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EUROPEAN LIME

V. Ryan 2008

 


Tilia vulgaris
Family: Tiliaceae

Other names: Tilleul (France); Linden (Netherlands and Germany).

Distribution: Throughout Europe and the U.K.

This is a very under utilised hardwood which is ideal for short mouldings and drawer sides. It takes stain well and when stained is suitable as a substitute to more expensive timbers. Normally clear but may include some colour, sound and pin knots which should be accepted as part of the character of this timber.

 
 
 

General Description: Cream-yellow, maturing to yellow-brown to pale brown. The grain is straight and the texture fine and uniform. Weighs about 540 kg/m3 (34 lb/ft3); specific gravity 0.54.

Mechanical Properties: The wood is suitable for steam bending of
moderate radius of curvature, having medium bending and crushing strength, low stiffness and resistance to shock loads. Resistant to splitting.

Working Properties: Lime works easily and readily with hand and machine tools but is inclined to be woolly and requires thin, sharp edged tools for a smooth finish. A reduced cutting angle is ideal for moulding due to the softness of the material and the slight blunting effect on cuttings edges. Glues well and nails satisfactorily, can be brought to a good finish by staining and all finishing processes.

Durability: The sapwood is liable to attack by the common furniture beetle. The heartwood is perishable but permeable to preservative treatment.

Uses: The most important use is for wood carving since it has the ability to resist splitting in any cutting direction. Used for broom handles, bee-hive frames, hat blocks, surrounding boards, piano keys, oil cask bungs, toys, flat paint brushes, turnery, bobbins etc.
 

 
 
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