Uses: Interior joinery, Turnery
General Description: There is no colour difference between Sycamore's sapwood and heartwood, the timber being white, or yellowish-white when freshly cut, with a natural lustre especially noticeable on quarter-sawn surfaces. Sycamore is generally straight grained but may be curvy or wavy grained, and the texture is fine. The average weight is 630 kg/m³ when dried.
Good - Fairly easy to work and machine, and capable of a fine, smooth finish when straight grained; material with curly or wavy grain picks up in planing and moulding and a reduction of the cutting angle to 15º is needed in order to obtain a good finish. It turns excellently, can be glued, stained and polished.
It air dries well, but is inclined to stain, and rapid surface drying is necessary to prevent this. The use of thick stickers helps, but kiln drying at low temperatures is probably the best treatment. Rapid air drying preserves the white appearance of the wood, sometimes achieved by end-racking the boards, while slow drying gives the wood a light-brown colour, referred to as weathered sycamore, but the aim must always be the avoidance of stick marks which penetrate well into the wood, and this can only be successful if the surfaces are dried rapidly.
Sycamore has high strength properties similar to those of oak.
Family Name: Aceraceae
Latin Name: Acer pseudoplantanus
Distribution: Sycamore is native to central Europe and western Asia. It appears to have been introduced into Britain from the Continent in the fifteenth century.
Also known as: Sycamore plane, great maple