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European Ash Fraxinus excelsior

WHIPPY WOOD FROM A BENDY TREE
Often bent and distorted, the standing tree hints at the lumber's superb flexibility. The wood is pale in color, with distinctive rows of open pores that show up even when it is stained. Its good shock resistance has always made it popular for tool handles and sports equipment, but make sure you use straight-grained pieces.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names Common ash
Alternatives Hickory (Carya species), English oak (Quercus robur), elm (Ulmus hollandica or U. procera)
Sources Europe
Color White
Texture Coarse and open-grained, but takes a sharp edge
Grain Straight
Hardness Hard
Weight Medium to heavy (44 lb./cu. ft.) (700 kg/cu. m)
Strength Good
Seasoning and stability
Fine, but watch out for end splits Wastage Medium, depending on grain direction
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good availability of all thicknesses
Durability Needs preservatives for external use. Relatively resistant to insect attack.

VARIATIONS
Olive coloring at the center is more common in European ash than white ash (F. americana). Some rippled ash is available, especially as veneer.

SUSTAINABILITY
Some certified stocks available, but it is under no threat.

AVAILABILITY AND COST
It is easy to find and cost is relatively low. Wastage is not particularly high, though watch out for end splits.




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Updated: 06/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft