SOFTWOODS

PINE: Pine is a softwood which grows in most areas of the Northern Hemisphere. There are more than 100 species worldwide.Pine is a soft, white or pale yellow wood which is light weight, straight grained and lacks figure.It resists shrinking and swelling. Knotty pine is often used for decorative effect. Pine is often used for country or provincial furniture. Pickled, whitened, painted and oil finishes are often used on this wood.
ASH: There are 16 species of ash which grow in the eastern United States. Of these, the white ash is the largest and most commercially important. Ash is a hard, heavy, ring porous hardwood. It has a prominent grain that resembles oak, and a white to light brown colour. Ash can be differentiated from hickory (pecan) which it also resembles, by white
dots in the darker summer wood which can be seen with the naked eye. Ash burls have a twisted, interwoven figure. Ash is widely used for structural frames and steam bent furniture pieces. It is often less expensive than comparable hardwoods.
HICKORY: There are 15 species of hickory in the eastern United States, eight of which are commercially important.Hickory is one of the heaviest and hardest woods available. Pecan is a species of hickory sometimes used in furniture. It has a close grain without much figure.Wood from the hickory is used for structural parts, especially where strength and thinness are required.Decorative hickory veneers are also commonly used.
BEECH: The American beech is a single species which grows in the eastern half of the United States. Beech is a hard, strong, heavy wood with tiny pores and large conspicuous medullary rays,similar in appearance to maple. This relatively inexpensive wood has reddish brown heartwood and light sapwood.Beech is often used for frames, a variety of bent and turned parts. Quarter sliced and half round cut beech veneers are commonly used.
BIRCH: There are many species of birch. The yellow birch is the most commercially important. European birch is fine grained, rare and expensive.Birch is a hard, heavy, close grained hardwood with a light brown or reddish coloured heartwood and cream or light sapwood. Birch is often rotary or flat sliced, yielding straight, curly or wavy grain patterns. It can be stained to resemble mahogany or walnut.
CEDAR: Several species of cedar grow in the southern United States, Central and South America. Cedar is a knotty softwood which has a red-brown color with light streaks. Its aromatic and moth repellent qualities have made it a popular wood for lining drawers, chests and boxes. Simple cases and storage closets are also constructed from this light, brittle wood.
REDWOOD: Indigenous to the Pacific United States, redwood trees grow to more than 300 feet tall and 2,500 years old. The best quality redwood comes from the heartwood which is resistant to deterioration due to sunlight, moisture and insects. It is used to craft outdoor furniture and decorative carvings.Redwood burls have a “cluster of eyes” figure. They are rare and valuable.
HEMLOCK: Light in weight, uniformly textured. It machines well and has low resistance to decay and nonresinous. Used for construction lumber, planks, doors, boards, paneling, sub flooring and crates.
FIR: Works easy and finishes well. Uniform in texture and nonresinous. Has low resistance to decay. Used in furniture, doors, frames, windows, plywood, veneer, general millwork and interior trim.
SPRUCE: Strong and hard. Finishes well and has low resistance to decay. Has moderate shrinkage and light in weight. Used for masts and spars for ships, aircraft, crates, boxes, general millwork and ladders.

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