The heartwood is a very pale pink-brown. It is common practice on the continent to steam. The timber which turns its to a reddish brown tone. Some logs have dark kern or darker veining. Beech has a straight grain and fine, even texture.
The steam bending properties are exceptionally good, even tolerant of knots and irregular grain. It has medium stiffness, high crushing strength and medium resistance to shock loads.
Dries fairly rapidly, but is classed as moderately refractory tending to wrap, check, split and shrink. Care needed in air drying and kilning to avoid shrinkage. When dry there is a large movement in services.
The ease of working varies with growth condition and seasonings. Tough material or badly dried timber will bind on saws, burn when crosscut, and be difficult to plane. Beech offers medium resistance to hands and power tools, and has a moderate blunting effecting on cutting edges. Pre-boring is necessary for nailing, it glues easily, stains well, and takes an excellent finish.
The wood is perishable, liable go attack by common furniture beetle and by death watch beetle in old buildings. Sapwood is affected by longhorn beetle. The timber is permeable for preservation treatment.
Cabinet Making, high class joinery, solid and laminated furniture, desk and work benches, chair making, shoe heels, sportswear, toys, bobbins, wood ware, tool handles, turnery, musical instruments, domestic floorings, heavy construction, marine pilling core stocks, and utility plywood. Sliced veneers have an excellent flecked figure on quartered surfaces, and broad rays on longitudinal surfaces, and are used for decorative veneering.