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European Linden Tilia x europaea

Linden is the lumber of choice for woodcarvers in Europe, just as basswood (T. americana) is in the United States, and it is not used for much else. The texture is fine and even, the grain is straight and close, and the wood cuts easily and without tearing. In other words, it is everything a carver could hope for. The only disadvantage is that the color and patterning are bland, and the wood yellows with age. There are patches of shimmering medullary rays on quartersawn faces or edges, but the lumber isn't valued for these.


Type Temperate hardwood
Other names T. vulgaris, European lime
Alternatives Basswood (T. americana), jelutong (Dyera costulata)
Sources Europe Color Cream
Texture Very fine and even
Grain Close and straight
Hardness Medium-soft
Weight Medium (34 lb./cu. ft.) (540 kg/cu. m)
Strength Moderate; can be bent and won't split.
Seasoning and stability Will move slightly even when dry, and can split during seasoning.
Wastage Moderate; may contain some knots and splits (particularly end splits) that need to be avoided. Not much sapwood.
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Thicker pieces, suitable for carving, are often available.
Durability Not very durable

Fine; lime grows abundantly and quickly across Europe.

Readily available in Europe and not too expensive. The same is true for basswood in the United States.

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Updated: 12/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft