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SYCAMORE

V. Ryan 2008

 

This is possibly the finest grain feature produced by any Native Hardwood. The Ripple is caused by the buckling of the fibres due to compression in the growing tree. The degree and size of ripple can vary from log to log with heavy figure giving a stunning effect particularly when produced in quartered boards.

Acer pseudoplatanus
Family: Aceraceae

Other names: Sycamore Plane, Great Maple (UK); Plane (Scotland).

Distribution: Central Europe and the UK. Predominates in the UK in the North of England and Scotland.

 
 
 
General Description: White to creamy-white in colour with a natural lustre. It has a uniform straight grain with a fine close, even texture. Quarter sawn stock has a beautiful lacy figure due to conspicuous rays. Average weight about 610 kg/m3 (38lb/ft3); specific gravity 0.61.

Mechanical Properties: This excellent wood of medium density has medium bending and crushing strengths, low resistance to shock loads and very low stiffness, and a very good steam bending classification.

Working Properties: Works easily with hand or machine tools, and provides a fine, smooth finish. If a stained finish is required care must be taken to avoid the stain taking in patches. There is a moderate blunting effect on tools. Nails, glues, stains and polishes excellently.

Durability: Perishable sapwood is liable to insect attack but it is permeable to preservative treatment.

Uses: In the past it has been used for turning, brush handles, bobbins, textile rollers and applications where the timber is in contact with food such as butchers blocks and food containers. It is now becoming popular for use in fine cabinet work, furniture and high quality joinery. When chemically treated into shades of silver grey it is sold commercially as Harewood and is sometimes steamed or treated to change colour into a pink or mid-brown and sold as Weathered Sycamore. It is also the best veneer for processing into dyed veneers in a range of colours including dyed black as a substitute for Ebony.
 
 
 
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