Ash, American

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American ash is the trade name for a variety of sub species of ash that are grown in the eastern parts of the USA. It is similar in appearance to European ash, with very pale sapwood and heartwood that varies from a greyish brown to light brown, or a pale yellow with brown streaks. The timber or veneer from the American ash is sometimes sold based on colour, with White Ash referring to the sapwood and brown ash referring to the heartwood. It is available in a wide range of grades and specifications.

American ash has good strength properties and is usually straight-grained with a uniform texture. The timber has good hardness and steam bends well; it also machines well and is an excellent timber for woodturning. Overall, American ash is easily worked, responding well to nailing, screwing and gluing. It can also be polished to a very high finish. The heartwood is not resistant to decay and is moderately resistant to preservative treatment, limiting the timber to interior applications. The sapwood, however, is permeable.

Common applications for American ash include furniture, flooring, doors, architectural interiors, high-end joinery and mouldings, cabinetry, paneling in the form of veneers, tool handles, sports goods and turnings. It is also becoming popular in the construction of electric guitars. It is an attractive and versatile timber for a vast range of interior applications.

American ash is readily available in the eastern USA, where the various sub species grow. It is available in Australia from specialist timber suppliers as both sawn timber and veneer.

 

Appearance

American ash varies in appearance according to the sub species from which the timber or veneer is sourced. Sapwood is generally pale to almost white; heartwood ranges from greyish brown to light brown, to pale yellow with brown streaks. It is sometimes sold separately according to sapwood colour as white ash, or heartwood colour as brown ash. It is a straight-grained wood with a coarse but uniform texture. Common to the species are light brown flecks or mineral streaks but these are not considered to be defects and are treated as a natural characteristic of the timber.

Common Applications

American ash is a popular and versatile timber used in a vast range of interior applications, such as flooring, furniture, joinery and cabinetry, mouldings, panelling, sports equipment and turning. Available as a proprietary thermally modified timber, suitable for external cladding and decking. It is also becoming popular in the construction of solid-bodied electric guitars.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

American ash is highly workable, responding well to steam bending, nailing, gluing, sawing, carving, moulding, etc. It is an excellent woodturning timber and polishes to a high finish.

 

 

Origin of Timber

North America

Readily Available

NSW

Availability - Further Information

American ash is readily available in Australia from specialist timber suppliers.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

3.20%

Radial:

2.00%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.27%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.17%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F14

F11

F8

F7

F5

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

690kg/m3

Unseasoned:

800kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

66

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

103

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

9.9

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

12

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

27.5

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

51

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Toughness - Seasoned:

Hardness - Unseasoned:

4.3

Hardness - Seasoned:

5.9

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

Mouldings

Timber mouldings add style, class and an elegant touch to any interior, offering a depth of beauty and warmth in a way only wood can. From period times to those more contemporary, timber mouldings have graced the most stylish and chic of interiors, decorating furniture, doors and windows. Decorative mouldings such as architraves, skirtings, cornices and ceiling roses remain an ever popular choice for designers seeking a finished result of beauty, style and quality. Like all timber products, mouldings are extremely versatile and durable, enhancing the aesthetics of any interior and functioning as the perfect finishing touch for designs with a focus on beauty and splendour.

Mouldings can be created from any commercially available species of timber and the moisture resistant wood product, MDF, is also a popular choice. When it comes to style and design, the sky is the limit with many suppliers offering custom matching to existing mouldings, as well as efficient supply of those that are individually designed. Installation is a breeze, with the majority of mouldings easily attached with a reputable wood adhesive. Finishes can be tailored by design requirements and the preferences of the end user, with mouldings commonly being both stained and/or painted.

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