American Beech – Fagus Grandifolia
It was a beautiful sunrise this morning as the guys at the saw mill debarked the beech logs to get them ready to quarter saw. Hickman Lumber is the only sawmill in the country we know of that quarter saws American Beech. Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring utilizes this to make some pretty cool, and very unique, floors. It’s a product that has a lot of potential for creative discovery. It’s a beautiful tree and it makes a great, hard, durable floor.
Here’s a some quick interesting information about the American Beech Tree.
- Fairly large trees – up to 115ft. tall. Trunks can be up to 2 ½ feet wide.
- Smooth, silver-gray bark…. It’s commonly carved on.
- Leaves are dark green, simple & sparsely-toothed with small teeth
- Deciduous tree that grows all along the eastern USA north of Florida
- Beech is a Clone organism – like Aspen. It grows in cloves. It also has lots of low branches.
- It’s a shade-tolerant species, it favors growing in the shade more than other species.
- Beechnuts are sometimes gathered & sold – nuts are sweet and animals love them. I read that they can be used as a coffee substitute.
Quarter Sawn Beech Lumber :
- You won’t find anything about this in any lumber grading book. This is unique to Hickman Lumber.
- Beech is a hard wood with great color variation.
- Mainly used for boxes, crates, pallets, furniture, doors, trim,
- Wood is fairly uniform intexture, dark to light reddish brown
- Not much pronounced grain figure
- Heartwood – varies from reddish brown to nearly white
- Sapwood – nearly white
Beech wood wears well and stays smooth when subjected to friction even under water. This wearing ability has contributed to its wide use for many years as factory flooring (plain sawn)– particularly in machine shops & textile mills where hand and lift trucks are used * (US Department of Agriculture, 1974)
Rift & Quarter Sawn beech Flooring
Janka Scale : 1300
compared to White Oak 1360 & Red Oak 1290
Stable because of the rift & quartersawn cut.
Really cool color variation with the sap wood and the heartwood.
Natural & Clear Grades available
Unique, one of a kind, different than everyone else, beautiful hardwood floor
Naturally a very light floor. Great look for beach house style.
Famous Floors with Allegheny Mountain’s R&Q Beech
*New York Public Library in Battery Park
*Asbury Nature Center in Erie PA
* Crossroads Diner in Edinboro, PA
* Oscar winning Hollywood Star’s home in Manhattan
Check out this floor with the dark stain! I’ve only seen it done once but I absolutely love it!