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 Hard Beech Nothofagus truncata

Product qualities

Hard beech is the densest of the New Zealand beech species, similar to North American hard maple and with much the same properties.

Hard beech heartwood is honey to brown in colour, sometimes varying from light to medium brown in one piece adding interest to the timber. Sapwood is a slightly lighter tone. The grain is straight with a fine and even texture. Lustre is slightly less apparent than other Southern beech species.

Uses and applications

Furniture, joinery, flooring and decking.

Physical and mechanical properties

Properties Hard beech
Density (air dry) 753 kg/m3
Tangential shrinkage (green to 12% moisture content) 7.8%
Radial shrinkage (green to 12% moisture content) 2.7%
Hardness*The hardness rating of a timber species is measured by the Janka Test. This is a standard test which measures the penetration into the timber of a common load and projectile. The results relate to a hardness capacity of the material and are expressed in kN. Typical 35 year old radiata has hardness of 4.2kN (dry) 5.9 kN
Modulus of elasticity*These average strength properties are based on testing short clear lengths of timber and are not used for structural design under the building code. Characteristic stresses used for structural design are determined from structural grades. Click here for more... 14.5 GPa
Modulus of rupture*These average strength properties are based on testing short clear lengths of timber and are not used for structural design under the building code. Characteristic stresses used for structural design are determined from structural grades. Click here for more... 116 MPa

Hard beech has excellent strength properties and hardness with exceptional dimensional stability.

The fine and even texture allows for uniform wearing.

Moderately easy to split. Nailing is satisfactory but requires care.

Sawing, sanding, machining, finishing and turning properties are all excellent.  However there is a relatively high silica content that can cause blunting of conventional saws and cutters. This may be overcome by the use of specially hardened cutting edges.

Minimal sanding is required after machining to achieve a smooth high quality finish.

Hard beech glues, stains and paints well.

Its steam bending properties are excellent.

Moderately easy to split. Satisfactory nailing with care.

The wood is slow drying and tension wood may be present.

Galvanised fixings are recommended for exterior uses because unprotected iron nails stain the timber. Alternatives include stainless steel, silicon bronze or copper.

The product has no odor.

Availability

May be available in the marketplace

Natural Durability

Hard beech heartwood is durable and can be used in exterior exposed situations. It is suitable for outdoor decking and achieves Hazard Class H3.2 durability. Pathological heartwood is non-durable. Hard beech sapwood is suitable for internal end-uses and is resistant to anobium and lyctus borers.

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