Beech

Fagus grandifolia

Appearance

Shown with water-based finish (top), and oil-based finish (bottom)

Shown with water-based finish (top), and oil-based finish (bottom)

Color: Heartwood is mostly reddish brown; sapwood is generally pale white.

Grain: Mostly closed, straight grain; fine, uniform texture.  Coarser than European Beech.

Species & Grade Variations: Only one species is native to the United States.  Moderate to high color variation between boards.

Properties

Hardness (Janka): 1300; 1% harder than Northern Red Oak.

Dimensional Stability: Below average (change coefficient .00431; 17% less stable than Red Oak).

Durability: Elastic, hard; excellent shock resistance.  Wears well and stays smooth when subjected to friction — popular for factory floors.

Workability

Sawing/Machining: Difficult to work with hand tools, but good machining qualities.

Sanding: Sands satisfactorily.

Nailing: Good holding ability, but has a tendency to split.

Finishing: No known problems.

Cost

(Relative to plain sawn select Red Oak)
Multiplier:

Availability

Limited.