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White Ash Fraxinus americana

BENDY WOOD FAVORED FOR TOOL HANDLES
Pale in color, ash is an important wood, not so much for its decorative value as for its strength and whippy nature. White ash is open-grained, with distinctive rows of tiny
open pores that show up even when it is painted or heavily stained, though they are more pronounced on European ash (F. excelsior). White ash's good shock resistance has always made it popular for tool handles and sports equipment, but make sure you use straightgrained pieces, as ash can splinter where the grain curves away from a cut.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names American white ash (U.K.)
Alternatives Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), hickory (Carya species)
Sources United States and Canada
Color White
Texture Coarse and open-grained
Grain Straight
Hardness Hard
Weight Medium to heavy (41 lb./cu. ft.) (660 kg/cu. m)
Strength Good
Seasoning and stability Both fine, but watch out for end splits
Wastage Medium, depending on grain direction
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Needs preservatives for external use; relatively resistant to insect attack.

VARIATIONS
Though olive coloring at the center is more common in European ash, you can find some rippled ash, especially as a veneer.

SUSTAINABILITY
Certified stocks are plentiful, but it is not under threat.

AVAILABILITY AND COST
It is easy to find, and cost is relatively low for a hardwood, especially as wastage is not particularly high.




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Updated: 08/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft