American beech

Fagus grandifolia

American beech

General Description

The sapwood of American beech is white with a red tinge, while the heartwood is light to dark reddish brown. American beech tends to be slightly darker and less consistent than European beech. The wood is generally straight grained.

Other Common names

Distribution & Availability

Grows throughout Eastern USA, although commercial concentration is in the Central and MiddleAtlantic States. Production volumes of higher lumber grades and thicker stock may be limited.

View Physical & Mechanical Properties

Physical & Mechanical Properties

American beech wood is classed as heavy, hard, and reasonably strong, high in resistance to shock and very suitable for steam bending.

American beech - Physical & Mechanical Properties

Specific Gravity (12% M.C.):0.64
Average Weight (12% M.C.):721 kg/m3
Average Volume Shrinkage (Green to 6% M.C.):13.00%
Modulus of Rupture:102.736 MPa
Modulus of Elasticity:11,859 MPa
Compressive strength (parallel to grain):
50.334 MPa
Hardness:5782 N
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View Working Properties

Working Properties

American beech works readily with most hand and machine tools. It has good nailing and gluing properties and can be stained and polished to a good finish. The wood dries fairly rapidly but with a strong tendency to warp, split and surface check. It is subject to a large shrinkage and moderate movement in performance.

American beech - Working Properties

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

Main Uses

Furniture, doors, flooring, internal joinery, panelling, brush handles and turning. It is particularly suitable for food containers as there is no odour or taste.

American beech - Main Uses

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

Tool handles
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Other Information

Occasional brown streaks of mineral can be found in the heartwood and are not considered a defect. Commercially, production of beech is not on the scale of European production but there are U.S. Companies specialising in steaming and export.

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