Uses: Milder logs of European elm are generally used in furniture and in joinery. European elm is also known to be used in boatbuilding, general woodworking and for coffin boards, as well as for pallet wood. Whilst European elm can prove challenging to work with, it polishes well and has an attractive appearance and distinctive grain. This makes it the ideal choice for furniture, woodworking and turnery from a design point of view.
General Description: European elm timber is a tough wood that has a closed texture, is twisted in the grain and has a conferring resistance to splitting. Marked distortion may however occur during seasoning. Whilst sapwood of European elm tends to be creamy in colour, the heartwood is a reddish-brown. It also contains clusters of pip-knots within this reddish brown which attractively figure the wood, enhancing its overall appearance. It has an approximate density of 550 kg/m3.
European elm has good steam bending properties, allowing the wood to become pliable enough to mould into a new shape. Once cooled the wood will then hold its shape. Knots on the inner face can however create splitting; it is therefore important to be mindful of this when working with European elm timber. In terms of strength, European elm is relatively strong however sits at around 30% below the strength of materials such as oak.
European elm releases moisture readily meaning that it dries quite rapidly. The nature of European elm however means that it has a tendency to distort during this process. Care is therefore required when wood is drying. Nevertheless, it does not tend to split and check.
The heartwood of European elm is non-durable and relatively resistant to preservative treatment. It should therefore not be used in areas that are prone to large amounts of wear. The sapwood is also liable to attack from powder-post beetles and common furniture beetles.
Family Name: Ulmaceae
Latin Name: Ulmus hollandica
Distribution: UK and Europe
Also known as: Red Elm, Nave Elm (Great Britain)
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