but only moderate shock resisting qualities. It has a fine ability to take paint and enamel finishes.

It dries easily. Basswood’s clean look, together with the fact it imparts neither odor or taste, makes it especially desirable for foodstuffs and food items such as honey, fruit and berries. In the form of veneer, it is much used for basket, fruit and berry box manufacture and shipping containers, as well as for crossbanding and low density plywood. It is also well suited as corestock to make substantial and economic cores.

As a furniture wood, Basswood is used in drawer constructions, interior cabinet and case goods parts, hidden upholstery frame construction, table tops that are to be covered or enameled, carvings, fretwork, furniture backings and bottoms, and picture and mirror frames.

It is an ideal toy wood due to its softness and easy workability and is the leading hardwood used in the manufacture of crates and boxes. Basswood is used in the aircraft industy for ribs and flooring, in building, as wall paneling and stock trim that is to be painted or enameled, in general manufacture, for farm tools, laundry appliances, excelsior, advertising accessories, paper pulp, Venetian blinds, and in home workshops, as a general -all-purpose wood.

In short, Basswood has the most common and all-around versatility of any of the American hardwoods, chiefly because it is so soft and workable.


BEECH

Natural color-White to reddish.

Grain-Straight to interlocked, mild figure.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close textured.

Color variation-Some difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.64.

Weight per cubic foot (at 12% m.c.]-144lbs.

Hardness-Hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Good.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Low

Decay resistance-Low.

Shock resistance-High.

Bending-Good.

Nailing and screwdriving-Tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-High.

Gluing-Good, under controlled gluing conditions.

Electrical resistance-Good.

Sanding-Fine, takes good finish. (Will polish with 3/0 without scratching, 4/0 gives best finish)

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Poor to fair.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Fair to good, requires good set in saws.

Planing, moulding and jointing-Good. (Best cutting angles-10 to 20-degs., finish-12 to 14 knife-cuts-per-inch, back bevel required for best results.)

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips best)

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good, except for white lead and zinc oxide paints.

Staining-Good. (Use pigment wiping stains where parts to be finished have been steam bent.)

Sealing-Good. (Takes practically any sealer or primer coat)

Filling-Fair. (Seldom requires filling for finishing)

General finishing-Good for all types of finishes although seldom used in natural finish except for flooring and interior finish.

Remarks:

Beech is a hard, strong, heavy, close-grained hardwood, from white to reddish in color, with some difference between the sapwood and heartwood; requires careful control in drying and gluing; is not too durable in contact with the soil and shrinks considerably in drying yet is especially wear resistant to mechanical wear when wet or in water; has a tendency to split with the driving of nails and screws but possesses excellent nailholding and screwholding properties.

It is not toxic and does not impart odor or taste when in contact with foodstuffs and is much used in the form of veneer for baskets, fruit and berry boxes, and from lumber for barrels and boxes as food containers. Beech has strength, hardness, and wear-resistant properties which make it ideal for heavy-duty economical flooring and its excellent shaping and turning properties make it an excellent wood for bushes and handles and other turned and shaped woodenware and novelties.

As a furniture wood, Beech is used extensively for bent-wood parts and interior frame and construction parts. It dresses very smooth and sands to a high polish. It takes practically any type of finish well. Its unusual reaction to friction set up by moving contact with other wood which causes it to wear slick and makes it ideal for drawer construction, guides, fences, and other jig and fixture work used in woodworking, as well as for bushings and loose pulleys. Beech can be used equally well for exterior parts where they are to be stained or where fancy grain figure is not required.

Beech is a good toy wood because of its non-toxic qualities and its lack of any tendency to splinter on corners of square toys. Its peculiar spine, a combination of strength, stiffness and hardness, adapts it to the manufacture of slim, delicate turnings with high strength requirements, such as skewers, dowels, and candy sticks. It is also much used as a vehicle wood, for agricultural implements, sporting goods, textile, dairy and poultry equipment.

Although Beech is very strong and hard and quite heavy, it is not difficult to machine. Its high shock resistance quality in combination with other properties has caused it to be used extensively for railroad ties despite its lack of decay resistance. It is one of the few hardwoods that is available in good quantity and up to now has suffered more from lack of knowledge of its excellent physical properties and possible uses than from any pronounced deficiency and has long been forced to masquerade in various wood product assemblies under the identity of other hardwoods used due to lack of favorable publicity which could lead to public acceptance of Beech as an all-purpose hardwood.


BIRCH

Natural color-Cream to reddish brown.

Grain-Straight to curly, mild.

Texture-Diffuse porous, closetextured.

Color variation-Considerable color difference.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.57.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-44 lbs.

Hardness-Moderate hard to hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Good.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Good.

Decay resistance-Durable to non-durable.

Shock resistance-High to very high.

Bending-Good.

Nailing and screwdriving-Tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Fair to average.

Electrical resistance-(at 80-degs. F. and 12% m.c.)-200 megohms.

Sanding-Fair. Will Polish with 3/0 without scratching, 4/0 gives best results.)

Odor and taste-Very little.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good.

Planing, moulding and jointing-Good. (Best cutting angles 15 to 20-degs., finish 10 to 16 knife cuts per inch, back bevel required for best results.)

Shaping-Excellent.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips best.)

Turning-Very good.

Mortising-Excellent.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good. (Takes practically any stain Use pigment stains where parts to be finished have been steam bent.)

Sealing-Good. (Takes practically any sealer or primer coat.)

Filling-Fair. (Not necessary except for novelty or fine finishes.)

Bleaching-Fair. (Not too effective on mineral stains, used principally for light blonde or novelty finishes.)

Natural finish-Good, with rich, uniform effects.

General finishing-Good for all types of finish, either natural or under stain, provides excellent paint or enamel base.

Remarks:

Birch is a good all-purpose wood in solid form and in the form of veneer or plywood. It ranks fourth from the standpoint of volume among United States furniture woods and of the 134 representative uses of all American commercial woods finds a place in nearly 50% of the applications. While it is sufficiently strong and hard for most purposes, it is not excessively hard and holds its shape well under ordinary conditions.

In the form of White Birch, it is extensively used for turnings, spools, bobbins, spoons, skewers, candy stick handles, boot and shoe findings, shoe pegs, brush blocks and handle, boxes and woodenware. It is also used for basket veneer, handle and cleat stock.

In the commercial grade which combines yellow, black and sweet Birch, it is popular for furniture, millwork, office and store fixtures, plumber’s woodwork, vehicle parts, caskets, interior woodwork and flooring. Birch has a very even texture, a fine and close grain, is relatively easy to work, and takes a fine polish. Its extreme hardness makes it extremely wear-resistant and it is very adaptable to fine finishes, taking any stain, bleach or finishing material and reacts equally well to natural and enamel finishes.

Birch is well-liked as a veneer wood and core-wood for plywood. In straight grained veneer, it is much used for panel faces for high grade commercial plywood and curly Birch veneer has a wavy grain with a changeable silk effect (similar to satinwood) for fancy face veneer. Rotary-cut Birch veneer does not crack or check along the grain but it should be filled in finishing. Birch is one of the leading woods used in producing compress and other densified wood products.

Birch has recently been exposed to a blight which has moved from Canada down to New York and the New England states but it is still found in good supply.


BUCKEYE

Natural color-White to grayish brown

Grain-Straight.

Texture-Diffuse-porous, close grained.

Color variation-Very little.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.36.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-25 lbs..

Hardness-Moderately soft

Stiffness– Good.

Strength-Fair.

Stability [ability to stay inplace]-Good.

Decay resistance-Durable.

Shock resistance-Fair.

Bending-Fair to poor.

Nailing and screwdriving-Fair to good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Good.

Sanding-Good. (3/0 best for production sanding)

Odor and tests– Noticeable

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good. (Requires good set in saws)

Planing, moulding, jointing-Good. (Best cutting angle-15 to 30 degree, finish-11 to 15 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Fair to good.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with medium-long taper cutting lips best)

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good

Staining-Good.

Sealing-Good.

Filling-Fair, not always used.

Natural finish– Seldom used as grain figure has little character.

General finishing-Most used for stained or painted finishes with conventional top coats.

Remarks:

Buckeye is a species of the Horse Chestnut family and includes Ohio Buckeye, also known as Stinking or Fetid Buckeye, and Yellow Buckeye, sometimes called Sweet Buckeye. The Ohio Buckeye gets its unsavory alternate nicknames from its bark, which is very ill-smelling when bruised, and its spring flowers, which also have a very bad odor.

American Buckeye is found generally in the central area of the Alleghenies, the west slopes of the Appalachians and through the Ohio valley. It ranges through the bottom lands from central Pennsylvania to Alabama and west to Kansas. The principal lumber production is in Ohio, Kentucky and adjacent states. Buckeye is not of sufficient commercial importance to make accurate figures available on its stand or annual consumption. It has been estimated that about five million board feet of Butternut lumber is manufactured annually as a by-product of major hardwood lumber production.

One of the reasons the stand of Buckeye is not more plentiful in farm woodlands is the common practice of landowners to destroy the tree as soon as it is found growing in these locations. Farmers generally believe the fruits and leaves of this tree is poisonous to livestock.

Although the nuts of the buckeye are very bitter and non-edible, it is said to make a paste with better adhesive power than most pastes and more resistant to the attack of insects. In certain sections of the country superstitious folks always carry a Buckeye in their pocket or in a small sack tied around their neck to ward off rheumatism.

The wood is usually quite white and has mechanical properties similar to Basswood as regards softness, lightness and workability. While it has a high resistance to splitting, Buckeye is easily machined and worked with hand tools. In its native habitat it is very popular as a whittling or carving wood. The grain has little character and is seldom used in natural finish but it takes stained and painted finishes very well and where available in the required quantity, Buckeye is much used for enamel and colored-finished low priced furniture and juvenile pieces.

Buckeye has a combination of properties which suits it very well to the manufacture of artificial limbs. It works up to shape readily, and has the toughness and a certain stiffness required with lightness of weight required for a good prosthesis. Excelsior makers regard it as an excelsior material closely second to Basswood and in some sections of the country Buckeye is cut into long strips and woven into hats.

The chief uses of Buckeye are for boxes and crates and for concealed or exterior parts of furniture and millwork. Its exterior applications are generally in the low priced units that are painted or stained to simulate more expensive woods. Other applications find Buckeye used for excelsior, luggage frames, picture and mirror frames, moldings, carvings, caskets, toys, laundry appliances, woodenware, artificial limbs and paper pulp.


BUTTERNUT

Natural color-Sapwood-whitish to light brown, heartwood-light chestnut brown or tan to pinkish brown, often streaked with occasional reddish or yellowish tinge or streaks.

Color variation-Very little between sapwood and heartwood.

Grain-Straight or irregular.

Grain figure-Usually plain.

Texture-Diffuse porous and soft textured.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.38.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-27 lbs.

Hardness-Moderately soft.

Stiffness-Moderately limber.

Strength-Moderate.

Decay resistance-Durable.

Shock resistance-Fair.

Bending-Fair.

Nailing and screwdriving-Fair to good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Excellent.

Sanding-Good. (3/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching, 4/0 best).

Odor and tests– Not noticeable.

Workability with hand tools-Very good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good. (Best results with good set in saws.)

Planing, jointing, moulding-Good. (Best – cutting angles–15 to 30 degrees, finish–12 to 14 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby lips best.)

Turning-Good, some breakage of slender turnings.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good, takes all stains well.

Filling-Good. (Brown or black fillers, except for light or natural finishes.)

Bleaching-Fair, mineral streaks hard to remove.

Finishing-Good, takes all finishes well and is often painted.

Natural finish-Good, with varied coloring effects in selected pieces.

Remarks:

Butternut is usually found in mixed hardwood stands, seldom in any great quantity. Sometimes called White Walnut, it is related to American Walnut botanically but form is poorer and wood is much softer and weaker than Walnut. No authentic figures are available on the present stand of Butternut timber or annual production of lumber. Butternut is chiefly a byproduct of hardwood lumber operations and it’s doubtful if more than a million board feet has been produced in a single year and present production is much less. Small quantities are also produced in the form of veneer.

Butternut is a small to medium-size tree, growing from 40 to 60 feet high and about 3 feet in maximum diameter. It is found chiefly along banks of streams and on low hillsides and its growth in the United States extends from Maine through the upper peninsular of Michigan to North Dakota and south into northern Arkansas and elevated sections of Alabama and Georgia. Besides its more common names of Butternut and White Walnut, the tree is sometimes called Oil-Nut, from the early colonists’ practice of making oil from the tree nuts. These early settlers also used to pickle the half-grown fruits in vinegar and made a mild cathartic solution by boiling down the bark and adding honey. Husks of the nuts and the bark also contain a water-soluble dye used for dyeing cloth.

While its quantity is necessarily limited. Butternut produces face veneer usually plain in a gray-brown color, which has an appearance similar to American Walnut veneer, except for color. This is either rotary-cut or sliced, with the greatest amount cut in flat veneer from 14 to 18 inches wide and generally 1/20-inch thick. This veneer is used for decorative purpose where strength is not a factor.

Butternut is attractive in grain and color and would be more widely used as a decorative wood for furniture and fixtures if larger quantities were available. Its pale brown satiny wood is soft textured, resembles the grain of American Walnut but is much lighter in color and does not afford as hard a surface. It is soft and has low stiffness and strength properties which restrict its structural uses. The grain shows a faint growth figure and numerous flakes are sometimes visible, which are grayish-brown in color and lighter than the general background wood.

While Butternut compares closest with Basswood and Buckeye in respect to mechanical properties, it is slightly heavier, harder stronger and tougher than these woods. It works very easily with hand tools and machines very well. The wood may be easily polished to a satiny luster and it takes a very good finish, whether natural, stained or painted.

Its chief applications for industrial use are in the manufacture of furniture and fixtures, where it is used to simulate more costly cabinet woods. Butternut also finds limited application in the manufacture of such items as boxes, crates, millwork, woodenware, musical instruments, boat decks, seats and trimming, altars, cabinets, cameras, caskets, cheese box heading, interior finish, piano cases, screen frames, show cases, display stands, toys and children’s vehicles.

In addition to the by-products mentioned previously, Butternut sap is rich in sugar and a fairly good grade of syrup is produced from it for commercial use. Unlike maple syrup, however, it does not harden to make cakes of sugar. One of the reasons given for the restricted use of Butternut as a commercial lumber in greater quantities is that it is not a hardy tree, being subject to attack from many insects and fungus diseases and few trees reach maturity without serious injury.


CHERRY

Natural color-Light red to dark reddish brown.

Grain-Straight and mild.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close textured.

Color variation-Marked color difference.

Specific gravity (at l2% m.c.]-O.50.

Weight per cu/km foot [at 12% m.c.]-35 lbs.

Hardness-Medium to moderately hard.

Stiffness-Good.

Strength-Medium.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Good.

Decay resistance-Durable.

Shock resistance-High.

Bending-Poor.

Nailing and screwdriving-Fair, some tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Good.

Electrical resistance [at 80-dogs. F and 12% m.c.]-160 megohms.

Sanding-Excellent. (Will polish with 3/0 without scratching, 4/0 gives best results).

Odor and taste-Very little.

Sawing-Very good.

Workability with hand tools-Very good.

General machinability-Very good.

Planing, moulding and jointing-Excellent. (Best cutting angles 10 to 25 degrees.)

Shaping-Excellent.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips best).

Turning-Excellent.

Mortising-Excellent.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good.(Takes practically any type of stain, although water stains are most generally used).

Sealing-Good.(Takes practically any sealer or primer coat).

Filling-Fair. (Usually used only on fine finishes.)

Bleaching-Not used.

Natural finish-Good, with attractive color and figure.

General finishing-Good for natural or stain-base finishes, is not adapted to paint or enamel finishes.

Remarks:

Cherry carries about the same grain as Walnut but the grade runs better and the lengths are longer. It is somewhat lighter in weight and softer than Beech or Birch; but is nevertheless a dense, moderately strong hardwood with excellent wearing qualities. Cherry is noted for its superior atmospheric-moisture resistance qualities, shrinking and swelling less and holding the finish better than any other wood. There is no other cabinet wood more free from warping propensities. Its natural finish is beautiful and it takes an excellent Walnut or Mahogany finish.

The supply of Cherry is not large, and nearly all available is used for high-grade work where its attractive color and figure can be used to the best advantage. It is produced in limited amounts as face veneer in burls, crotches and swirls. Its beauty, luster, ability to withstand knocks, and easy workability makes Cherry most popular for interior trim, boat finish, furniture, clock cases and cabinets. It is similar to Walnut in that its color deepens with age.

Cherry is also extensively used by the printing trade to back electrotypes and zinc etchings. It is a popular tool handle wood and is much used in the construction of professional and scientific instruments and musical instruments. Pattern makers utilize its stability and non-warping qualities to the utmost and these properties also make it a favored wood for table construction, particularly for tabletops.

Cherry is also credited with medicinal properties as an extract from the bark is used in medicine as a sedative or a tonic. Its fruit is also sometimes used to flavor rum or brandy.


CHESTNUT

Natural color-Grayish-brown.

Grain-Straight and heavy.

Texture-Ring porous, coarse-textured.

Color variation-Very little.

Specific Gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.40.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-30 lbs.

Hardness-Moderately hard.

Stiffness-Low.

Strength-Low.

Stability [ability to stay in place]– Excellent.

Decay resistance-Durable.

Shock resistance-Low.

Bending-Fair.

Nailing and screwdriving-Tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-Good.

Gluing-Excellent.

Electrical resistance [at 80-dogs. F. and 12% m.c.]-50 megohms.

Sanding-Good. (3/0 gives best results for polishing.)

Odor and taste-Very little.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good. (Requires good set and swaged saw to give best results.)

Planing, moulding and jointing-Good. (Best cutting angle 15 to 20 degrees, finish-11 to 15 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Good. (Brad point bits with medium-long taper cutting lips are best.)

Turning-Excellent.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good to fair.

Staining-Good. (Oil or wiping stains generally used.)

Sealing-Good. (Takes practically any sealer or primer coat.)

Filling-Good. (Is always filled for finishing unless finished V.O.W. (Varnish on wood) by dipping in heavy varnish.)

Bleaching-Not used.

Natural finish-Fair. (Usually used in medium-priced or cheap furniture.)

General finishing-Good for natural or novelty finishes, but not used too extensively in stain-based finishes, such as Walnut and Mahogany. Takes paint or enamel well when properly primed and filled.

Remarks:

The blight which has infected chestnut stands has taken it from the ranks of important commercial woods. Most of the lumber now being cut has been dead for several years but is still useful and effective for some applications and is sold for a special grade of lumber known as “sound wormy chestnut.” its principal use is as a plywood corestock and for this purpose is one of the best commercial woods available. Wormy chestnut is also much used in the manufacture of low-priced utility chairs as seat stock, usually spliced front and back for added strength.

Chestnut is moderately low in weight and strength, is straight-grained and stays in place well. The sapwood is very narrow and the heartwood is highly resistant to decay. Its softness, lightness, ease of drying, and ability to hold glue adapts it readily to manufacture. Its comparative freedom from warping, and the fact that it shrinks or swells very little either during manufacture or in service, give it a stability seldom found in other wood species commonly used for corestock.

There has been a relatively large cut of chestnut for poles, posts and ties and considerable amounts have been used in the production of tanning extract. Its most common factory uses include: boxes, crates, millwork, medium-priced furniture and fixtures, caskets (cloth covered) and woodenware. Chestnut was formerly the outstanding wood in the casket and burial box industry because of its resistance to decay. The lower grades were used for cloth covered cases, while better grades were used as an outer-finish wood on high grade caskets. In the New York State area alone, the amount of Chestnut has decreased to only 50,000 bd. ft. compared to the millions of feet previously used.

Chestnut timber is characteristically wormy and yields very little lumber of ordinary standard grades. The average log run stock contains less than five percent FAS, a small amount of No. 3 common, and the bulk of the lumber falls in special wormy grades. These grades satisfy the requirements for core stock s well as higher grade as the worm holes, because of their relatively small size, have no appreciable effect on lumber for core use.

Chestnut lumber is also popular for slack cooperage, such as nail kegs, cement and apple barrels, etc. It has limited application in the manufacture of paperboard and as a rough construction lumber, as backing material.

The cycle of use following the death of the Chestnut tree is usually: up to 2 years and the sapwood and heartwood are sound and the wood may be used for poles, posts and ties; from 2 to 4 years, the sapwood is decayed but the heartwood is sound and unchecked and the wood may be used for corestock, furniture, millwork, caskets, woodenware, boxes and crates; from 4 to 6 years the sapwood is decayed and the heartwood is checked but sound and the wood may be used for rough construction lumber, pulpwood, fence posts and tannin wood; and after 6 years when decay has set in throughout the entire structure the only use-value of the wood is for fuel.


COTTONWOOD

Natural color-White to cream.

Grain-Straight and mild

Texture-Diffuse porous, coarse textured.

Color variation-Very little.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.40.

Weight per cubic foot At [12% m.c.]– 28 lbs.

Hardness-Soft.

Stiffness-Good.

Strength-Low.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Fair.

Decay resistance-Poor.

Shock resistance-Low.

Bending-Poor.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair.

Gluing-Excellent.

Electrical resistance [at 80-degs. F. and 12% m.c.]-140 megohms.

Sanding-Poor, inclined to fuzz.(use 4/0 for best results).

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Good to fair.

General machinability-Fair.

Sawing-Fair.

Planing, moulding and jointing-Poor.(Best cutting angles 5 to 20 degrees, with 5-deg. back bevel, finish-9 to 15 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Difficult.

Boring-Fair. (Brad point bits with long taper cutting lips give best results).

Turning-Poor. (Will produce good turnings only if dried down to about 6% moisture content and cutting edges are kept keen).

Mortising-Fair.

Paintholding-Fair. (Surfaces should be sized or washcoated before finishing to permit cutting down of fuzzy grain by sanding).

Staining-Fair. (Use only non-grain raising stains as oil stains muddy up and water stains raise fuzzy grain).

Bleaching-Not necessary.

Sealing-Good.

Filling-Not used.

Finishing-Good for paint and enamel finishes, and can be finished in regular finishes where special treatments are used.

Natural finish-Seldom used as Cottonwood has little or no grain figure.

Remarks:

Cottonwood is one of the softest hardwoods, more closely resembling Basswood than any other species, but is tougher and stiffer than Basswood and, due to its interwoven fibers, does not split very easily and is extremely wear-resistant for such a soft wood. It contains very few defects, is odorless and tasteless, has unusually uniform texture and works up fairly well. It is comparatively weak, decays quickly in contact with the ground, and has a tendency to warp in seasoning.

Due to the fact it is among the best woods for nailing, light weight, lack of odor, and natural white color for printing, more than one-half of all Cottonwood lumbe. Is used in the manufacture of boxes and crates. Its resilience and cleanliness also makes it a preferred material for excelsior. Large amounts of Cottonwood are cut into commercial veneer for utility and medium-priced furniture products, as well as drawer bottoms and back panels. Cottonwood is much used for food containers, such as baskets, fruit and berry boxes and candy barrels.

Other factory uses include: vehicle parts, planing mill products, agricultural implements, laundry appliances, corestock, drawer stock, refrigerators, dairy appliances, and trunks. Cotton wood is a popular toy material because of its softness, light weight and lack of taste or odor and in some parts of the country it is one of the principal fuel woods. It is most commonly finished in paint or enamel although it can be finished in standard stainbase finishes where special treatments are employed to counteract its natural fuzzy grain characteristic.


ELM

Natural color-Cream to brown.

Grain-Heavy, straight or interlocked.

Texture– Ring-porous, coarse textured.

Color variation-Marked color difference.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.50.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-35 lbs..

Hardness-Medium to hard

Stiffness-Fair.

Strength-Medium.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Medium to low.

Decay resistance– Moderately durable.

Shock resistance-High.

Bending-Good.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nailholding and Screwholding-Good.

Gluing-Fair.

Electrical resistance [at 80-dogs. F. and 12% m.c.]-20 megohms.

Sanding-Good.(2/0 produces best results)

Odor and taste-None.

Sawing-Fair (Requires good setswaged saws best)

Workability with hand tools-Poor.

General machinability-Poor.

Planing, jointing and moulding-Poor.(Best cutting angles 15 to 25 degrees, finish-8 to 13 knife cuts per inch)

Shaping-Poor.

Boring-Poor.(Brad-point bits with long taper cutting lips are best)

Turning-Poor.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Fair.(On cross-grained stock sometimes difficult to get even color) (Water stains usually used)

Sealing-Good if filled properly.

Filling-Good.

Bleaching-Not used.

Natural finish-Good, with attractive color and figure.

General finishing-Good for natural or stain-filled finishes, very durable under paint.

Remarks:

Of the several species of Elm in the United States, White Elm is the most abundant. Other common species include Rock Elm, Slippery Elm, Cedar Elm and Winged Elm. Cedar Elm and Winged Elm are generally used for the same purposes as White Elm and are included in its classification. Rock Elm is heavier and harder than White Elm and ranks second only to Hickory where these properties are important. Slippery Elm is darker in color than either Rock Elm or White Elm and its mechanical properties are about midway between the two. It is very little used because of its scarcity.

The chief difference between Northern and Southern Elm is in color and texture. Their mechanical properties are about the same. Northern Elm is of finer and more uniform texture with less interlocked and diagonal grain but its color and character is rather mild.

Southern Elm has considerable character with colorful streaks and grain figure which make it particularly adapted for decorative natural finish panel effects.

American Elm, while not considered a ranking cabinet wood, is a good furniture wood despite difficulties encountered in machining. Its bending properties makes it a good wood for chair parts to be steam bent. Its better grades are used somewhat for exposed parts of high grade furniture but its tendency to warp prevents more extensive use in this field. Elm is also used considerably for cross-banding and corestock. Because of its toughness and bending properties, Elm has long been a favorite wood of the cooperage industry chiefly for slack barrel staves and hoops. Lacking odor and taste it is also popular for baskets, refrigerators and food containers. Elm’s resistance to splitting caused by screwing and nailing causes it to be used extensively for crates, boxes and shipping containers. Its bending property is also taken advantage of in boat building and in the aircraft industry for curved parts of small radii and bearing blocks.

Besides being used for bent work, Elm’s toughness makes it a preferred wood for wagon and vehicle manufacture, particularly the hubs of wheels. It is especially suited not only because it is relatively hard and tough but is usually so cross-grained as to be difficult to split. Elm is relatively easy to dry, sands well but does not polish easily. When plain-sawed, it displays a pleasing appearance and is very attractive when properly filled and finished.

Other uses include flooring, fixtures, handles, saddle trees, sleds, sporting goods, toys, and woodenware novelties.


GUM

Natural color-Heartwood – reddish brown; sapwood – pinkish white.

Grain-Plain or figured, interlocked.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close textured.

Color variation-Marked difference in color.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.49.

Weight per cubic foot fat 12% m.c.]-34 lbs.

Hardness-Moderately hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Medium.

Stability-Naturally poor, fair when properly seasoned.

Decay resistance-Moderately durable.

Shock resistance-Above average.

Bending-Fair.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Excellent.

Gluing-Excellent with proper gluing techniques.

Electrical resistance [at 80-dogs. F. and 12% m.c.]-160 megohms.

Sanding-Fair.(3/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching, 4/0 gives best results).

Odor and taste-None.

Sawing-Good.

Workability with hand tools-Excellent.

General machinability-Good.

Planing, jointing and moulding-Good. (Best cutting angles 10 to 25 degrees, with 15-deg. back bevel, finish-9 to 13 knife cuts per inch).

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Good.(Brad-point bits with long taper cutting lips best).

Turning-Excellent.

Mortising-Fair.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Very good, takes any stain.

Bleaching-Used for some finishes.

Sealing-Excellent.(Takes any sealer or primer coat).

Filling-Seldom used except for novelty finishes.

Finishing-Excellent for natural, stained, paint and enamel finishes; often high lighted.

Natural finish-Excellent, with attractive figure.

Remarks:

For years American Gum has borne the stigma of being unstable and it is true that freshly sawn lumber will warp more than most species. Technical studies of wood structure and developments in stacking, seasoning and kiln drying methods have overcome this tendency to a point where it will retain its dimensional stability about as well as any other wood today.

American Gum is generally divided into two classifications for commercial purposes, Red Gum and Sap Gum. Red Gum is obtained chiefly from the heartwood of old mature trees in somewhat limited quantities while Sap Gum, obtained from the sapwood, is used in greater quantity for a larger range of products because it is available in young as well as old trees.

The color of Red Gum ranges from a light to deep reddish brown and much of the lumber contains irregular dark streaks formed by natural deposits of coloring matter in the wood which closely resemble those in Circassian Walnut. It is equally pronounced in plain-sawed and quarter-sawed lumber and occasionally a stripe can be seen in quarter-sawed boards due to interlocked grain. This stripe is not so noticeable as in some woods because the wood is not very lustrous. This figured lumber is known as figured Red Gum and lumber without streaks as plain Red Gum.

Sap Gum retains the basic red color in a subdued form, from a delicate pink to a pinkish white. It has some of the figure characteristics of Red Gum but not so pronounced. Sometimes Sap Gum is glued by sap-stain fungi and it will be darkened to a pinkish red by steaming. Its texture is usually finer and more uniform than that of Red Gum.

The mechanical properties of Red Gum, and Sap Gum are substantially the same. Gum, generally speaking, has a peculiar interlocking grain which makes it strong and stiff and offers high resistance to splitting. It is one of the softer hardwoods of medium weight and its compact grain takes a beautiful finish. Since it is nonresinous it is especially adaptable for painting and enameled woodwork.

Gum has a soft but firm texture which responds well to cutting tools. It is an excellent turning and carving wood and is among the least difficult woods to plane. It works very well as a veneer wood, cutting equally well at the saw, slicer or rotary lathe. It has a natural resistance to marring and has a natural coloration which seems to suffuse through any finish applied over it to provide a warmth of tone.

Red gum is one of the leading furniture and cabinet woods of the country for the better grades of product. Sap Gum is also much used on medium and lower price grades for Exteriors and for interior constructions in the better grades. Gum has long been used with Walnut and Mahogany which it so closely duplicates in appearance but with its own beautiful natural figure is gradually coming into prominence in its own right.

Red Gum is second only to Douglas Fir as a veneer wood and since Douglas Fir is chiefly used in construction plywood, Gum is the leading furniture and cabinet veneer for decorative plywood. Gum is used for side, back and end panels, drawer bottoms, dust bottoms, mirror backs and often forms the core and crossbanding for plywood faced with fancy face veneers.

The lower grades make up about 50% of the total footage of package veneers used for containers. It combines the features of low coast, general availability and medium weight with a toughness, stiffness and staple-holding property that is not equaled by any other wood.

As paneling, doors and interior trim, Gum has many features which few other woods can match. Since its pattern is uniform throughout the log, Gum can be used as paneling for the wall treatment of a room in which the predominating figure is continuous to duplicate itself around the entire wall.

Gum is a favored wood for cabinets radio, television and record player as it is resonant, mellow and can be finished to blend with either cabinet wood or plastic surfaces. Other common applications are found in store fixtures, automobile and wagon bodies, agricultural implements, structural parts of organs and pianos, refrigerators, toys, trunks, handles, novelties and miscellaneous woodenware.

In the lower grades, Gum is much used for boxes and crates and is a most important wood for slack cooperage. It is also used for cheap flooring, railroad ties, cigar boxes, and more recently for chemical wood pulps.


HACKBERRY

Natural color-Light yellow to yellowish white.

Grain-Heavy, prominent markings.

Texture– Ring-porous, coarsetextured.

Color Variation-Very little.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.53.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-37 lbs.

Hardness-Medium.

Stiffness-Medium.

Strength-Moderate.

Stability [ability to stay in place]-Very good.

Decay resistance-Low.

Shock resistance-High.

Bending-Seldom used for bending but bends well.

Nailing and screwdriving-intermediate, tends to split from nails.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Sanding-Fair.(2/0 gives best results)

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Fair.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good.(Saws require good set)

Gluing-Excellent.

Planing, jointing, moulding-Very good.(Best cutting angles 15 to 25 degrees, 15-degs. back bevel, finish-11 to 14 knife cuts per inch)

Shaping-Fair.

Boring-Fair.(Brad point bits with long tapercutting lips best)

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good (Takes practically any type stain)

Filling-Good. (Brown filler used for most standard finishes, white for contrasting novelty finishes.)

Sealing-Good, when properly filled.(Takes any sealer or primer)

Bleaching-Seldom used.

Finishing-Good.(Takes all finishing materials well, paint, enamel, lacquer, varnish or synthetics)

Natural finish-Good, has attractive figure in selected stock.

Remarks:

Commercial American Hackberry includes both Sugarberry and Hackberry. As an individual species its reported annual output is not large but this is because it is commonly sold with the lower grades of Ash and Elm. Hackberry was first used by the furniture industry to supplement standard species that were in short supply. While it is not too generally known to the woodworking industry, it has many good qualities which merit consideration where cost is a governing factor.

In Color it ranges from a yellow shade slightly deeper than Ash to a light yellowish-white. Its texture closely resembles that of Ash and when finished it provides a rather unusual grain effect that has made it popular for paneling and novelty furniture treatments. Hackberry is medium hard but not strong enough for building construction. It takes a very good polish but is not durable in contact with the soil and does not withstand outside exposure too well. Some Hackberry is found that is badly damaged by woodboring insects but as commercial lumber it is usually very free from defects.

Furniture manufacturers have found that Hackberry makes very attractive and substantial tables and chairs. Its stability and excellent gluing properties also make it a very good corestock material. It has been very popular for the manufacture of kitchen cabinets and is used somewhat for turnings and carvings.

Its lack of any tendency to impart odor or taste has led to its adoption by makers of candy and cheese containers, lard and butter tubs, and fruit and berry baskets. It is also being used in increasing quantity for the manufacture of refrigerators. Where resistance to shock is required, as in farm implements, slack cooperage, vehicle parts, boxes and crates, Hackberry has been found to work out very well.

Other uses include buggy bodies, cart trees, saddle trees, hoe handles, rakes, interior finish, steps, stair rails, paneling and woodenware novelties.


HICKORY

Natural color-White to reddish brown.

Grain-Straight.

Texture-Ring porous, coarsetextured.

Color variation-Marked difference in color.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-O.73.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-51 lbs.

Hardness-Very hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Very strong.

Stability-Good.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shock resistance-Very high.

Bending-Excellent.

Nailing and screwdriving-Tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-Good.

Gluing-Good.

Electrical resistance [at 80-dogs. F. and 12% m.c.]-50 megohms.

Sanding-Very good.(2/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching, 3/0 gives best results)

Odor and taste-None.

Sawing-Good. (Saws require good set-swaged saws best)

Workability with hand tools-Works relatively hard.

Planing, jointing and moulding-Good. (Works best with shallow cut, best cutting angles 15 to 30 degrees, with 5 to 15-degrees back bevel) (Finish 12 to 15 knife cuts per inch)

Shaping-Fair to good.

Boring-Good.(Brad-point bits with strong stubby lips best)

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Excellent.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Takes any stain but water and NGR stains more commonly used.

Bleaching-Used for blonde finishes.

Sealing-Good when properly filled. (Takes any sealer or primer coat)

Filling-Good. (Brown filler used for most standard finishes, white or transparent fillers used on blonde finishes)

Finishing-Good. (Takes all finishing material well with fine polish)

Natural finish-Good.

Remarks:

There are about 45 species of Hickory in the United States but true Hickories of commercial importance are confined to shagbark, shellbark, mockernut and pignut Hickory. From a total stand of about 11,000,000,000 board feet, about 125,000,000 bd. ft. is cut annually with more than one-half the production coming from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The sapwood of Hickory is usually white while the heartwood is red or reddish brown and sometimes contains darker streaks of deeper shades of red or brown. It is commonly classified as red or white but despite popular opinion all sound Hickory has the same strength, weight for weight, regardless of whether it is red, white or red and white mixed.

Much of the Hickory cut, instead of being manufactured into lumber, is shipped direct to the factory in the form of flitches, blanks or billets or bolts, whichever is best suited to end use. Hickory splits well for the production of slit blanks or billets as was discovered by the early American farmer who used Hickory to build his rail fences.

Hickory is a ring-porous wood whose straight grain has no interlocking and has a very low degree of cross grain. It has a distinct annual ring and strongest Hickory usually has fewer growth rings per inch. Handle stock is usually selected with a maximum of 17 rings per inch but lumber for other uses may be well suited with as many as 40 rings per inch. Best Hickory stock shows an oily side grain surface under a smooth finish and gives out a ringing tone when dropped on end on a hard surface.

While other woods may excel in a single property, Hickory has a combination of strength, stiffness, hardness, elasticity and shock resistance not found in any other wood. It is one of the heaviest of the hardwood species but is low in decay resistance in contact with the soil and has a tendency to shrink some in drying. For this reason Hickory is not much used for structural purposes but for other purposes which demand a hard, tough, practically unbreakable wood, Hickory is a most efficient wood.

Hickory has long been used in the manufacture of chairs for rounds, legs and spindles and its excellent bending property has made it preferred for bentwood parts. It has also long been used as a summer furniture wood and for furniture construction parts where strength and toughness are required. Hickory was formerly used chiefly in standard Walnut and Mahogany finishes but more recently it has become quite popular for blonde and novelty finished furniture.

Fully 80% of all Hickory produced goes into the manufacture of wood handles for striking tools, such as axes, hammers and sledges. As a handle wood it slides easily and polishes smooth under constant hand pressure. Its peculiar properties of elasticity, strength and shock resistance permit it to retain its shape and remain straight which suit it admirably for use of golf club shafts, tennis rackets and other sporting goods handles. Hickory ranks second only to Ash as a material for baseball bats.

The high degree of stiffness, toughness and strength suits it for ladder rungs, gymnastic bars, doweling and smaller skewers commonly used for pinning meat cuts. The additional property of low conductivity to heat makes Hickory prized for vehicle parts and construction. The light harness sulky owes its development to Hickory and the pioneering covered wagons used Hickory hubs and felloes. Seven percent of all Hickory production goes into the manufacture of wagons, sulkies and trailers and truck bodies.

Hickory is the only wood which will stand up under the terrific vibration on picker sticks of textile looms and is equally popular for drum sticks. It is used in thin strips for basket-making and is considered a superior barrel hoop material. Hickory skis are valued highly by ski jumpers and argicultural implements use a considerable volume. Many farm tools use this wood in novel applications. Hickory pitman rods are quite common in mowing machines and even sucker rods for deep wells use Hickory because of its high tensile strength. The aircraft industry uses a large quantity of Hickory for propellers, ribs, bearing blocks, spar caps and other highly stressed parts.

Green Hickory has long been used for smoking meats and dry Hickory is one of the best fuel woods. It is claimed that a single cord of Hickory has the same fuel value as a ton of coal. Early pioneers used hickory for ramrods, splits of green Hickory for hinges, and made boxes of Hickory bark. They also used a yellow dye taken from its inner bark to dye their homespun cloth.

Hickory is quite subject to insect attack which has made great inroads on its supply. As a growing tree it is attacked by beetles, chiefly the Hickory bark beetle. After the trees have been cut, the green wood in the log is attacked by pinhole borers. Even after the wood has been dried and sometimes even after it has been fabricated into a wood product, the dry sapwood is subject to attack by powder post beetles.

Although used in limited quantities for chair and furniture manufacture, Hickory is one of the most important specialty woods used principally in the tool handle industry, vehicle trade and for special products where a combination of shock resistance, strength, hardness and flexibility is required.


MAGNOLIA

Natural color-Creamy white to light yellowish brown sapwood, dark brown to purplish black heartwood

Color variation-Marked difference in color.

Grain-Straight, with mild figure.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close-textured.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.50.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-35 lbs.

Hardness-Medium hard.

Strength-Average.

Stability-Fair to good.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shock resistance-Moderately high to high.

Bending-Excellent.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Good.

Gluing-Excellent.

Sanding-Good. (3/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching, 4/0 gives the best results)

Electrical resistance [at 80-dogs. F and 12% m.c.]-435 megohms.

Odor and taste-Not noticeable.

Workability with hand tools-Fair.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good.

Planning, joining, moulding-Excellent. (Best cutting angles-10 to 25 degrees, 15-degree back bevel, finish-10 to 16 knife cuts per inch)

Shaping-Poor.

Boring-Fair.(Brad point bits with long taper cutting lips give best results)

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Poor.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good.(NGR, oil or water stains usulally usued)

Filling-Seldom filled as not required.

Sealing-Good.(Takes any sealer or primer well)

Bleaching-sometimes bleached for modern blonde finishes.

Finishing-Good.(Takes all finishing materials well with fine polish)

Natural finish-Sometimes for natural blonde finish.

Remarks:

It has been estimated that there are about 20 species of Magnolia in the world, principally in the United States and Asia, with about 7 species native to the United States. As a commercial wood Magnolia includes Cucumber, Evergreen and Sweet Magnolias although most commercial Magnolia lumber is made from Evergreen lumber. The principal stand of Magnolia timber is in the South, and is most abundant in eastern Tennessee, the Carolinas and the Gulf coast region. From an estimated stand of over one billion feet of timber, about 40 million board feet of lumber is produced annually on a commercial basis.

Cucumber Magnolia is sometimes sold as “Cucumber” lumber and considerable Cucumber and some Evergreen Magnolia is sold as yellow Poplar in the lower grades although this practice is not quite so prevalent since it was discovered that Magnolia was an excellent wood for certain special uses. Magnolia is very closely related to Yellow Poplar and has many of its characteristics although it is harder and heavier. As a matter of fact, microscopic examination is often required for the positive separation of Yellow Poplar and Magnolia.

The sapwood of Magnolia ranges from a creamy white to a light yellowish brown to present an attractive blonde color. The heartwood is light to dark brown or purplish black, sometimes tinged with yellow or green. While the lighter sapwood lumber is generally preferred for most purposes, some mills produce a selected black heart lumber for paneling which lends itself to striking panel effects. The color in the lower grades is usually a greenish yellow with an occasional burl or dark streak.

While Magnolia is definitely not one of the leading veneer woods, veneer is produced from the white wood of Magnolia logs and is sometimes marketed under the trade name “Ailon.” Magnolia veneer generally has mild grain markings and is usually produced by quarter slicing in figured and plain grades. While it is not as hard as some other veneer woods, it sands to a distinctive silky polished finish.

Magnolia is one of the diffuse-porous woods and its grain is usually straight but more conspicuous than Poplar. Its annual growth rings are generally distinct with a thin whitish line at the beginning and end of each year’s growth. The wood is of compact structure and its hardness is medium hard, similar to that of Black Walnut or Tupelo. Magnolia’s strength properties are somewhat over average and it ranks close to the top as a bending wood. It is moderately low in shrinkage, moderately stiff and moderately weak in compression. Although it does not possess good decay resistance, Magnolia ranks high in shock resistance and has better than average stability.

Magnolia machines very well in all operations with the exception of shaping and mortising. It can often be planed to a degree of smoothness that requires little or no sanding and works easily and with good sharp detail at the moulder and turning lathes. Its general favorable working properties serve to bring Magnolia to the attention of woodworking plants during the early days of lumber shortages. From a wood that was totally unknown to many industries, Magnolia is now used in large quantities by the industry and has become a favorite wood for certain special uses.

Magnolia lends itself readily to practically any type of commercial finish. Where it was formerly finished chiefly in paint or enamel finishes, Magnolia is now much used in the popular natural and bleached blonde finishes. It sands and polishes to a satiny luster and since it does not require filling for any type of finish, it is a most economical wood to finish. Although Magnolia’s figure is usually mild, selected lumber is available to enable the production of striking natural finish effects.

It has been estimated that about two-thirds of all the Magnolia lumber used in manufacturing wood products now goes into furniture. While furniture manufacturers were very slow to appreciate the superior steam bending qualities of Magnolia, its use for bentwood products, chair and frame parts is increasing annually. Furniture plants have also found Magnolia well suited for furniture frames and are currently using it in solid furniture to be finished in the popular blonde and pickled finishes. Magnolia has always been quite popular for painted and enameled breakfast and kitchen furniture. It is also reported to make a very good imitation satinwood.

Probably one of the most exacting, extensive and popular uses for Magnolia is found in the manufacture of venetian blinds. Venetian blind manufacturers found Magnolia to be admirably suited for their use, particularly for blind slats, and take full advantage of its fine, uniform texture, sufficient hardness, and inherent property of remaining flat without warping.

Next to furniture use, the most popular usage of Magnolia is found in the manufacture of planing-mill and mill-work products. It is said that about 50% of all the Cucumber Magnolia cut goes into millwork as well as the large quantity of Evergreen Magnolia. Magnolia’s workability and paintholding properties have made it extremely popular for interior finish, siding, interior trim, moulding, doors and paneling. It is even used for car sheathing. Store fixture concerns make good use of Magnolia, using it all the way from store fronts to cabinets and counters.

The superior nailholding properties of Magnolia, as well as its natural resistance to splitting, has made it a favored wood for boxes and crates. The fact that it has no tendency to impart either taste or odor has also led to its use for egg cases, cheese boxes, pails, tubs and woodenware used in the shipment, storage and serving of food products.

Other common uses for Magnolia include: agricultural implements, boats, broom and brush handles, cotton gins, excelsior, casket trim, kitchen and utility cabinets, mine timbers, sleds, toy wagons, hay racks and wagon boxes. Many other uses are being developed daily as the woodworking industry becomes aware of the versatility and favorable properties of Magnolia as applied to its products.

Natives of the Allegheny region like to tell that the early settlers of that region used to collect the cone-like fruits of the Magnolia tree and steeped them in whiskey to make a medicine to ward off an autumnal fever which was common to that section. Some even continue to make this bitter medicine which is quite difficult to take in spite of the whiskey contained.


HARD MAPLE

Natural color-Sapwood-white with tinge of reddish brown heartwoodlight reddish brown.

Grain-Straight, curly, wavy or birdseye or blistered figure.

Grain figure-Varied.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close textured.

Color variation-Usually slight difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.63.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-44 lbs.

Hardness-Hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Very strong.

Stability-Good.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shock resistance-High.

Bending-Fair.

Nailing and screwdriving-Poor without pilot holes.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Good under controlled conditions.

Sanding-Good.(4/0 gives best results for polish sanding, 3/0 for regular sanding, 2/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching)

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good.(Requires good set in saws)

Planing, jointing, moulding-Fair to good. (Best cutting angles-15 to 30 degrees, finish-1 2 to 16 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Excellent.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips give best results)

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Excellent.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good. (Takes all stains well)

Sealing-Good. (Takes any sealer or primer well)

Filling-Seldom filled as it is not required.

Bleaching-Sometimes bleached for blonde or novelty pickled finishes.

Finishing-Good. (Takes all finishing materials well)

Natural finish-Color and grain figure produces attractive natural finish.

Remarks:

The total stand of Maple timber in the United States is estimated to be about 44 billion feet and about 80% of the annual cut is Hard Maple to produce an average lumber cut of about 587 million board feet. This cut is not always in the form of sawlogs for lumber as much of the best timber is made into veneer logs for the cutting of veneer, or into bolts from which turnings, boot and shoe findings and similar items are produced.

Sugar Maple (sometimes called Rock Maple) and Black Maple are two commercial species of Hard Maple and are found chiefly in Canada and the northeast and north central states. Hard Maple is recognized to be one of the best all-purpose hardwoods of the United States in both solid form and in the form of veneer or plywood. It has ranked first for years from the standpoint of volume among native hardwoods and of the 134 representative uses of all American commercial woods, Hard Maple continues to have the largest number of applications. Hard Maple is also rated first among all woods of the United States in the manufacture of charcoal, acetate of lime and wood alcohol by the hardwood distillation process.

Although the wood of Hard Maple normally incorporates fine texture and straight, close grain with a subdued but attractive grain figure, very beautiful effects are produced by variations of structure and appearance due to accidental formations with contorted grain which are much prized for cabinet-making and veneer use. These include birdseye, curly and blistered figures.

The birds-eye figure is most commonly found in Sugar Maple but is an irregular and rather rare occurrence. It may be scattered over the entire tree; be confined to one side of the tree; or may appear in irregular strips or patches. The figure is formed by local sharp depressions in the annual ring surrounded by considerable fiber distortion. The cause of this phenomena has never been satisfactorily explained although some hold to the theory that these markings are caused by abnormal bud growth. Birds-eye Maple is in great demand today for bleached panel effects.

The curly figure is sometimes found in connection with the birds-eye figure although it is also found by itself. It is a product of distorted fibers which produce a curly or wavy effect. When it is presented in fantastic designs, this is sometimes called a “landscape” figure. Curly Maple with a fine, strong, even ripple figure is used almost exclusively for backs of violins and is said to have given birth to the term “fiddleback” commonly used to describe this type of figure in veneer and furniture circles. This curly Maple figure was extremely popular in Colonial days for chests and gunstocks, many of which are still in existence.

Maple’s blistered figure is produced by a characteristic uneven contour of the annual rings to present the effect of being blistered. This figure occurs only occasionally and is highly prized for decorative purposes. In its most beautiful form, it is called “quilted” Maple but this particular form is more common to the Soft Maple known as Oregon Maple than in any of the Hard Maple species.

Maple is one of the few woods whose sapwood is more valuable than its heartwood because of its clean white appearance and freedom from defects. The heartwood has a tendency to shake, worm holes and other defects around the heart center. It is fortunate that sapwood takes up the greatest volume of the tree. The sapwood is generally white with a slight reddish-brown tinge, and the heartwood is light reddish brown. The annual growth rings are usually marked by brown or reddish-brown lines.

While all Maple lumber is light colored, the clear grade of White Maple is exceptional. It is made from unstained sapwood of Sugar Maple sawed in the winter and usually end-piled to prevent staining. Its color is ivory white and it takes a beautiful finish seldom duplicated by any other wood. Selected Maple heartwood is also available for darker finishes and one grade of Maple, with a decided red tone, is sometimes used to imitate Cherry. In present day operations, however, Maple has the status of a leading cabinet wood rather than an imitation wood.

Hard Maple ranks high among hardwoods as one of the best cabinet and furniture woods and possesses a versatility of use that suits it for a wide variety of valuable purposes in many other industries. Hard Maple possesses a very high degree of hardness and strength but not enough to dull tools excessively; has a marked ability to stay in place and hold its shape under sharp variations of humidity; and has good gluing properties.

Aside from its natural strength, stability and toughness, Hard Maple is characterized by a unique fiber cleavage that gives it unusual resistance to checking, splitting, and other shearing forces. Its strength permits graceful proportions without sacrifice of sturdiness in intricate and delicate furniture patterns. The hardness of Hard Maple makes possible the design of intricate patterns in relief, beautiful carvings and slender turnings. Its strength, stiffness and end hardness suits it well for joinery purposes which lend strength and rigidity to the furniture construction.

Hard Maple serves many purposes in the furniture industry. It is in demand for solid pieces, such as chairs, tables, beds and case goods; in the form of veneer for decorative and utility purposes; in drawer stock, extension, table slides and filing-case runners, where stability and smoothness under moving wear is essential; and in concealed parts where strength and shock resistance is required, as in upholstery frames, chair rungs, chair arms, chair legs, and rockers.

Hard Maple is generally used for all exposed parts which are to be stained, painted or finished in a natural finish and for interior parts where rigidity or strength are required. Its characteristic white, hard wood is particularly in demand for church, school, business and restaurant furniture where good looks and long wear are essential.

Because of its close-grain texture and uniform color and absorption, Hard Maple provides a good foundation for any type of finish. Although close-knit in grain, it absorbs finishes readily and retains them against wear. It also provides a smooth solid backing required for a good supporting surface for enamel or paint which will not easily mar or show indentations. White Maple is well suited to natural blonde finishes and produces excellent novelty finishes, such as honey-tone, wheat, silver gray and frosted effects. Unselected and heartwood grades can be finished to advantage in the popular Early American amber finishes, as well as Walnut, or red, brown and antique Mahogany finishes.

Hard Maple’s strength, hardness and shock resistance properties, together with the fact that it wears smooth under abrasion to take on a higher polish as it is subjected to wear, makes it a favored wood for flooring in homes as well as for bowling alleys, gymnasium floors, dance floors and other floors that are subjected to heavy wear.

Hard Maple is also used extensively in the production of meat blocks or butcher blocks which require material with dense fibers, that do not splinter easily, to resist the continual chopping to which they are subjected. It is also used for bread boards and chopping bowls and its failure to impart taste or odor has led to the use of Hard Maple for skewers, toothpicks, butter boxes, churn dashers, pails, tubs, wooden spoons and other food containers.

Hard Maple is also a favored material for sporting goods. Bowling pins probably lead the list which also includes: bowling balls, croquet balls and mallets, dumb bells, billiard cues and rings, baseball bats, oars and paddles, and indian clubs. It enjoys extensive use in the manufacture of musical instruments, particularly violins, and toys and children’s vehicles.

The boot and shoe industry prefers Hard Maple for shoe lasts, wood heels and other boot and shoe findings. In one rather unusual application cross grain cuts of Hard Maple are used for wooden soles on women’s shoes, bonded to leather with a plastic under high heat and pressure. Hard Maple is also a popular turning wood and is much used for handles and brush blocks and other shaped products.

Other common uses include: agricultural implements, die blocks, dowels, interior finish and trim, ladders, machine parts, millwork products, plumber’s woodwork, refrigerators, showcases and store fixtures, tie plugs, timber grapples, wheelbarrows, wooden bearings and wood type. In the aircraft industry Hard Maple is used for aircraft plywood, prepellors, models, bearing blocks and jigs.

Sugar Maple is famed as a prolific source of maple syrup and maple sugar which are important spring crops of northern states farmers. It is claimed that 45 to 50 gallons of maple sap are required to boil down to a gallon of maple syrup, with good trees giving up from 15 to 20 gallons of sap. One report published recently gave a yield of 2,680,000 gallons of maple syrup and 550,000 lbs., of maple sugar from 10,288,000 trees.

Sugar Maple trees are subject to attack from the Sugar Maple borer which kills large limbs and even entire trees by boring under the bark and in the outer sapwood. These attacks are being met by pruning and burning affected parts in the spring. Fortunately total damage to date has not reached alarming proportions.


SOFT MAPLE

Natural color-Sapwood-white, heartwood-pale reddish brown.

Grain-Straight or wavy.

Grain figure-Varied.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close textured.

Color variation-Slight variation between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.54.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-38 lbs.

Hardness-Medium.

Stiffness-Medium to high.

Stability-Fair.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shock resistance-Fair.

Sending-Fair.

Nailing and screwdriving-Poor without pilot holes.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Good.

Sanding-Good.(4/0 gives best results for polish sanding, 3/0 for regular sanding, 2/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching.)

Odor and taste-None.

General machinability-Good.

Workability with hand tools-Fair.

Sawing-Good.(Requires good set in saws.)

Planing, jointing, moulding-Fair to poor. (Best cutting angles-10 to 20 degrees, finish-12 to 14 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Fair to good.

Boring-Fair to good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips give best results.)

Turning-Fair.

Mortising-Poor to fair.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good. (Takes all stains well.)

Sealing-Good. (Takes any sealer or primer well.)

Filling-Seldom filled as it is not required.

Finishing-Good. (Takes all finishing materials well.)

Natural finish-Natural color and grain figure takes attractive natural finish.

Remarks:

It is difficult to estimate the total production of Soft Maple because so much of it is mixed with Hard Maple in production and sales. Soft Maple is produced principally from Oregon Maple, Red Maple and Silver Maple, also known in local regions of their origin as Scarlet Maple, Swamp Maple, Water Maple, River Maple, White Maple, Bigleaf Maple and Broad Leafed Maple. While soft Maple is found over a greater part of the country, its best development seems to be in the lower Ohio Valley and its greatest abundance in the lower Mississippi Valley. Oregon Maple (Bigleaf Maple) is an exclusive product of the West Coast and is most abundant in Washington and Oregon which produce an average of about three million board feet annually.

Soft Maple is similar to Hard Maple in appearance and many characteristics, although it is somewhat lighter in color with a more pronounced grain figure and is not as hard, heavy or stiff. Soft Maple is also somewhat more difficult to machine smooth although modern cutting practice with proper cutting angles has done much to overcome this difficulty.

One species, Oregon Maple, produces fine specimens of quilted Maple for fancy veneer purposes and other species contain curly or wavy figure and fancy-grained burls which are highly prized for decorative furniture and interior face veneers. Soft Maple is capable of taking a very good finish and the heartwood takes a very good polish.

Soft Maple is superior to Hard Maple in some respects. It is generally considered to bend more easily; is more resistant to warp and twist when subjected to extreme atmospheric changes of temperature and humidity; splits less from nailing and screwing; glues better. Its color ranges from pale to almost white in the sapwood and a pale reddish brown, sometimes tinged with brown streak, in the heartwood and the wood is close-grained and of uniform texture.

The most important use for Soft Maple is for furniture both in solid wood and veneer form. It is used both by itself and in combination with Hard Maple and is very popular for medium-priced Maple lines. Soft Maple takes all the standard furniture finishes very well and is usually finished in the traditional Maple finishes of honeytone, Early American amber, golden brown, antique Maple and blonde Maple. One of the most beautiful furniture effects on the market today is a line of Maple bedroom furniture with a bleached dusty finish applied to quilted Maple.

Soft Maple’s freedom from odor and taste (it ranks next to Ash in this property) makes it a preferred wood for food containers, ice boxes, refrigerators, woodenware, butter bowls and berry baskets. It is also quite popular in the lower grades for shipping containers, boxes, egg cases, cheese boxes and the like.

Soft Maple is also used quite extensively in the agricultural field in the manufacture of vehicles, brooders, cultivators, and tool handles. During recent shortages of other turning woods, it has enjoyed greater demand for use in the manufacture of handles, brush blocks, spools and other commercial turnings.

Soft Maple has always been used in large quantities by manufacturers of chairs and upholstery frames. Its attractive grain and good stability has led to its increased use for interior trim, paneling and flooring. Many novel decorative interior effects have been produced in both natural and stained finishes. One of the show places of the West Coast has a room paneled in quilted Maple that has been described as suggesting the curly head of a platinum blonde angel.

While soft Maple has not been used to any great extent in commercial shipbuilding, it is much used for small boats. Two of its more unusual uses are in the manufacture of saddles and wooden pulleys. It lends itself well to metal impregnation and is used exclusively by a leading wood pulley manufacturer who features metal impregnation in his product.

Soft Maple has long been popular as a a children’s vehicle wood and used to make carriages, strollers, scooters and carts as well as wooden toys. Store and office fixture concerns use much Soft Maple in. many of their constructions and it also finds use for advertising display racks and other devices. Other common applications include: carpet sweepers, coat hangers, lawn and porch swings, piano parts, millwork and planing mill products.

Considerable Soft Maple is used as fuel and is burned in kilns to produce charcoal, wood acetate and other products of distillation. Possessed of a multitude of good properties, Soft Maple is a most economical wood to use for many purposes. It is available in all standard grades, usually with additional specifications: WHAD-“worm holes and defects,” and WHND-“Worm holes no defects,” with the latter more easily obtainable.

Soft Maple is susceptible to many insect and fungi attacks. While it is commonly attacked by the Cottony Maple Scale (a sucking insect) and the Boring Leopard Moth, it is probably most susceptible to attack by the larvae of an insect which produces “pith flecks,” which show up in the wood as brown streaks more or less parallel with the grain. Many fumbermen use these pith flocks as marks to distinguish Soft Maple from Hard Maple.


Red Oak

Natural color-Sapwood-white, heartwood-reddish brown.

Grain-Straight.

Grain figure-Plain or flake.

Texture-Ring porous, coarsetextured.

Color variation-Some difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.67.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-44 lbs.

Hardness-Very Hard.

Strength-High.

Stiffness-High.

Stability-Very Good.

Decay resistance-Durable.

Shock resistance-High.

Bending-Good.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nallholding and screwholding-Fair to good, some tendency to split.

Gluing-Good.

Sanding-Good. use 2/0 for general sanding, 3/0 to polish for finishing.)

Odor and taste-Some.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good. (Saws require good set and swaged saws generally give best results.)

Planing, jointing, mouiding-Good. (Recommended cutting angles-10 to 25 degrees. 15 degrees back bevel; finish-14 to 16 knife cuts per inch.

Shaping-Fair.

Boring-Fair to good. (Brad point bits with long taper cutting lips bore best.)

Turning-Fair to good.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good. (Any kind of stain, water stain has tendency to raise grain to require washcoat application.)

Filling-Good. (Contrasting fillers much used for novelty effects.)

Sealing-Good when properly filled.

Bleaching-Fair to good, seldom used. (Used for novelty finishes only.)

Finishing-Good. (Shows up well under all finishes, especially attractive in contrasting novelty finishes.)

Natural finish-Good, with attractive figure, color and grain structure.

Remarks:

The greater part of this country’s Oak production, which is estimated to equal about one-third of the total production of all commercial hardwood lumber, consists of Red Oak and White Oak. Red Oak is produced in greater quantity than White Oak but all of its properties are not quite as good.

The total stand of Red Oak in the United States has been estimated about 31,800,000 board feet. Red Oak lumber is produced in an annual volume estimated at about 1,590,000 board feet. While some Red Oak is found in the Northeast and as far west as Minnesota, Wisconsin, and iowa, the greatest volume of Red Oak lumber comes from the South, principally from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

When sold commercially, Red Oak usually includes: Northern Red Oak; Southern Red Oak-also known as Scarlet Oak, Spanish Oak, Spanish Water Oak and Spotted Oak; Pin Oak; Laurel Oak; Shingle Oak-also known as Northern Laurel Oak; Swamp Red Oak; Texan Oak-also known as Spotted Oak and Texas Red Oak; Black Oak also known as Yellow Oak; and Willow Oak-also known as Pin Oak; Red Oak is also known in a few parts of the country as Turkey Oak but the name is not as common as those previously listed.

Red Oak is very similar to White Oak in appearance and working characteristics although the wood is not quite as strong. Its grain is more open than White Oak and slightly more obvious and its color is more generally red than brown. In the summerwood the pores of Red Oak are relatively few and distinct enough to count but those of White Oak are very crowded and are usually too numerous to count.

Although it is less resistant to decay than White Oak and is less waterproof because it has fewer tyloses than are present in White Oak, Red Oak varies so slightly in other favorable characteristics that it is generally used as an alternate for White Oak in less expensive constructions and wood products wherever darker pieces can be used. From a commercial standpoint there is little to choose between the two woods aside from color.

Red Oak of the Water Oak and swamp grown species are much used in veneer form for containers, such as fruit crates, shingle boards and wire bound boxes, as well as for utility plywood. In the better grades it is produced as rotary-cut, sliced or sawn veneer for face and decorative purposes. The rotary-cut veneer shows an attractive grain figure, not quite as pronounced as that of White Oak but still possessed of natural beauty and appeal. Sliced or sawn veneer is commonly produced in flat-grain, comb grain, quarter sawn and rift sawn form.

The natural color of Red Oak ranges from reddish brown to a decided reddish tinge, particularly near knots. Plain sawn surfaces show shorter ends of medullary rays than White Oak but quartered Red Oak shows a flake very similar to White Oak. Its color is warm and pleasant and its figure is especially attractive in novelty finish presentation.

Red Oak is most abundant and is sufficiently hard, stiff, and strong to suit it for all types of wood construction although it is best adapted to constructions where some protection is afforded from the elements. It is especially well suited for flooring and interior finish as it has the degree of hardness required to resist indentation, high abrasive resistance, and an attractive grain and color.

While it is not equal to White Oak in waterproofness to suit it for the manufacture of water-tight containers, Red Oak still is a popular cooperage wood for the manufacture of slack cooperage. It is also much used in the basket industry.

Red Oak is very nearly equal to White Oak in steam bending properties. It appears in the form of bent parts for chairs and furniture in larger quantities than White Oak as it is used more in medium-priced and low-priced furniture applications. Red Oak is also used in bent form in considerable volume for truck body parts, farming implements, and boat and ship members.

Red Oak is one of the leading all-purpose furniture woods for the manufacture of furniture in the lower-price brackets and is used for both interior and exterior parts. It naturally lends itself to unusual decorative effects and is presented in many novelty finishes which are effective only over Oak. Red Oak is seldom bleached but the use of white and other light-colored fillers makes possible a wide variety of contrasting finishes.

Its hardness, strength and ruggedness has made Red Oak very popular not only for flooring and interior finish but for all types of inside building construction. Experiments with laminated timber constructions have shown Red Oak well suited to the production of high quality laminated wood products produced from arbitrarily selected minimum size cuttings and combinations of high and low density wood.

Red Oak has always been one of the preferred woods for wagon parts and agricultural implemerits and machinery. It is widely used for doors, sash and other millwork items, sewing machines, showcases and store fixtures, church furniture, and car construction. The aircraft industry also uses considerable Red Oak in the form of propellers, spar caps, bearing blocks and other highly stressed parts. Red Oak caskets have long been a staple item with burial case manufacturers and it is also found in the construction of other specialized products, such as ladders, piano parts and elevator oonstructions.

Large quantities of Red Oak are also used in the lower grades for posts, poles, props and railroad ties. These items all require protective treatment before use, however, to improve resistance to decay in contact with the soil. Recent reports indicate there is also an increased use of Red Oak for blocking in shipping heavy equipment.

Red Oak is one of the most economical hardwoods for commercial use available today in large volume that will provide the stength, weight, hardness, abrasive resistance, stability, good appearance, bending, gluing, nailholding and screwholding, and machining properties required for an all-purpose commercial wood as well as a natural affinity for practically any finishing material properly applied. As a military hardwood of many uses, Red Oak ranks second only to WhiteOak.


White Oak

Natural color-Sapwood-nearly white, heartwood-grayish brown.

Grain-Straight.

Grain figure-Plain or flake.

Texture-Ring porous, coarsetextured.

Color variation-Some difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.67.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-47 lbs.

Hardness-Very hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-High.

Stability-Excellent.

Decay resistance-Durable.

Shock resistance-High.

Bending-Good.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good, tendency to split.

Gluing-Good.

Sanding-Good. (2/0 used for general sanding, 3/0 to polish for finishing.)

Odor and taste-Some.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good. (Saws require good set-swaged saws best.)

Planing, jointing, moulding-Good. (Cutting angles recommended-10 to 25 degrees, 15 degree back bevel; finish-12 to 14 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Fair to good. (Brad point bits with long taper cutting lips best.)

Turning-Fair to good.

Mortising-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good. (Will take practically any type stain although water stain has tendency to raise grain.)

Filling-Good. (Brown filler for most standard finishes, white and light colored fillers for novelty finishes.)

Sealing-Good, when properly filled.

Bleaching-Fair to good. (Used for novelty finishes only.)

Finishing-Good. (Takes all finishes well, especially attractive in contrasting novelty finishes.)

Natural finish-Good, with attractive figure, color and grain structure.

Remarks:

Oak can truly be called the Sovereign Wood of America. There are about 500 species of Oak recognized in the world, with about 60 species common to the United States, only 14 of which are of commercial importance. It is cut commercially in about 40 states in a timber stand which has been estimated in quantity varying from 101 billion to 60 billion board feet, 47% of which is in White Oak. The country’s annual Oak lumber production is estimated to be about 3 billion board feet, with more than 50% being produced in the South.

Most Oak lumber production is confined to regions east of the Great Plains, with the greatest production being reached in the deep South; Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi is generally credited with more than 25% of the production. Most of the Oak is marketed under White Oak or Red Oak in about equal amounts. The two other important species belonging to neither White or Red Oak groups are live Oak and California Tanbark Oak.

White Oak is the ranking group and as sold commercially usually includes: White Oak, Bur Oak, Chinquapin Oak, Overcup Oak, Post Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak and Swamp Oak. These Oaks are sometimes known by different common names in different localities, such as Rock Oak, Yellow Oak, Yellow Chestnut Oak, Basket Oak and Cow Oak.

White Oak is one of the best allpurpose and most used of all American woods. Many different types of grain and figure are obtained from the log by varying the angle of sawing for lumber or slicing for veneer. In the form of lumber quartered White Oak was formerly very popular for decorative purposes because of the pleasing figure obtained by sawing the log at an angle which brought out and emphasized the radial grain in broad flakes crossing the ring growth from the center of the tree. The comb grain effect that is more popular today is obtained by sawing or slicing the log at an angle which emphasizes the ring growth with scarcely any visible radial grain.

In the form of veneer White Oak is usually rotary-cut, sliced or sawn. The rotary-cut veneer has quite a pronounced grain figure while sliced or sawn veneer can be flat grain, quartersawn, rift-sawn or comb grain. The veneer log is also sometimes cut on the half-round or with a staylog to produce novelty grain effects. The ends of the medullary rays are usually longer in White Oak than in Red Oak on plain-sawn or sliced surfaces.

The natural color of White Oak ranges from a light brown with a grayish tinge of the heartwood to lighter tones of ochre or near white of its sapwood. Quartered White Oak shows a very prominent flake in silver grain or elusive flakes created by the large medullary rays which reflect light. The wood has good color, a naturally attractive figure and a fine texture for a coarse-grained wood together with a natural resilience and warmth. It must be remembered, however, that not all Oak of the same kind is of the same quality. Oak that grows slowly on high, well-drained ground will produce lumber of the finest texture and grain that is easier to work and least likely to swell or shrink in humid atmosphere. Oak that grows in low, warm humid land is usually coarsegrained, though very tough and hard.

White Oak is characterized by abundance, hardness, strength and good appearance which with its all-purpose adaptability to various types of finishes, qualify it for all types of wood construction. Its texture ranges from medium to firm and the heartwood pores are so obstructed at intervals with tyloses (forthlike growth) that the wood is virtually waterproof.

White Oak is outstanding for steam bending, as used in the manufacture of chair parts and boat parts, as its heavy fibers will stand a 20% reduction in length through compression in bending. Its bending characteristics strength and waterproofness also make it ideal for barrels and all forms of tight cooperage. Also in the field of marine construction, its toughness, elasticity, resistance to decay, and nail and screwholding properties can be used to good advantage. World War II showed it to be most efficient and versatile in replacing scarce metals when it was used in landing craft, PT boats, barges, etc. and the glue-laminated Oak keels used on many ships led to many developments of a laminate nature. In aircraft applications it was also used for propellers, reinforcing blocks and compressed wood parts.

White Oak is one of the most rugged woods known to man and its ability to withstand rough treatment and resist wear and abrasion has made it a favorite wood for floors, interior trim and paneling Because of its durability in contact with the soil, it is also popular for use as railroad ties and structural material, mining props and fencing material, posts and poles.

Ranking among the leading cabinet woods of this country, White Oak is one of the woods most commonly used in furniture both in the form of lumber and as a veneer. At the present time it is widely used for modern furniture which requires natural or the popular blonde finishes. It possesses all the properties required for a good furniture wood being one of the best woods to plane and shape, turns well, glues well under proper control, has good stability with little warp or twist, and holds nails or screws very well.

White Oak lends itself to many decorative effects and may be finished in many ways to enhance its natural attractiveness: natural, stain finish of one color and filler of contrasting color, or stained and filled in the same color. Contrasting frosted Oak finishes have proved very popular in the furniture field in modern groups and individual pieces.

White Oak is much used in the manufacture of vehicle parts and agricultural implements, such as plow beams, brake beams, corn grinders and binders, doubletrees, drags, felloes, gear woods, frames, hay rakes and balers, hubs, plow parts, spokes, and windmill parts. In the utility field it is also popular for casings, cages, ladders, wire reels, sandboards, switchboards, tool chests, tanks and vats.

In the specialty field it is the leading wood for church furniture and fixtures, store fixtures, and office equipment, caskets, barber furniture, bar fixtures, billiard and pool tables, handles and brush blocks, refrigerators, sewing machines, doors, cabinet work, millwork and all kinds of planing mill products. White Oak also is used in the manufacture of basket parts, butter churns, piano parts, sleds and wagons, and truck body and trailer parts.

White Oak may contain mineral streaks, pin worm and grub worm holes. While tannic acid in the wood protects White Oak from some fungi and insects, it is subject to attack from the Oak timber worm or pin worm and several fungi that cause heart rot. Oak wilt is threatening White Oak to some extent but is presently more prevalent in the Red and Black Oaks.


Pecan

Natural color-Sapwood-pale red to white; heartwood-reddith brown, with dark streaks or stripes.

Grain-Straight.

Grain Figure-Usually straight.

Texture-Ring porous, coarsetextured.

Color variation-Marked difference in color.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.65.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]7-45 lbs.

Hardness-Very Hard.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Strong.

Stability-Good.

Shrinkage-Low.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shock resistance-High.

Sending-Good.

Nailing and screwdriving-Tendency to split.

Nailholding and screwholding-Good.

Gluing-Good.

Sanding-Good. (2/0 coarsest grit that may be used without scratching, 3/0 gives best results.)

Sawing-Good. (Saws require good set, swaged saws best.)

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Works relatively hard.

General machinability-Fair to good.

Planing, jointing and moulding-Fair to good. (Works best with shallow cut, best cutting angles 15 to 30 degrees, with 5 to 15 degree back bevel; finish-12 to 15 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Very good.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby lips best.)

Turning-Very good.

Mortising-Excellent.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Takes any stain well, but water and NGR stains more commonly used.

Sealing-Good, when properly filled, takes any sealer or primer.

Filling-Good. (Brown fillers used for standard finishes, white or transparent fillers used for blonde finishes.)

Finishing-Good. Takes all finishing materials well, with fine polish.

Natural finish-Good. (Attractive color and grain figure.)

Remarks:

American Pecan is a member of the Hickory family although it is not considered a true Hickory. Botanically it is related to Walnut. There do not seem to be any accurate estimates of the stand of lumber production of Pecan available as it is combined with Hickory in most annual reports, which is credited with a stand of some 11 billion board feet and an annual cut of about 125 million board feet.

Pecan as a commercial wood is generally considered to include: Pecan Hickory, Sweet Pecan, Bitter Pecan, Water Hickory, Bitternut Hickory, Mockernut Hickory and Nutmeg Hickory. It is a native of the United States and grows naturally in the southern states bordering on the Mississippi River, reaches its greatest size in the Ohio basin, and is found in Alabama, Arkansas, illinois, indiana, iowa, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Mexico.

Like other Hickories, Pecan is commonly classified as red, from the color of its heartwood, or white, from the sapwood, but its color variation is no indication of its strength properties. Pecan naturally has a beautiful figure and its heartwood is usually a rich, reddish brown with very dark streaks or stripes running through it to emphasize its beauty. The sapwood is light, ranging from light red to white, with a relative plain figure.

Pecan is unsurpassed in wearing qualities and possesses the same combination of strength, stiffness, hardness and elasticity as true Hickory species although its shock resistance is not quite as high. Although it does not plane as well as some woods, it shapes and turns very well and its general machining qualities are good. The natural stability of Pecan make it one of the most dependable woods as regards expansion and shrinkage.

Pecan is one of the more attractive hardwoods whose beauty is best appreciated when used in furniture, interior finish and paneling. In some panel applications of natural or light finish various interesting and attractive formations embellish the natural coloring of the wood. Stripes and an occasional burl are found and some pieces will show curly grain. Pecan usually shows a conspicuous annual ring and porous grain on the surface.

It is hard to understand why Pecan is not a more popular furniture wood. While it has enjoyed limited popularity as an alternate furniture wood for Walnut, which it resembles very much when stained, Pecan’s natural color is even more attractive. As a chair making material, Pecan meets all requirements. It has the strength, toughness and general machining properties required for good chair construction; has good bending properties for the manufacture of bent parts; and produces turnings of fine quality.

In solid and plywood panel form Pecan’s hardness, strength and stability and its attractive appearance suits it well for exterior use. It has the abrasive resistance and stiffness required for frame and drawer constructions and finishes beautifully. In more recent applications in casegoods manufacture, it has become very effective and popular in blonde and light novelty finishes.

Pecan is available in good quantity in decorative veneers. Considerable difficulty was formerly encountered in slicing Pecan for veneers but this has been overcome to produce beautiful veneers for use in furniture and wainscotting. Pecan sliced veneer is readily obtainable in 1/28-inch veneer but other thicknesses are usually cut to order. Selected Pecan veneer cut from heartwood shows beautiful dark stripes against the characteristic reddish brown background.

Many manufacturers have shied away from the use of Pecan because the wood showed a slight tendency to warp and did not plane as well as some other hardwoods. Modern dry kiln practice has overcome seasoning problems to a great extent and the use of proper cutting angles, feeds and speeds permit Pecan to be machined as easily and accurately as practically any of the hardwoods.

Pecan’s combined stiffness, toughness and strength makes it quite popular for the manufacture of vehicle parts, tool and farm implement handles as well as for such special products as golf club shafts, ladder rungs, dowels and gymnasium apparatus. It is also used extensively in automobile, trailer and truck body work. One of the more unusual uses of Pecan is in baseball bats used in scholastic circles.

Pecan is also used for flooring, interior trim and various millwork items. It is a leading school furniture wood and has other uses in bent form, other than for furniture, such as wheels, hoops, and racing sulky parts. It has always been very popular as a fuelwood and is used for basket-making in thin strips.

Pecan has a great potentional value as an alternate wood for furniture and high grade cabinet work. It has all of the properties required and is available in both solid lumber and veneer form in good volume at a price below that of many woods now in common use which do not compare in attractiveness, beauty or adaptability. Pecan really needs a good press agent, it has everything else.


Yellow Poplar

Natural color-Sapwood-creamy to white, heartwood-light to dark yellowish brown with greenish or purplish tinge.

Grain-Straight.

Grain figure-Mild.

Texture-Diffuse porous, medium textured.

Color variation-Marked difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.40.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-28 lbs.

Hardness-Soft.

Strength-Moderately weak.

Stability-Excellent.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shrinkage-Medium to high,

Shock resistance-Low to medium.

Bending-Fair to poor.

Nailing and screwdriving-Excellent.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair

Gluing-Very good.

Sanding-Fair to poor. (3/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching, 4/0 gives best results.)

Sawing-Good. (Seldom requires special setting or saw conditioning.)

Odor and taste-None.

Stiffness-Good.

Machinability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Planing, jointing and moulding-Good. Shaping-Fair to poor.

Boring-Good. Brad point bits with long tapered cutting lips best.)

Turning-Good.

Paintholding-Excellent.

Staining-Takes any stain but is seldom stained.

Filling-Seldom filled.

Finishing-Good. (Takes and holds all kinds of paints, enamels and top coats well, never shows raised grain or discoloration from resin.)

Natural finish-Seldom used, has no distinctive figure or grain or attractive coloring effects.)

Remarks:

Yellow Poplar is one of the more important of the commercial hardwoods although it is a “Soft” hardwood that is in many respects similar to Basswood. Its name is misleading as it is not of the same family as true Poplars. It is commonly known as the Tulip Tree but is in no way related to Brazilian Tulipwood. In certain parts of the country, as Virginia and Pennsylvania it is also sometimes called “Canoe Tree” because the indians made their dugouts from it. Yellow Poplar is also known as Whitewood in some parts of the country. This classification is usually used for lumber cut from young Poplar timber which is mostly Sapwood. Although not used commercially to any extent, the tree is sometimes called “Saddle Leaf Tree” because of the distinctive shape of its leaves.

Yellow Poplar is one of the largest hardwood trees grown in this country and is known to have grown to over 10 feet in diameter and up to 200 feet tall. It is found growing naturally in a large area bounded generally by southern New England through New York to southern Wisconsin and south to northeastern Alabama and northern Florida. Yellow Poplar seems to reach its largest size in the lower Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

The only two true Tulip tree species known in the world are found only in the United States and central China. The stand of saw timber has been estimated from 9 to over 12 billion board feet, over half of which is in the states of Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The annual production of Yellow Poplar lumber is estimated at about 500 million board feet, with the high production cut in 1946 reaching about 790 million board feet. Georgia and Virginia are generally credited with the highest annual production of Yellow Poplar lumber.

Tulip tree lumber is commonly distributed as Yellow Poplar in the usual hardwood grades although special grades of Whitewood are sold in certain parts of the country. Cucumber Magnolia and Evergreen Magnolia are sometimes sold as and with the lower grades of Yellow Poplar and resemble that wood considerably except that they are usually somewhat heavier and harder and have a more greenish or purplish tinge.

Yellow Poplar is available in good quantity both in the form of lumber and as veneer for crossbanding and face veneers. The sapwood is generally creamy to white, with discoloring strips of darker color often present. The sapwood is usually several inches in thickness and there is a marked difference between sapwood and heartwood in color. The heartwood is usually a pale canary-yellow color with a distinctly greenish cast, although it is sometimes a light brownish color in some portions, and purplish brown or purplish black streaks are often found running through it.

Yellow Poplar is a medium textured, light weight wood noted for its ability to stay in place and hold its position, excellent gluing and nailing qualities, and general good machinability. Although classified as moderately weak in strength properties, Yellow Poplar has sufficient strength for most constructions and is superior to many hardwoods in stability, stiffness and allround adaptability.

Yellow Poplar is especailly popular in the plywood field as a core wood, where its ability to take glue, light weight, ability to hold position with little warping tendencies, and good machinability make it an ideal base for veneers. In the form of veneer it is used both for crossbanding and face veneer, although its application as a face veneer is somewhat limited by its lack of distinctive figure chiefly to utility plywood. As a veneer Yellow Poplar has little definite figure, showing a little curly at times and sometimes shows some blister and burl in selected veneers.

Yellow Poplar is much used for exterior construction and trim as it has good weather and moisture resistance qualities together with an excellent surface for taking and holding paint and enamel. Some of its many outside applications include: battens, siding, outside trim, sash, sill, shutters, blinds, porch ceilings, carriages, stringers columns and railings.

Industrial reports show that Yellow Poplar is used in the manufacture of wood products by more different industries than any other wood, either softwood or hardwood. Its lumber is wide and easily cut so that its use is not confined to any extent by rough dimension. In inside applications yellow Poplar cannot be beat as a hardwood for painted and enameled finished woodwork because of its stability and its lack of any substance in its wood structure which will affect either paint or enamel finish.

In the furniture field Yellow Poplar is chiefly used in panel form for corestock, table tops, case panels, etc., but it is also used considerably for carvings and low-priced turnings. As a furniture wood it is usually finished in enamel or some other finish with good covering capacity as it has little figure of its own and often presents mineral streaks which must be covered or painted out. Yellow Poplar is especially popular for use in breakfast and dinette sets finished in enamel or colored lacquer.

Yellow Poplar is used extensively for toys and general millwork and planing mill products. It is a preferred wood with musical instrument manufacturers and its lack of odor and taste has made it popular for the manufacture of food containers, woodenware, baskets, kitchen cabinets and refrigerators. In one of its more novel applications Yellow Poplar is used to make tabacco and cigar boxes. In cigar box manufacture the wood is either covered by a thin Cedar veneer or the wood is marked and stained to simulate Spanish Cedar.

In the lower grades Yellow Poplar is used for boxes, crates and veneered containers. It is also a leading excelsior wood and is used in small quantities for pulpwood to make paper. The airplane industry also uses Yellow Poplar for beams, braces, frames, longerons, ribs, spacer blocks and struts. Piano manufacturers use Yellow Poplar for piano actions and other parts and it is used in the manufacture of organ parts and pipes.

Other important uses of Yellow Poplar are for motor vehicle and wagon parts, store and office fixtures, caskets, car construction, Venetian blinds, ironing boards, bakers peels, laundry machinery, carpet sweepers, trunks, bungs and faucets, farming implements, ladders, matches, pool tables and ping pong tables, brush blocks and plumber’s woodwork. This is at best only a partial list of Yellow Poplar applications as it is used to make thousands of wood products, large and small.

The inner bark of the trunk and roots of the Yellow Poplar or tulip tree is a prolific source of hydrochlorate of tulipferine, an alkaloid and stimulant, which has the unique property of stimulating the heart.

Yellow Poplar is suited to the manufacture of any wood product which does not require the ultimate in hardness and strength. It possesses most of the remaining properties required in abundance and is very easily worked. While it is not suited to a natural or stained finished where an attractive figure or coloring is needed, it has an excellent surface for taking and holding paint or enamel for a permanent finish which is not equalled by most hardwoods it is available in good volume and large dimension at a price which makes it most competitive in the hardwood lumber market.


Sycamore

Natural color-Brownish white to reddish brown.

Grain-Irregular, interlocked.

Grain figure-Flake (prominent when quarter-sawn.)

Texture-Diffuse porous, fine uniform texture.

Color variation-Some difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.49.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-34 lbs.

Hardness-Medium.

Strength-Moderately strong.

Stability-Average.

Decay resistance-Not durable.

Shrinkage-High.

Shock resistance-Medium.

Bending-Fair to poor (retains shape well after bending.)

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Good.

Sanding-Fair to poor. (3/0 sandpaper gives best results.)

Sawing-Good. (Saws require good set, swaged saws give best results.)

Gluing-Good.

Odor and taste-None.

Sliffness-Moderate

Machinability with hand tools-Fair to poor.

General machinability-Fair to good

Planing, jointing and moulding-Fair to poor. (Requires keen cutters and high machine speeds.)

Shaping-Fair to good.

Boring-Good, (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips best.)

Turning-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Takes any stain.

Filling-Seldom filled.

Bleaching-Seldom bleached – takes pastel finishes without bleaching.

Finishing-Good. (Takes any finishing material well but is seldom painted as natural figure in quartered form lends itself to natural or non-obscuring stains.)

Natural finish-Much used in quartered form which shows attractive pronounced flake.

Remarks:

American Sycamore belongs to the planetree family and is the most important of the seven species native to the United States, Mexico and Central America. It is sometimes known as Planetree, Button-Ball or Buttonwood and is one of the largest trees of eastern United States. It grows to 80 or 100 feet high and 3 to 8 feet in diameter scattered in mixture with other hardwood trees found along stream banks and in bottomland.

Sycamore grows widely in the eastern half of the country but a greater portion of the lumber comes from bottomlands along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Its general distribution is throughout the eastern half of the country from northern Maine to northeastern Nebraska, south into Texas and along the Gulf of Mexico to northern Florida.

No real accurate figures are available on the timber stand of Sycamore due to the scattered nature of its distribution. A rough estimate places the total timber stand at about 3 billion board feet. Lumber cut in an average year is about 68 million feet with about 80% of the total cut coming from the south. Sycamore lumber makes up only a small portion of the total cut in hardwood mills so that it is a by-product rather than a major product due to its limited supply.

A good quantity of Sycamore lumber is cut into 5/8-inch thickness for use as drawer stock by the furniture industry. As plain-sawn lumber Sycamore has little figure and is restricted more or less to utility uses. Most of the better Sycamore timber is quarter-sawed to bring out its very attractive figure in the form of numerous pronounced flakes against a faint growth ring background. These brownish or reddish-brown flakes run up to 1/4-inch in height, greater than Beech, Birch, Maple or Oak, and are darker in color than the background wood. No small narrow rays are seen between the wide flakes as they are in Beech.

Quartered Sycamore is also enjoying increased popularity in veneer and plywood form for furniture, interior finish and wall paneling, in quartersliced veneer Sycamore presents a prominent flake figure to impart an attractive mottled texture and a pleasing ribbon stripe is also produced by selective cutting. This Sycamore veneer is very popular for veneered bedroom furniture finished in light novelty finishes which do not obscure the grain.

The sapwood of Sycamore will range in color from brownish white to pale reddish brown or silvery brown and the heartwood from pale brown to dark brown with either a reddish or silvery tinge. The color difference between sapwood and heartwood is moderate and blends together in a single board rather than standing out in bold relief.

Some trouble is experienced with seasoning plain-sawn Sycamore but quarter-sawed lumber seasons well under controlled drying conditions. The wood is of fine, uniform texture, moderately heavy and hard and is generally rated as intermediate in strength stiffness and shock resistance properties. It has unusual resistance against splitting due to its interlocked fiber, somewhat like gum.

Some difficulty has been encountered in machining at surfacing machines, such as the planer, jointer and moulder, but by using higher spindle speeds, 5400 r.p.m. instead of 3600 r.p.m., and keen cutters with cutting angles from about 15 to 25 degrees, a good finish can be produced on plain-sawn Sycamore with 11 to 14 knife-cuts per inch and on quarter-sawed stock with 14 to 16 knife-cuts-per-inch. It turns, shapes, saws, bores and mortises exceptionally well and shows good detail on shaped or turned parts.

Sycamore’s poor decay resistance prevents its use for posts, poles or railroad ties and it is seldom used for exterior construction or trim. Its peculiar resistance to splitting has made it a preferred wood for the manufacture of meat and butcher’s blocks which require dense wood fibers which do not splinter easily and can resist constant chopping.

Sycamore has proved to be an excellent wood for the manufacture of shipping containers for candy, foods, vegetable and dairy products as it has no tendency to impart either odor or taste. This property has also led to its use for tobacco boxes, fruit and berry boxes, and flour and sugar barrels. It is used extensively for slack cooperage also and it has been estimated that about two-thirds of the total Sycamore cut is used for boxes and crates.

The musical instrument manufacturers use considerable Sycamore in the construction of their products. It is commonly used for piano backs and bodies for stringed instruments, such as guitars and mandolins. Sycamore is also used in limited quantities for the manufacture of agricultural implements, small boats, brush blocks, carpet sweepers, refrigerators, handles, shade rollers, vehicle bodies and laundry appliances.

Quartered Sycamore is especially attractive for wall paneling and interior trim. It is used for risers and floor and fancy matched veneer doors lend themselves well to interior decoration. Furniture, fixtures and millwork also take a considerable amount of this stock and casket manufacturers seem to be using more of it. It takes a pleasing natural finish and is much-used with light stains which enhance the attractive grain figure. Plain-sawn lumber is used in chair manufacture and for moderately priced furniture and breakfast and dinette sets.

Some of the more unusual uses for Sycamore are for blackboards, merry-go-round parts, signs, scientific instruments and fruit and vegetable hoppers. It was the favorite trees from which the illinois French settlers made their large trade dugout canoes, which were made as long as 65 feet and carried loads up to 9,000 lbs.

Sycamore is one of the most beautiful of the hardwoods in its quartered form and would enjoy a much wider use application it it were in more generous supply. Modern seasoning and machining practice has removed most of the difficulties previously experienced with its preparation for use in a finished wood product and its other properties make it a good all-purpose wood. Sycamore takes a beautiful finish and it has an excellent appearance with a natural finish.


Tupelo & Black Gum

Natural color-White or whitish brown to brownish gray or grayish black.

Grain-interlocked, plain or figured.

Texture-Diffuse porous, fine uniform texture.

Color variation-Little difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.50.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-35 lbs.

Hardness-Moderately hard.

Stitfness-Moderately stiff.

Strength-Moderately strong.

Stability-Naturally poor, fair when properly seasoned,

Decay resistance-Moderate. Shock resistance-Moderate.

Bending-Poor to fair.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Good.

Gluing-Excellent.

Sanding-Fair to good. (3/0 coarsest grit that can be used without scratching, 4/0 gives best results.)

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Good.

General machinability-Good.

Planing, jointing and moulding-Fair to good. (10 to 20 degrees cutting angle, with back bevel 10 to 15 degrees, and 9 to 13 knife-cuts-per-inch for best results.)

Shaping-Fair.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with long taper cutting lips best.)

Turning-Good.

Mortising-Fair.

Sawing-Good.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Very good.

Bleaching-Seldom used.

Sealing-Very good.

Filling-Seldom used.

Finishing-Excellent for natural, stained, shellac, varnish, lacquer or synthetic finishes and takes paint and enamel very well.

Natural finish-Quarter-sawed Black Gum takes attractive natural finish.

Remarks:

The stand of Tupelo is estimated as 18,957,000,000 board feet made up almost entirely of Water Tupelo and Black Gum. Both are relatively large trees but Water Tupelo is a swamp forest tree found along lake shores and in bottomiands while Black Gum may grow in dryer land. Water Tupelo is distributed in the Coast Region from southeastern Virginia through the Gulf States to Texas and northward in the Mississippi River region to southern illinois. Its best development is found in the Cypress swamps of Louisiana and southern Texas. Black Gum is found throughout the region east of the Mississippi River and west through southeastern Missouri to Texas. Its best growth is found in the southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Water Tupelo is known by various names in certain parts of the country, such as Tupelo Gum, Swamp Tupelo, Cotton Gum, Swamp Gum, Bay Poplar and Hazel Pine. Black gum is also known as Black Tupelo, Pepperidge and Sour Gum. These names are also used indiscriminately for Tupelo.

Tupelo and Black Gum are sold both under their respective names and in mixture as one or the other. While they are distinct botanical species, their wood is so similar there is no way of positively identifying the wood of the two species, except when quarter-sawn Black Gum shows a ribbon stripe figure. Separation is usually made on the basis of hardness, with the harder wood being classified as Black Gum.

Most of the lumber production comes from the south and the total cut in an average year is about 500,000,000 board feet, with slightly more than half the cut being Black Gum. The principal producers are found in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina. This timber has only been cut for lumber since about 1910 in any quantity but its progress since then has been remarkable.

The chief difference between Tupelo and Black Gum is its specific gravity or density. The density of Black Gum is the same from tree top to stump but there is a gradual decrease in density down the trunk of Tupelo. Although both species have the same dry-wood density at the top, about 0.50, this density will decrease in Tupelo to about 0.25 in the swelled butt and about 0.13 in the roots to make the rootwood just as light as Balsa wood. This lightweight wood is commonly used as floats for fish nets.

Some users maintain that genuine tough-textured, deep swamp Tupelo is superior and insist on it in preference to Black Gum. Some coast mills have specialized in the production of this so-called genuine Tupelo to meet this demand. The use of Water Tupelo has increased considerably as is evidenced by the fact that of 282,000,000 board feet used in the manufacture of finished products in 1940, fully two-thirds of this lumber was Water Tupelo.

The lumber of Tupelo and Black Gum is largely sapwood and in color it is generally considered a neutral wood since it is virtually white throughout and contains no perceptible markings. In fact, the sapwood is as nearly white as any wood that grows and is of much greater volume than the heartwood which ranges in color from brownishgray to grayish-black. There is just a gradual color transition from sapwood to heartwood.

In the heavier grades Tupelo cannot be distinguished from Black Gum, even in hardness, but the lighter-weight Tupelo has less tendency to warp and is generally preferred by manufacturers. Both Tupelo and Black Gum have spiral grain and a tendency to warp and twist, if not properly seasoned or dressed uniformly on each side of the board in machining. When matched into cores or other glued-up panels, it is customary to alternate matching pieces as they are matched up to counteract warping and twisting tendencies.

The wood is of uniform textures and an interlocked grain which makes it resistant to splintering under heavy wear and difficult to split. It is moderately heavy and moderately strong. Its stiffness and shock resistance is adequate for use in most wood products and it is an excellent wood to finish with any finishing material on its close uniform-textured surface. One of the chief reasons for its preferred use in boxes for export shipment is its unusual ability to show lettering to good advantage.

The only marked preference for Black Gum is in its quarter-sawn products which bring out an attractive and distinctive ribbon stripe that is very popular for interior finish, paneling and furniture. In the form of lumber, quartered Black Gum is sold only in FAS grades. The lumber seasons and works well and takes an excellent finish. As a fancy face veneer it is equally popular for furniture and other interior applications for decoration.

Both species are used in volume by the veneer industry, particularly in the south where it makes up a large part of the total production. Rotary-cut veneer is used for utility veneer and crossbanding for fancy face veneers. Some plain veneer is also used for lower grades of furniture plywood. Much of the veneer cut is used for containers: wire-bound boxes, baskets and berry crates and boxes because of its strength and toughness in veneer form, resistance to splitting and wear, and freedom from any tendency to impart odor or taste. The latter property also makes it popular for tabacco and cigar boxes.

Tupelo is used to imitate Spanish Cedar for tobacco boxes by indenting the veneer sheets between toothed rollers to give it a simulated Cedar grain. It is also stained a Cedar color and is sometimes even given an artifical odor by treating it with Cedar oil.

Tupelo and Black Gum are always given consideration where exceptional resistance to abrasion, splitting and wear are of prime importance. They are used as tops for work benches, store counters, and school furniture and have proved very satisfactory for factory floors and platforms subject to heavy wear. Preservative treatment has also permitted their use for docks and wharves as well as bridge planking to reduce maintenance from splintering and abrasion.

The properties of Tupelo and Black Gum which led to their use for ox yokes, wagon parts and chopping bowls are now utilized for gunstocks and pistol grips, hat blocks, rollers in glass factories, axles, fences, hoppers, hubs, laundry appliances, wooden shoes and railroad cars.

Good nailholding and screwholding properties and resistance to splitting make this wood well suited to the manufacture of shipping boxes and crates and built-in cabinets and fixtures. Its general adaptability causes it to be used also for coat hangers, picture frames, novelties, toys, musical instruments and woodenware.

The inherent finishing quality leads to major uses in furniture, caskets, chairs, cabinets and general millwork and fixture products. The clear white wood makes it ideal for products requiring either paint or enamels finish, such as interior finish doors, cabinets and fixtures and in stained finishes for furniture it is equal to any hardwood and is much-used to imitate more expensive cabinet woods.

Tupelo and Black Gum have been exported to Europe for some time and their utilization in this country has by no means reached its peak. The veneers are inexpensive, practical and have excellent quality. The lumber is plentiful in supply and if seasoned properly and handled through the plant properly, will remain flat, and be as durable and finish as well if not better than other hardwoods.


Walnut

Natural color-Sapwood-pale to whitish brown, heartwood-medium to chocolate brown.

Color variation-Distinct difference between sapwood and heartwood.

Grain-Straight or irregular.

Grain figure-Varied.

Texture-Diffuse porous, close textured.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.55.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-38 lbs.

Hardness– Medium.

Stiffness-High.

Strength-Very high.

Stability-Excellent.

Decay resistance-Durable.

Shock resistance-Good.

Bending-Fair to good.

Nailing and screwdriving-Fair to good.

Nailholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Excellent.

Sanding-Very good. (Best results with 4/0 for polishing, 3/0 for production sanding.)

Odor and taste-Some.

Workability with hand tools-Good,

General machinability-Good.

Sawing-Good. (Best results with good set in saws.)

Planing, jointing, moulding-Good. (Best cutting angles-15 to 30 degrees, finish – 14 knife cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Good.

Boring-Good. (Brad-point bits with strong stubby cutting lips best.)

Turning– Excellent.

Mortising-Excellent.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good, takes all stains well. (Water stains and NGR stains most used.)

Filling-Good. (Brown or black fillers used except for light or natural finishes.)

Sealing-Good, takes any sealer.

Bleaching-Good, for light finishes.

Finishing-Good, takes all finishing materials well but is never painted.

Natural finish-Excellent, with varied figure and coloring.

Remarks:

The growth of American Walnut timber is scattered over a wide natural range, with the trees growing singly or in small groups, and no reliable estimate figures are available on the stand in connection with forest surveys. Rough estimates have been made from 900,000,000 to 1,750,000,000 board feet of timber which must supply from 40,000,000 to 50,000,000 board feet consumed annually. In an average year, the lumber cut was 41,000,000 board feet with an additional 15,000,000 board feet being used in manufacture of veneers. The drain has been so great that the Walnut industry has instituted a progressive forestry program including woodland management and the planting of young trees to replenish the annual cut. In a single year (l948) 3,241,000 stratified Walnuts and seedlings were planted as part of this program, according to a report made by the American Walnut Manufacturers Association.

Under favorable conditions American Walnut is a rapid-growth tree and reaches a height of 30 to 40 feet and a breast-high diameter of 5 to 9 inches in 20 years. The industry has set a cutting standard of a minimum 15-inches d.b.h. (diameter breast high) for all uses. It grows best in deep, rich, welldrained soil where moisture is plentiful and has reached its best size in the region of the Mississippi Basin. The timber is scattered over a wide natural range from Ontario, Canada south to Texas and from Massachusetts west to mid-Nebraska, with commercial quantities found chiefly in illinois, indiana, iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. Kansas and Missouri are the leading states in Walnut lumber production.

The Walnut family numbers about 13 species with American Walnut and European – Asiatic Walnut (variously known as English, French, italian, Persian and Circassian, according to habitat) being the most important species. Most of these yield fine cabinet lumber and top-grade veneer but none of the foreign species approach the yield of American Walnut.

The reason for the use of the commercial name, Black Walnut, for American Walnut has never been accurately determined. The wood has various shades of brown coloring but is never black. The sapwood ranges from a creamy-white to a pale brown and the heartwood varies from light to chocolate brown, sometimes with darker streaks and/or a slate-blue cast. The natural coloring of Walnut is characteristically light and warm and is so nearly neutral that it harmonizes with any kind of decorative color scheme.

American Walnut has an endless variety of figures, most of which are a distinct Walnut type seldom seen in other woods. This varied figuration is caused by the annual growth rings and the natural irregular or wavy grain of the wood. Visible pores, relatively large and numerous in the spring wood, emphasize each ring of growth. Careful cutting of the logs produces plain wood of quiet dignity and beauty as well as veneers of many figured types. As used in the manufacture of veneer, Walnut yields up to 24 distinctive types of figures which are easily matched into individual patterns of beauty for decorative purposes.

American Walnut veneers are produced by sawing, slicing and rotary cutting, with the last two methods being used principally for high grade veneers. Slicing and half-round cutting done at right angles to the growth rings produce various stripe effects. Rotarycut Walnut veneer generally shows a series of widely-spaced irregular lines as the knife stays within a single growth ring for several inches in cutting around the log.

The longwood veneer is produced in plain, semi-figured and figured patterns and include such well-known patterns as cross figure, fiddle back, mottle and rope. Quartered logs present a range from fine pencil to wide stripes. Wood of decided grain is also obtained in veneer from butts or stumps, varying from plain to 80% figure, with most showing wavy grain where the roots spread out from the tree. Very attractive Walnut veneer is also produced from burls, some of which weigh as much as a ton, which shows a very attractive wavy and swirl figure as well as the distinctive moonshine effect.

Distinctive swirl figures are also produced from crotchwood and many figured quartered effects are obtained by first flitching the log into quarters. This method produces a very effective Circassian Walnut effect in a California Walnut, known as Claro. All Walnut veneers are matched into distinctive decorative patterns using every known matching method. The adaptability of Walnut veneer for decorative matching is well shown by the common use of Walnut in making inlaid pictures, using various kinds for their wide range of color,grain and figure to assure desired effects.

The most prized effects are produced from burls and other freak tree formations. This material is so highly prized that it is sold by the pound. Even stumps bring high prices as evidenced by the stump of a Black Walnut tree near Smithfield, Va. which sold for $3,800 in 1937-more than was paid proportionately for the tree.

It seems hardly necessary to expound at length on the value of Walnut as a cabinet or furniture wood. Its known use in both fields extends back to the early 1400’s. Walnut has recorded furniture application during the early Renaissance period, 1400 to 1500 A.D. and in English history is particularly associated with Queen Anne furniture. One of the architectural uses of Walnut for decorative work of early record was the S. Zaccaria choir stalls, made of italian Walnut by Francesco and Marco di Vicenza sometime between 1455 and 1464.

Known through the ages as the Royal Cabinet Wood, Walnut has all the desirable properties for an all-purpose wood. It has sufficient hardness and strength for general use but not enough hardness to dull cutting tools excessively. Because of its close, even grain it is easily worked into the most artistic designs and is well suited for carving. Walnut is valued for its rich color and luster as well as a fine figure that is distinctive but not obtrusive its fine finishing and polishing qualities, stiffness without excessive weight, good machining and sanding properties, and exceptional ability to stay in place when properly seasoned.

Walnut’s unusual stability has led to almost universal use for airplane propellers and gun stocks. A leading armorer states Walnut is preferred as gun stock material because after seasoned Walnut has been cut and shaped it alters very little if at all, so the gun barrel and locks drop into position and rest without bending locks or throwing barrels out of line. The American Walnut Manufacturers Association reported that large quantities of unshaped Walnut gun stocks, left over from World War I, were used to make guns for World War II with practically no change in shape or other deterioration.

The extreme variety of Walnut’s grain, figuring and color have made it most popular for interior trim and even for flooring of the best American homes. In both solid and veneer form, with veneer generally preferred, Walnut is extensively used for panels and doors, usually finished in its natural rich, brown color in a hand-rubbed or polished gloss finish. It is never painted for that would truly be sacrilegious.

While its most important uses are in solid and veneer construction of furniture, high-grade cabinet work, and interior trim and paneling Walnut is also much used in the manufacture of church appointments (altars, pews, etc.), caskets, carvings, clock cases, museum cases, instrument cases, jewel caskets, showcases, passenger car construction, decorative ornaments, desks, fixtures, mouldings, novelties, organs and pianos, boat paneling, trim and instrument boards, radio and television sets, sewing machines, stringed musical instruments, steering wheels and other decorative vehicle parts.

Aside from its wide use for propellers, Walnut has many other uses in the aircraft industry, such as interior paneling, patterns, high-grade plywood, spar caps and highly-stressed parts.

In any and all of its many applications Walnut can be finished in natural, traditional or novelty finishes with all types of finishing materials. Properly cleaned up and sanded, it produces a very smooth finish and is very easy to keep clean and take care of in use. When Walnut is stained, only those stains which will bring out the beauty of figure and grain are used so as not to obscure the varied texture, figure and graduated color effects.

Although its growth may be retarded by excessive crowding or shading, Walnut is a relative hardy tree. Even though its chief foes, tent and Walnut caterpillars, may disfigure the trees, they seldom kill them. Durability of Walnut in furniture or other forms of cabinet construction is most eloquently attested by the number of antique pieces still in active use after hundreds of years of service, whose drawers still move in and out as smoothly as when they were first made of this Royal Cabinet Wood.


Willow

Natural color-Sapwood-light tan or whitish brown, heartwood-creamy light brown to pale reddish brown.

Color variation-Non-uniform, intermediate.

Grain-Heavy and coarse.

Grain figure-Varied.

Texture-Diffuse porous.

Specific gravity [at 12% m.c.]-0.37.

Weight per cubic foot [at 12% m.c.]-26 lbs.

Hardness-Soft.

Stiffness-intermediate.

Strength-intermediate.

Toughness-Good.

Stability-Very good.

Decay Resistance-Not durable.

Shock Resistance-Fair to good.

Bending-Fair, seldom bent cornmercially.

Nailing and screwdriving-Good.

Nallholding and screwholding-Fair to good.

Gluing-Excellent.

Sanding-Poor to fair, inclined to fuzz. (3/0 or 4/0 for best results after glue sizing.)

Odor and taste-None.

Workability with hand tools-Fair.

General machinability-Fair.

Sawing-Fair. (Saws required good set, swaged saws best.)

Planing, jointing, moulding-Poor to fair. (Requires cut bevel-30 degrees, back bevel-10 degrees. Cutting angle-20 degrees gives best results, finish-8 to 12 knife-cuts per inch.)

Shaping-Fair.

Boring-Fair. (Brad point bits with long taper cutting lips best.)

Turning-Poor to fair. (Best turning with keen cutting edges on knives and wood at about 6% m.c.)

Mortising-Fair.

Paintholding-Good.

Staining-Good. (Used chiefly for imitation Mahogany and Walnut finishes.)

Filling-Not much used.

Sealing-Good, takes any sealer or primer.

Bleaching-Good, for light finishes and uniforming base color.

Finishing-Good, takes all finishing materials including paint and enamel.

Natural finish-Good, used for interior trim.

Remarks:

Of the 70 species of Willow in North America, only 21 are recognized as trees and only the Black Willow reaches commercial size although some quantity of Yellow and White Willow is used for special purposes and the shoots of Purple Willow are used somewhat in basket making. So-called Missouri Willow, named from its location along the Missouri River, is also mixed with Black Willow for lumber in limited quantities.

Willow has a wide distribution and is very abundant in the Mississippi Valley and throughout the Atlantic states. It is said to reach its largest dimension in southern illinois and along the Colorado River Valley in Texas, but its commercial production is limited chiefly to the Mississippi River Delta. It is characterized by tall, clear stems, growing as tall as 130 feet and about 3 feet in diameter.

Willow is a fast growing tree on islands and river banks and has been known to average 5 feet in height per year for 10 to 15 years under favorable conditions. It is not a dominant species and stagnates if it is not properly thinned out, starting as soon as practicable and continuing for 5 year intervals. Although it will stand flooding and silting without appreciable damage, stands that are not properly thinned have been known to lose up to 50% of volume in 5 to 8 years because Willow trees have been killed out by competition of other trees.

There are no statistics available on the total stand or lumber production of Willow. Its production has been chiefly a by-product of mixed hardwood stands and it has not been developed to commercial importance sufficient to warrant special study and treatment. A move is underway, however, to acquaint wood-users of the possibilities of Willow as an alternate wood. Black Willow is also known in some regions by the names “Southern Willow” and “Swamp Walnut” and has been promoted under those names.

The sapwood is light, usually a light tan or fleshy white, and the heartwood is a pale reddish brown or a creamy light brown, often with darker streaks along the grain. The color is seldom uniform and has some of the characteristics of Walnut in this respect, although it is somewhat lighter in color. It takes a very good imitation Mahogany or Walnut finish and is also bleached to produce the modern novelty finish effects.

The wood of Willow is soft, uniform in texture, and very light in weight. While it does not possess extreme strength, it does have a peculiar property that makes it tougher than many other hardwoods and is exceptionally free from warping. It is rather difficult to machine with cutters, although use of proper feeds, speeds and cutting angles at cutting machines produces as good results as the average hardwoods, and applying a glue size to the dressed surface effectively combats its tendency to fuzz in sanding. Willow possesses excellent stability and no other wood will glue better or under as wide a range of working conditions.

Its tendency to curl and interlock has made it a favored wood for the production of excelsior. Its lack of tendency to split from nailing and satisfactory nailholdinq properties has resulted in placing Willow in a preferred position as a box and container material in those regions where it is in plentiful supply. The lack of any tendency to transmit odor or taste has also led to the wide use of Willow in the manufacture of food containers and dairy, poultry and apiary supplies. It has long been used for cheese box heading, staves and hoops.

Despite its so-called structural weaknesses, Willow has long been used in the manufacture of caskets and is being developed for increased use in the manufacture of furniture. Its stiffness and strength have been found adequate for many constructions and in assembly, Willow has been proven tougher than many heavier woods. Its possibilities for extended use are being investigated by many progressive agencies looking for alternate woods in this period of short supply.

Willow grows abundantly along the lower Arkansas and White Rivers and has long been used in this section for box manufacture. In answer to inquiries for extending the field of this wood, the Arkansas Resources and Development Commission ran various tests and made their findings available to manufacturers of their state. Their tests showed Willow to be suited to various furniture items, that it could be bleached, and that it would serve as a good substitute for Honduras Mahogany when properly finished and would also take finish similar to many fine furniture woods.

More than 90% of all artificial limbs manufactured today are made of Willow due to its combination of lightness and freedom from warping, and ability to bruise without splintering. While some Black Willow is used, the upland variety of White Willow is generally preferred as it is tougher and does not have as much a tendency to check. Black Willow of the lowland swamps takes too long to dry and checks excessively in air-drying. This wood is also said to have unusual shape-holding characteristics in this application.

Black Willow is extensively used in certain regions of the country as interior trim and moulding in painted finish and as solid wall paneling in natural or stained finishes. When properly kiln-dried, little trouble is encountered with checking. It is also used for a variety of millwork products, novelty and woodenware. Other important uses include the manufacture of baseball bats, bookcases, boats, fixtures, furniture shelving, vehicle parts and wagon beds.

Willow is produced commercially in the form of factory lumber, commercial and package veneer. A special grade of interior trim is also produced from red heart lumber. It is used in bolt form for excelsior and in small sections as fuel and for charcoal. A large part of the charcoal used in the manufacture of gunpowder is made from Willow. The bark of some species is extremely tough and is used as strings or is twisted into rope and small Willow shoots are preferred for basket and mat weaving.

The Willow bark is high in tannin content and both the bark and the roots contain a bitter principle that is sometimes decocted from either or both for use as a substitute for quinine in the treatment of fever.

As the advantages of Willow are explored and exploited to the woodusing industries, it is hoped that the increased demand will lead to the establishment of better management of Willow timber. The profit possibilities of this timber under proper management and good woodland practice are very good. The owners of tracts containing considerable Willow state they have already cut over their holdings two or three times in a normal lifetime.

Arvada West Decorating & Flooring is Arvada, Colorado’s Premier Design and Build Contractor

Hardwood

Solid, Engineered, or Laminate. There are hardwood options for every budget and room in your house.

Carpet

We are committed to ensuring each flooring project is done properly from product selection and planning to scheduling and installation.

Kitchen & Bath

Our goal is to provide our clients with professional design, quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service.

Your Project is Next!

Trade your email for a free estimate.

Name

Email

Follow Us

insta-3-1
facebook-3-1
twitter-3-1

ARVADAFLOOR

Created By LUMIN STATION

Arvadafloor Logo