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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 Schedules
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Numerical Data
Odor
Painting
Planing
Polishing
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Texture
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Fraxinus excelsior

Trade Name
European ash

Family Name
Oleaceae

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Common Names
Ash, Belgian ash, Common ash, English ash, European ash, Europeesche esche, French ash, Fresno, Hungarian ash, Italian olive ash, Olive ash, Polish ash, Slavonian ash, Spanish ash, Swedish ash, Vanlig ash, Vanlig ask

Regions of Distribution
Africa, Eastern Europe, Mediterranean Sea Region, Oceania and S.E. Asia, Western Europe

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
France, Hungary, Libya, Turkey, United Kingdom

Common Uses
Agricultural implements, Artificial limbs, Baseball bats, Bent Parts, Billiard-cue butts, Boat building (general), Boat building: framing, Boxes and crates, Broom handles, Building materials, Cabinetmaking, Canoes, Chairs, Chests, Coffins, Concealed parts (Furniture), Core Stock, Decorative plywood, Decorative veneer, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Figured veneer, Fine furniture, Floor lamps, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Handles: general, Handles: woodworking tools, Hatracks, Hockey sticks, Interior construction, Joinery, Kitchen cabinets, Ladders, Living-room suites, Marquetry, Mine timbers, Oars, Office furniture, Paneling , Plywood, Posts, Radio - stereo - TV cabinets, Rustic furniture, Skis, Sporting Goods, Stools, Tables , Tool handles, Turnery, Utility furniture, Vats, Vehicle parts, Veneer, Veneer: decorative, Wainscotting, Walking sticks, Wardrobes, Wheel spokes, Wheels

Environmental Profile
Questionable
Extinct
Abundant/Secure
Vulnerable
Endangered
Status unknown in many of its growth areas
Status has not been officially assessed


Distribution Overview
Throughout British Isles and Europe into Asia Minor and Caucuses. Rare north of Great Glen in Scotland. Prefers mostly calcerous soils although found on all except poorest and acid soils (above ph 5.5). Prefers moist but well drained fertile soils. Up to 450m in altitude. Grows well in mixed stands provided not shaded.

Heartwood Color
Brown
Yellow
White
Pink
White to cream
Pale red to pink
Brown
Pale brown
Whitish
Pink when freshly cut
Greenish to greyish

The heartwood is pink when freshly cut, turning pale brown or white on exposure. Some material may have dark brown to black heartwood, which is strong and sound, and usually sold as olive ash.

Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
Same as heartwood
White to yellow
Well defined
Color not distinct from heartwood


Grain
Straight
Figure
Growth rings (figure)
Distinct (figure)
Even
Closed
Stripe (figure)
Mottled (figure)
Wavy
Variable (figure)

Straight
Clear growth rings (figure)
Striped figure
Distinct figure
Wavy
Variable figure
Mottled figure
Distinct and very fine figure


Texture
Medium
Fine
Coarse
Medium coarse to coarse
Medium

Porous earlywood bands are reported to give the wood a coarse texture. Large open pores, which are very conspicuous in cross-section, appear as clearly visible lines on radial surfaces, and as broad irregular bands on tangential surfaces.

Luster
Low
Dull


Natural Durability
Non-resistant to marine borers
Non-resistant to termites
Perishable
Susceptible to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Non durable
Sapwood is susceptible to wood staining fungal attack
Heartwood is susceptible to wood staining fungal attack
Very durable
Sapwood susceptible to attack by powder post beetles
Sapwood susceptible to attack by common furniture beetles
Moderately durable
Little natural resistance
Durable

Despite its strength, ash wood has very little natural resistance to decay and will deteriorate rapidly if exposed to damp outdoor conditions. The sapwood is susceptible to attack by both the powder-post and common furniture beetles and logs and tress are liable to attack by forest longhorn or Buprestid beetles.

Odor
No specific smell or taste


Kiln Schedules
Drying (speed) is fast
Dry at a moderate speed
UK=E US=T6D2/T3D1 Fr=5
UK=D US=T3D2/T3C1
Schedule D - United Kingdom


Drying Defects
Checking
Distortion
Slight surface checking
Severe end splitting
Slight end splitting
Slight twist/warp
Slight checking and cracking
Moderate end spitting

Splitting and checking are slight but there is a tendency for the material to distort if kiln temperatures are not kept low. End-splitting may be severe. Severely shrunk and distorted material responds well to reconditioning treatment

Ease of Drying
Moderately Difficult to Difficult
Fairly Easy
Easy
Moderate
Dries at a fairly rapid rate
Difficult

Requires care in order to minimize degrade. Some drying degrade can be corrected by reconditioning treatment

Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is straight


Tree Size
Bole length is 10-20 m
Tree height is 20-30 m


Ash trees are relatively short-lived; a maximum of 200 years

Comments
European ash is quite variable in quality. It is similar to European beech (Fagus sylvatica ) in most properties, but is considerably higher in toughness. The wood is often cleaved, instead of sawn, to retain the strength of each piece. Selected logs are split into segments, which are then shaped with hand tools or turned on lathes, into its final form.

General finishing qualities are rated as good

General finishing qualities are rated as satisfactory

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


Boring
Fair to good results
Fairly easy to very easy


Carving
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw
Cutting Resistance with green wood is difficult
Satisfactory sawing characteristics
Cutting Resistance with green wood is moderate


Gluing
Easy to glue
Moderate gluing properties
Satisfactory gluing properties


Mortising
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Moulding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Movement in Service
Medium

The timber is reported to attain moderate dimensional stability after seasoning, and exhibits medium movement in normal use.

Nailing
Pre-Boring Recommended
Fair to Good Results
Possible if prebored
Pre-boring recommended
Holds nails well


Planing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Specific information not available
Responds satisfactorily to all woodworking operations
Difficult to plane


Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant sapwood
Resistant heartwood
Heartwood is moderately resistant
Sapwood is permeable
Sapwood is moderately resistant
Moderately resistant
Heartwood is permeable

The wood is rated as moderately resistant. Material containing black or dark brown heartwood is resistant to preservative treatment.

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


Routing & Recessing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Sanding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Satisfactory sanding characteristics


Screwing
Screwing yields good results


Turning
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Finish is generally satisfactory
Turns with moderate ease


Veneering Qualities
Suitable for peeling
Suitable for slicing
Veneers moderately easy
Veneers easily
Easy to cut
Drying degrade is often moderate to severe, with collapse, buckles, and splilts


Steam Bending
Very good
Excellent steam bending properties

Wood containing knots and irregular grain may pose some problems

Painting
Good results


Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Good results
Poor results


Staining
Finish is generally good
Good staining qualities


Varnishing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Good results


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 38-45 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = medium
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Density (dry weight) = 46-52 lbs/cu. ft.
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = medium
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = large
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = low
Density (dry weight) = 31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Shrinkage, Radial = large
Hardness (side grain) = medium
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Shrinkage, Tangential = fairly large
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Shrinkage, Radial = fairly large
Hardness (side grain) = soft
Bending strength (MOR) = low
Toughness (total work) = medium
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = very low
Max. crushing strength = low
Density (dry weight) = 53-60 lbs/cu. ft


Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength905915020psi
Density43lbs/ft3
Hardness1479lbs
Impact Strength4541inches
Maximum Crushing Strength38196877psi
Shearing Strength2065psi
Stiffness148717851000 psi
Toughness250inch-lbs
Work to Maximum Load2021inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.490.64
Weight4240lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage5%
Tangential Shrinkage8%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength6361056kg/cm2
Density689kg/m3
Hardness670kg
Impact Strength114104cm
Maximum Crushing Strength268483kg/cm2
Shearing Strength145kg/cm2
Stiffness1041251000 kg/cm2
Toughness288cm-kg
Work to Maximum Load1.401.47cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.490.64
Weight673641kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage5%

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

Banks, C.H., Schoeman, J.P., Otto, K.P.,1977,The Mechanical Properties of Timbers with particular reference to South,Africa,South African Forestry Research Institute Bulletin,(Ed.,Schoeman, J.P. 1973 & Otto K.P. 1976,No.48

Bolza, E., Keating, W.G.,1972,African Timbers - the Properties, Uses and Characteristics of 700 Species,C.S.I.R.O. Div. of Building Research

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World, No. 6 Europe,TRADA, Red Booklet Series

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.

Das, N.R., et al,1965,Data on the Natural Durability of Timber Species,Journal of Timber Development Assoc. of India,11(2,pp6-12

Edlin, H.L. 1969. What Wood is That?: A Manual of Wood Identification. A Studio Book, The Viking Press, New York.

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

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

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, Buckinghamshire.

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 - Ash: A Big Leaguer's Choice. Wood & Wood Products, September 1987, Page 40.

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

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 Company, Inc., Fresno, California.

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

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

Stone, H.,1924,The Timbers of Commerce and their Identification,William Rider & Sons Ltd. London

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

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,Technical Press Ltd., London, 3rd edition

Uganda Forest Department,1954,The Mechanical Properties of some Ugandan Timbers,Uganda Forest Department Timber Leaflet,No.1

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








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