Beech – American
Both American Beech and its European counterpart are known for their pale cream coloration, which is often augmented by a pink or light- to medium-colored muted reddish-brown hue. Its medium texture and typically straight grains and sometimes wavy, give it excellent working properties. American Beech cuts, turns, glues and finishes very well and has a moderate natural luster.
Flat-sawn pieces usually have very plain-looking aesthetics; the bulk of which is used for utility purposes. Conversely, quartersawn pieces typically exhibit a silvery fleck pattern — which lends the wood well to furniture and musical instrument applications, with more exquisite examples often finding their way to veneer mills.
Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Why We Love This Wood
Its similar hardness and density has seen it used as an alternative to Maple in some applications. The wood is decidedly non-durable and susceptible to insect attack. It responds well to steam-bending, but its stability can be suspect. Beech veneer has a different appearance to it's lumber. Veneer sheets (cut at only 1/42" thickness) require the wood to first be steamed. This darkens the wood, producing a pleasant golden brown color. American Beech is a common, plentiful wood and, thus, priced rather modestly.