Beech wood

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Forum topic by Mrowell posted 04-06-2018 11:03 PM 1093 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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293 posts in 1995 days

04-06-2018 11:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: beech lumber question

I’m currently in the process of building a new shop and will be cutting down a semi large beech tree. I’m also cutting down two large red oaks and one large white oak that I’ll be sawing into lumber. Is the beech worth sawing up into lumber? I’ve never worked with beech so I wanted to get some opinions? Pros and cons? Uses? Any input?

-- Matt R

13 replies so far

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2845 days

#1 posted 04-06-2018 11:47 PM

Depends on what you would do with it. Not used much for furniture, but used for a lot of worbenches. Good for any shop “furniture” or utility room, possibly jigs and fixtures.

View ErikF's profile


652 posts in 3099 days

#2 posted 04-06-2018 11:51 PM

It’s very good looking wood when quartersawn. Great for tool handles.

-- Power to the people.

View TheFridge's profile


10861 posts in 2341 days

#3 posted 04-06-2018 11:59 PM

Yup. Get as many qtr sawn boards as you can. I’d buy 7×7 blanks for saw handles.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View LesB's profile


2606 posts in 4298 days

#4 posted 04-06-2018 11:59 PM

It is also good for kitchen utensils, trivets, and I have done some nice lathe turnings with it.
It is a clean looking wood with a neutral color and not much character to the grain.
I consider it quite versatile.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Fresch's profile


500 posts in 2776 days

#5 posted 04-07-2018 12:39 AM

You have the sawyer there why not?

View BurlyBob's profile


7857 posts in 3121 days

#6 posted 04-07-2018 12:52 AM

Beech is an awesome wood! You need to preserve it, care for it and love it! I’m getting ready to build a Roubo bench and I intend to use red beech. It’s becoming one of my favorite woods. It lack the awesome character of Walnut, oak and many other woods. But it makes up for that with how wonderfully it machines, mills and works with you. I’m really preferring it to poplar.

View oldnovice's profile


7658 posts in 4223 days

#7 posted 04-07-2018 12:58 AM

I love beech!
My parents had some German furniture that looked like it would last forever which was sold at auction about 8 years ago, couldn’t afford it, didn’t have room for it, sure miss it and it’s owners!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3610 posts in 2349 days

#8 posted 04-07-2018 01:54 AM

+1 Some Beech! :)

Beech behaves like medium hardness Maple, and can be used most anywhere you would use maple:
cutting boards, butcher blocks, tools handles, workbenches, chairs, tables, cabinets, etc.
Beech is popular in Scandinavian furniture, heavily used in commercial & residential dining tables and chairs.

Check your tree species before cutting: Both American and European Beech can be found at landscape Nursery’s.
European Beach has fine grain, while American Beech grain is larger and more pronounced. Flat sawn American Beech has tendency to curl/twist during air drying, unless weighted to restrict movement. Unless you are going kiln dry American beech, suggest quarter saw the log as it is more stable air drying; plus it looks nice.

Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Mrowell's profile


293 posts in 1995 days

#9 posted 04-08-2018 01:48 AM

Everyone thank you all for the thoughts! You have convinced me to saw it up!!! Ill take advice and try to get it quarter sawn!!

-- Matt R

View Klondikecraftsman's profile


52 posts in 907 days

#10 posted 04-08-2018 02:39 AM

If you have a lathe, split a bolt and try a couple bowls. It is an excellent wood to turn.

-- It is a sin to covet your neighbor’s wife, but his woodpile is fair game.

View runswithscissors's profile


3115 posts in 2880 days

#11 posted 04-08-2018 04:40 AM

I had a similar situation. The trunk I was left with was only about 5’ long. I used a chain saw mill to slab it. That was a job I wouldn’t care to do again. A mistake I made was to not slab it thick enough. I had hoped to get two 3/4” plus boards out of each slab, but by the time I had jointed and planed it, I was able to only get one 7/8” piece out of each slab, plus too much waste. I stickered it under cover and waited about 2 years.

I built a 2 part bookcase out of it, using pegged tenons for joinery. I used it for the shelves only, as it wasn’t tall enough for the vertical parts, so I had to buy some. Turned out well. With the odd pieces left over, I made a coffee table, but the top is a bit wonky because they were the cast-offs from the bookcase.

I agree it was nice wood to work, and while the grain isn’t dramatic, it has a nice honey color with faint darker flecks. I finished with water based acrylic (Deft) in a semi gloss. No stain.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Mrowell's profile


293 posts in 1995 days

#12 posted 04-19-2018 02:24 AM

I have a small lathe and plan to try my hand at turning a bowl. So far I have only turned pens and bottle stoppers.

I’m thinking of cutting the beach into 2” or so thick and letting it dry then using it to build a bench top

-- Matt R

View Texcaster's profile


1292 posts in 2529 days

#13 posted 04-19-2018 03:50 AM

Thonet has been bending chairs of Euro Beech since 1841.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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