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Blunting Effect
Boring
Carving
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Drying Rate
Kiln Schedules
Light-Induced Color Change
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Numerical Data
Odor
Painting
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Response to Hand Tools
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Substitutes
Texture
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Acer pseudoplatanus

Trade Name
Sycamore plane

Family Name
Aceraceae

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Common Names
Buttonwood, English harewood, English maple, European maple, Gray harewood, Great maple, Harewood, Maple, Plane, Plane tree, Planetree, Sycamore, Sycamore plane

Regions of Distribution
Africa, Western Europe

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
United Kingdom

Common Uses
Bedroom suites, Boat building (general), Boat building, Boat building: framing, Bobbins, Boxes and crates, Brush backs & handles, Building materials, Cabinetmaking, Canoes, Carvings, Chairs, Chests, Cooperages, Decorative veneer, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Domestic flooring, Drawer sides, Drum sticks, Figured veneer, Fine furniture, Flooring, Furniture , Furniture, Handles: general, Interior construction, Kitchen cabinets, Lifeboats, Living-room suites, Marquetry, Musical instruments , Musical instruments: strings, Office furniture, Organ pipes, Paneling , Paneling, Parquet flooring, Piano keys, Pianos , Plywood corestock, Radio - stereo - TV cabinets, Shade rollers, Shipbuilding, Shuttles, Sounding boards, Spindles, Spools, Sub-flooring, Tables, Textile equipment, Toys, Turnery, Veneer, Veneer: decorative

Environmental Profile
Status unknown in many of its growth areas


Distribution Overview
Sycampore plane grows in northern Europe and western Asia. It is also planted in Great Britain and the U.S. The tree can be found in seashore gardens due to its high tolerance to salt spray, as well as along roadsides and in hedgerows. It is a resilient, hardy tree, tolerating many kinds of soils.

Heartwood Color
Yellow
White
Orange
Brown
Red
Green/grey
Yellowish white
Yellow to golden-yellow to orange
Brown
Pale brown
White to cream
Greenish to greyish

Lustrous almost to the point of being iridescent, darkening upon exposure to a light golden brown color. The original white color of the wood is second only to holly wood.

Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
Brown
Red
Color not distinct from heartwood
Whitish
White to yellow
Cream


Grain
Figure
Straight
Wavy
Variable (figure)
Distinct (figure)
Even
Closed
Other (figure)
Mottled (figure)
Stripe (figure)
Fiddleback (figure)

Straight
May be wavy or curly
Variable figure
Distinct figure
Figure in generally fine
Striped figure
Other figure
Mottled figure
Lacy figure
Fiddleback figure

Curly or wavy grain can produce beautiful fiddleback or lacy figures.

Texture
Fine
Even or uniform
Uniform
Fine
Even textured


Luster
Medium
High
Lustrous
Pronounced


Natural Durability
Perishable
Non-durable
Susceptible to insect attack
Non-resistant to powder post beetles
Sapwood not resistant to insect attack
Resistant to powder post beetles
Non durable
Perishable
Susceptible to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Heartwood is susceptible to wood staining fungal attack
Sapwood is vulnerable to insect attack and tends to decay rapidly
Resistant to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Decay's readily


Odor
No specific smell or taste


Light-Induced Color Change
Lighter
Darker


Kiln Schedules
Drying (speed) is fast
Dry at a moderate speed


Drying Defects
Discoloration
Checking
Splitting
Resin Exudation
Internal Honeycombing Possible
Ring Shakes
Uneven Moisture Content
Water pockets
Staining
Slight surface checking
Slight end splitting
Ring failure
Moderate surface checking
Moderate end spitting
Honeycombing possible
Expect resin/gum exudation
Discoloration


Ease of Drying
Fairly Easy
Rapidly
Gum Exudation
Slowly
Moderately Difficult to Difficult
Little degrade
Easy
Stains easily
Air-dries rather well


Individual boards should be separated from each other.
Kiln drying recommended immediately after cutting to prevent discoloration and staining.
Slow kiln drying will produce a pink-brown weathered color, called Weathered sycamore

Kiln Drying Rate
Naturally dries quickly
Naturally dries at a moderate speed


Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is straight
Bole/stem form is cylindrical


Tree Size
Tree height is 30-40 m
Trunk diameter is 150-200 cm
Bole length is 10-20 m
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Tree height is 20-30 m
Bole length is 20-30 m
Trunk diameter is 200-250 cm


Boles are usually straight and clear to heights of 50 to 60 feet (15 to 18 m).

Product Sources
Most of the lumber on the market originates from Great Britain. Supplies from outside Europe are rather scarce and expensive, but some lumber may be available from some of the more prominent importers.

The wood is sometimes sold on the market as Harewood, which is Sycamore plane dyed a silver-grey color. The dye is forced into the wood under hydraulic pressure.

Substitutes
Avodire (Turraeanthus africana )

Comments
General finishing qualities are rated as good

Blunting Effect
Moderate
Little
Blunting effect on machining is moderate
Blunting effect on machining is slight


Boring
Fair to good results
Fairly easy to very easy
Very good to excellent results
Wood can burn readily if tools are dull
Excellent results


Carving
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Easy to carve


Cutting Resistance
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult to saw
Moderate to saw
Cutting Resistance with green wood is moderate


Gluing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Very Good to Excellent Results
Easy to glue
Very good properties
Moderate gluing properties


Mortising
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Moderately easy to mortise
Good mortising properties


Moulding
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Moulding ease is moderate
Good moulding properties

Sharp cutting edges should be used to prevent burning.

Movement in Service
Fair to Good Stability - Medium Movement
Excellent Stability - Small Movement
Medium
Stable
Small
Retains shape well after manufacture


Nailing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Pre-Boring Recommended
Fair to Good Results
Very good nailing properties
Possible if prebored
Holds nails well
Easy to nail


Planing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Planes well, to a good finish
Moderately easy to plane
Easy to plane

Straight-Grained wood can be planed easily. Curly or wavy-grained wood may require sharp cutting edges and reduced cutting angles to prevent pick-up.

Resistance to Impregnation
Permeable heartwood
Permeable sapwood
Heartwood is permeable
Sapwood is permeable
Easily treated with chemicals

Usually exploited in the production Harewood.

Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Responds Readily
Fairly Difficult to Difficult to Work
Moderate working qualities
Easy to machine
Satisfactorily
Difficult to machine


Sanding
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Good sanding properties
Good sanding finish


Screwing
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Good screwing properties


Turning
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Good results
Easy to turn
Good results

Sharp cutting edges are recommended since the wood is reported to burn rather readily when worked with dull tools.

Veneering Qualities
Suitable for peeling
Veneers moderately easy
Veneers easily
Suitable for slicing
Difficult to veneer
Moderately easy to veneer
There is slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits
Suitable for slicing
Suitable for peeling
Good gluing qualities
Fiddleback

Curly and wavy grain sometimes found in the wood yield highly decorative veneers

Steam Bending
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Very good
Good


Painting
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Good results


Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Good results


Staining
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Finish is generally good
Stains very well
Reacts with Iron to discolour wood
Finish is generally satisfactory


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 38-45 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = medium
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Density (dry weight) = 31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = medium
Hardness (side grain) = soft
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = very low
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Density (dry weight) = 23-30 lbs/cu. ft.
Weight = high
Shrinkage, Radial = very small
Resists denting and marring
Hardness = medium
Density = high
Compression strength (parallel to grain) = high
Bending strength (MOR) = high


Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength926214224psi
Density37lbs/ft3
Hardness1052lbs
Impact Strength2832inches
Maximum Crushing Strength39136619psi
Shearing Strength2216psi
Stiffness125814381000 psi
Work to Maximum Load1315inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.49
Weight3735lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage7%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength6511000kg/cm2
Density592kg/m3
Hardness477kg
Impact Strength7181cm
Maximum Crushing Strength275465kg/cm2
Shearing Strength155kg/cm2
Stiffness881011000 kg/cm2
Work to Maximum Load0.911.05cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.49
Weight592560kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage3%

References
Armstrong, F.H.,1960,The Strength Properties of Timber,Forest Products Research Laboratory, London Bulletin,No.45

Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois and E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry Kiln Schedules for Commercial Woods: Temperate and Tropical. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI.

Clifford, N.,1953,Commercial Hardwoods - Their Characteristics Identification and,Utilization,Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd. London

Clifford, N.,1957,Timber Identification for the Builder and Architect,Leonard Hill (Books) LTD. London

Constantine, Jr., A. J. 1959. Know Your Woods - A Complete Guide to Trees, Woods, and Veneers. Revised Edition. Revised by H.J. Hobbs. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.

Farmer, R.H.,1972,Handbook of Hardwoods,HMSO

Findlay, W.P.K.,1938,The Natural Resistance to Decay of some Empire Timbers,Empire Forestry Journal,17,pp249 - 259

Findlay, W.P.K.,1975,Timber: Properties and Uses,Crosby Lockwood Staples London,224PP

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1937,A Handbook of Home-Grown Timbers,HMSO

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1967,The Steam Bending Properties of various timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Leaflet,No.45

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1969,The Movement of Timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough Technical Note,No.38

Forests Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1956,A Handbook of Hardwoods,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Department of,Science and Industrial Research, Building Research Establishment

Harrar, E.S.,1942,Some Physical Properties of Modern Cabinet Woods 3. Directional and Volume,Shrinkage,Tropical Woods,9(71, pp26-32

HMSO. 1981. Handbook of Hardwoods, 2nd Edition. Revised by R.H. Farmer. Department of the Environment, Building Research Establishment, Princes Risborough Laboratory, Princes Risborough< Aylesbury, Buck.

HMSO. 1985. Broadleaves. Forestry Commission Bulletin No. 20. Text by H.E. Edlin. Revised by A.F. Mitchell. Forestry Commission, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

Howard, A.L.,1948,A Manual of Timbers of the World.,Macmillan & Co. Ltd. London 3rd ed.

I.U.F.R.O.,1973,Veneer Species of the World,Assembled at F.P.L. Madison on behalf of I.U.F.R.O. Working Party on,Slicing and Veneer Cutting

Jackson, A. and D. Day. 1991. Good Wood Handbook - The Woodworker's Guide to Identifying, Selecting and Using the Right Wood. Betterway Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kaiser, J. Wood of the Month: English Harewood -The White Wood that is Perfect for Stains or Dyes. Wood & Wood Products, August, 1990. Page 60.

Kline, M. 1980. Acer pseudoplatanus - Sycamore maple. In A Guide to Useful Woods of the World, Flynn Jr., J.H., Editor. King Philip Publishing Co., Portland, Maine. 1994. Page 17-18.

Kloot, N. H. and E. Bolza. 1961. Properties of Timbers Imported into Australia. Technological Paper No. 12. Division of Forest Products, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Melbourne, Australia.

Kloot, N.H., Bolza, E.,1961,Properties of Timbers Imported into Australia,C.S.I.R.O. Forest Products Division Technological Paper,No.12

Kribbs, D.A. 1959. Commercial Foreign Woods on the American Market. Buckhout Lab., Dept. of Botany, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

Kribs, D.A.,1950,Commercial and Foreign Woods on the American Market (a manual to their,structure, identification, uses and distribution,U.S.A. Penn. State College, Tropical Woods Laboratory

Laidlaw, W.B.R. 1960. Guide to British Hardwoods. Published by Leonard Hill [Books] Limited, 9 Eden Street, N.W.1, London.

Lauricio, F.M., Bellosillo, S.B.,1966,Fifth Progress Report on the Mechanical and Related Properties of,Philippine woods,Philippine Lumberman,12(5,p66

Lavers, G.M. 1966. The Strength Properties of Timbers. Forest Products Research Bulletin, No. 50. Ministry of Technology, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

Lavers, G.M.,1983,The Strength Properties of Timber (3rd ed. revised Moore G.L.,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Report (formerly Bulletin No.50)

Lincoln, W.A. 1986. World Woods in Color. Linden Publishing Co. Inc. Fresno, California

Little, E.L. 1980. The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Trees Western Region. Published by Arthur A. Knopf, New York.

Nairn, P.M., Editor. 1936. Wood Specimens - 100 Reproductions in Color - A Series of Selected Timbers Reproduced in Natural Color with Introduction and Annotations by H.A. Cox. The Nema Press, Proprietors of Wood, London.

Patterson, D.,1988,Commercial Timbers of the World, 5th Edition,Gower Technical Press

Redding, L.W.,1971,Resistance of Timbers to Impregnation with Creosote,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Bulletin No.54 pp.43

Rendle, B.J.,1969,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Ernest Benn Ltd. London

Rijsdijk, L.F. and Laming, P.B.,1994,Physical and Related Properties of 145 Timbers, Information for,Practice,TNO Building and Construction Research Centre for Timber Research Kluwer,Academic Publishers

Smith, D.N.,1959,The Natural Durability of Timber,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Record,No.30

T.R.A.D.A.,1942,Home-grown timber trees - their characteristics, cultivation and Uses,TRADA

Tamolang, F.N., Martawijaya, A., Kartasujana, I., Kadir, K., Parwira, S.,1992,Indonesian Wood Atlas Volume II,Department of Forestry, Agency for Forestry Research and Development,,Bogor-Indonesia

Thomas, A.V.,1964,Timbers Used in the Boat Building Industry A Survey,Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Forest Products Research,Laboratory

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1955,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Timber Development Association Ltd.

Titmuss, F.H. 1965. Commercial Timbers of the World. 3rd Edition (Enlarged of A Concise Encyclopedia of World Timbers). The Technical Press Ltd., London.

Titmuss, F.H.,1965,Commercial Timbers of the World,Technical Press Ltd., London, 3rd edition

Wood, A.D.,1963,Plywoods of the World: Their Development, Manufacture and,Application,Johnston & Bacon Ltd. Edinburgh & London








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