a) General description: The heartwood is very pale pink-brown. It is common practice on the continent to steam the timber, which turns it to a reddish-brown tone. Some logs have a dark red kern or darker veining. Beech has a straight grain and fine, even texture.
b) Mechanical properties: 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.
c) Seasoning: Dries fairly rapidly, but is classed as moderately refractory tending to warp, check, split and shrink. Care needed in air drying and kilning to avoid shrinkage. When dry there is a large movement in service.
d) Working properties: The ease of working varies with growth conditions and seasoning. Though material or badly timber will bind on saws, burn when crosscut, and be difficult to plane. Beech offers medium resistance to hand and power tools, and has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges.
e) Durability: The wood is perishable, liable to attack by common furniture beetle and by death watch beetle in old buildings. Sapwood is affected by longhorn beetle
f) Uses: Cabinetmaking, high-class joinery, solid and laminated furniture, desks and work benches, chair making, shoe heels, sportswear, toys bobbins, wood ware, tool handles, turnery.
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