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Stability of Beech for interior passage doors1/26/15
Does anyone have experience working with European Beech? especially for interior solid hardwood interior doors?
We have built doors from Walnut, Cherry, Oak and alder for 20 years, but I've never used Beech. How stable is it compared to the other woods? We typically do face-laminated 4/4 for smaller doors of the above species and engineered stiles for larger doors.
I am wondering how beech will work for paint grade - have some customer interest because it is harder and less knots than alder and poplar.
When it was a little cheaper I used it instead of maple for drawer boxes. Worked great as it tends to be pretty flat and straight with few knots or defects. I ended up having a LOT less waste with the beech than with maple. It's been creeping up in cost so may end up switching back soon.
I haven't used it for interior doors so can't speak to it's stability there, though if I had to guess I'd say it would work very well. If your doing stave core you should be fine, and it is a nice warm good looking wood IMHO.
Paint grade probably not a good choice, it's pretty grainy. Your better off with soft maple.
American and Euro Beech shrink and swell the same. The main difference between the two is the color, as Euro beech is steamed which develops a pinkish color. American beech develops the same color when steamed before drying, but steaming is not common.
Beech is one of the highest moving species. It moves more than oaks
The response in this case was a bit surprising though - if Beech movement is so high compared to other species why are so many European hand planes made from it? Perhaps it is very straight grained so that even if it moves is doesnt twist much?
I am most concerned about twist in passage doors and cab doors.
I agree with Gene that Beech moves a lot. Actually, the main problem, I believe, is that the tangential and radial shrinkage rates are very different, which leads to twisting and cupping.
I believe the reason it is used for plane bodies is that it's very durable. Because of the shape of them, the poor shrinkage ratio doesn't matter like it does when you're making a door out of it.
I personally would never consider using beech to make doors.
Hi everyone. Does anybody know who uses/interested in using Oriental Beech (the sub specie of European Beech), and in what trades?