What is a beech wood like?
Characteristics of beech wood
- Beech wood is very hard and heavy. Its hardness is such that it was used in mining to make rails for the wagons before the cast iron was introduced.
- It is yellowish in color that, over time, turns reddish to a dark reddish color.
- It is not very resistant to weathering humidity, so many of the objects produced in the past have not been preserved until today. It holds little moisture outside and easily rots unless it undergoes treatment.
- Termites and fungi attack and destroy it easily. At present it is impregnated with products that allow the removal of woodworm, so that it can be used for any type of task, even if it is exposed to moisture.
Traditional uses of beech wood
It has been used mainly for making tools and for the manufacture of various objects in turning. It is a type of wood that can be easily folded without being broken, so it was widely used to make hoops, sieves or other circular pieces.
In the past, they treated it by introducing it into the water immediately after cutting for a few days and then leaving it dry. In this way they managed to increase their resistance. In fact it was widely used for the manufacture of oars which demonstrates the effectiveness of this natural treatment.
In agriculture it was used to make tool handles, wheelbarrows, cars, plows, etc. The expansion of the railroad determined the cutting of many trees to make railway sleepers.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was much appreciated in cabinetmaking. Large quantities of wooden boards were transported to London during the 19th century to make furniture, doors, floors, bowls, etc.
In the past, when the beech forests were very abundant, it was used as fuel for its ease of burning, since it is rich in oils, and for its high calorific value. It is also considered a good wood for fire because it produces very few ashes.
Current uses of beech wood
Its hardness is superior to that of oak, and its texture more uniform . Equally remarkable are its lack of smell or taste, as well as the fact that it is very difficult to work, the fineness of its grain allows a very delicate polishing and the elegance of its distributed rings that form irregular drawings is very remarkable.
It is a wood that easily allows varnishing and polishing.
At present it is a wood very appreciated in turnery and interior carpentry. Doors, parquet, furniture and other homemade objects are made with it. Currently, beech furniture is considered quality furniture, so it is usually quite expensive.
Very used for the elaboration laminated wood or in plywood. Furniture made with beech plywood is much cheaper than those made with solid beech wood
More information on beech