Whitebeam

APPEARANCE

White sapwood and brown-reddish to chocolate-brown heartwood with fine, smooth grain. Occasionally, curly or wavy grain also occurs. Due to the severe contrast between heartwood and sapwood, it makes a perfect substitute for hickory. It can grant much character to an average interior or make the piece-de-résistance of already daring kitchen design. Generally, however, it blends naturally within any rustic home décor where light and dark alternate. Like hickory, it is often used to create a rustic effect.

PHYSICAL
PROPERTIES

A very hard (1820 on the Janka scale) and resistant wood (despite not being a heavy one), the whitebeam is famous for being used for making clogged wheels before the advent of the industrial revolution. Considerably stable, it exhibits a meager shrinkage rate, and it can take a great deal of friction while staying smooth. Add high resilience, shock resistance, and durability, and you’ll have the complete portrait.

WORKING
PROPERTIES

Somewhat hard to see, it will dull the tools quite fast, but what else would you expect from one of the hardest woods of the Northern hemisphere? It generates a very smooth cut, but the white sapwood is prone to predispose to burn marks. Whitebeam sands very well and polishes almost glass-like smooth. It tends to splint, so pre-drilling screws and nails holes is a big must.

TRIVIA

Due to its high mineral content, whitebeam is such terrible firewood it gained the reputation of “the wood that doesn’t burn”. However, this flaw turned out to be a sought-after quality owing to which, whitebeam came to be extensively used in the past to mark boundaries throughout Europe’s countryside. Its bright-red berries hanging on branches all winter long would make it visible from a distance and, at the same time, no drifters in their right mind would ever attempt to cut it down to light their campfire.

whitebeam

whitebeam

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