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SPANISH CHESTNUT

V. Ryan 2008

 

Castanea sativa
Family: Fagaceae

Commercial names: Spanish Chestnut, European Chestnut.

General description: The colour is pale brown to biscuit similar to Oak, but without the silver grain figure of oak due to finer rays. The grain is from straight to spiral. Texture is coarse with ring shake and pockets of stain liable to be present in older trees. Weight around 540 kg/m3 (34 lb/ft3); specific gravity 0.54.

 
 
 


Mechanical Properties: This wood is of medium density has low bending strength, medium crushing strength and very low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. If bent in the green state it is liable to rupture on the inner face. Air dried wood has a good steam bending classification, although intolerant of pin knots.

Working Properties: Due to its acidic character it tends to corrode metal in contact with it under damp conditions and blue-black iron stains are likely to appear in the wood if in contact with iron compounds in moist conditions. There is only slight blunting effect on tools and the material is easy to work with hand or power tools. It nails, screws, stains and polishes well.

Durability: The sapwood is liable to powder post beetle and furniture beetle attack. The heartwood is durable and extremely resistant to preservative treatment.

Uses: Furniture, turning, ornamental bowls, kitchen utensils, cleft fencing, stakes and hop poles. Casks of chestnut staves are used for oils and fats, fruit juices, cheap wines, barrel hoops, walking sticks and umbrella handles. Now used extensively in furniture and kitchen furniture. It is the traditional timber for drawer sides and back panels in Oak furniture.

 

 
 
 
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