American basswood

Tilia americana

American basswood

General Description

The sapwood of basswood is usually quite large and creamy white in colour, merging into the heartwood, which is pale to reddish brown, sometimes with darker streaks. The wood has a fine uniform texture and indistinct grain that is straight.

Other Common names

Linden, American whitewood, American linn

Distribution & Availability

Eastern USA, principally the Northern and Lake States, where there is reasonable availability as lumber and veneer. Lumber is produced in a range of thicknesses, specifications and grades, although volumes may be limited.

View Physical & Mechanical Properties

Physical & Mechanical Properties

The wood is light and soft with generally low strength properties and a poor steam bending classification.

American basswood - Physical & Mechanical Properties

Specific Gravity (12% M.C.):0.37
Average Weight (12% M.C.):417 kg/m3
Average Volume Shrinkage (Green to 6% M.C.):12.60%
Modulus of Rupture:59.987 MPa
Modulus of Elasticity:10,067 MPa
Compressive strength (parallel to grain):
32.613 MPa
Hardness:1824 N
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View Working Properties

Working Properties

Basswood machines well and is easy to work with hand tools making it a premier carving wood. It nails, screws, and glues fairly well and can be sanded, stained, and polished to a good smooth finish. It dries fairly rapidly with little distortion or degrade. It has a fairly large shrinkage but good dimensional stability when dry.

American basswood - Working Properties

SawingGood
PlaningGood
DrillingGood
BoringGood
TurningGood
Carving
Excellent
Moulding
Good
Nailing
Fair
Screwing
Fair
Gluing
Fair
Finishing
Excellent
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View Main Uses

Main Uses

Carving, turning, furniture, pattern-making, mouldings, interior joinery and musical instruments. An important specialised use is Venetian blinds or internal window shutters.

American basswood - Main Uses

Doors
Flooring
Furniture
Joinery
Kitchen cabinets
Mouldings and
turnings
Veneered panels
Sports goods

Tool handles

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Other Information

Often produced in 9/4 (57.15mm) thickness for venetian blinds. Pin knots and light brown mineral streaks are a natural characteristic and not considered a defect.

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