The Wood of the Ash
The ash is a tree that grows in temperate climates. So that the ash is also quite widespread in Europe.
In Nordic mythology the ash – the world tree Yggrasil – is of central importance for the cohesion of the whole world.
Statistically speaking, ash trees grow here a little less often than beeches or oaks. Pure ash forests are not known. The ash can reach a diameter of 60 cm – 1.5 m and a height of 24 – 37 meters.
The ash is often found at the edge of the forest or along railway embankments.
The ash – like the mountain ash – has pinnate leaves, which, by the way, is a rarity among our native trees.
Properties of the wood of the ash
In Europe, ash is a popular timber because it is quite hard and yet flexible. The wood of the ash is also often used in arch construction, as well as in furniture construction and shipbuilding. Ash wood has also been used for agricultural equipment since time immemorial.
The wood of the ash has a very lively grain with very clearly visible annual rings. The European ash usually has a cream-colored base tone, from which the harder annual rings stand out in a light brown.
A special feature of the color can form in the core of the ash, the so-called olive ash. This shade is a bit similar to olive wood. Therefore the name. It is dark brown and can be green.
The wood of the ash has a dry weight of approx. 670 kg / sqm. The wood dries well and does not warp too much.
As the ash tree likes to be gnawed by woodworms, you should always remove the bark from ash planks before storing them.
Ash is a wood that grows with straight grains and is often knot-free. Twisted growth does not occur.
Process ash wood – without problems
- The wood of the ash is easy to glue and stain. Especially when pickling, the grain can lead to an interesting result.
- When screwing the ash tree and nailing it, you’d better pre-drill.
- Due to the very different strength of the annual rings, you should definitely pre-punch when drilling, as the drill tends to run away.
- The wood can be sanded well, although it can happen that the softer annual rings are sanded deeper than the harder annual rings. Especially when you have the sandpaper in hand and want to work on the wood. You can prevent this mishap quite well with a suitable sanding block.
- Ash is less suitable for filigree work due to its strong grain.
Buy ash wood – look closely
Ash is available from well-stocked timber stores as rough-sawn planks in the usual thicknesses from 26 mm.
You also get beautiful ash as a veneer.
The price for one square meter of ash (dried and sawn) is currently (1/2014) around € 1100.
It is also worth taking a closer look at the ash when buying planks. The closer you get to the core of the planks, the more standing the annual rings will be. This makes a significant difference in appearance, especially with ash.
Most planks are 20-40 cm wide. Very rarely about it.