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Basswood

Fine grained with little to no grain pattern. The sapwood is usually quite large and creamy in color, merging into the pale to reddish brown heartwood, sometimes with darker streaks. A fine uniform texture and indistinct, straight grain. Typically light and soft in nature.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Distribution

Eastern North America

Scientific Name

Tilia americana

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.32

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.42

Janka Hardness

410

Colour/Appearance

Pale white to light brown colour, with sapwood and heartwood sections not clearly defined. Growth rings tend to be subtle, and color is mostly uniform throughout the face grain of the wood. Knots and other defects are uncommon.

Grain/Texture

Grain is straight, with a fine, even texture and moderate natural luster.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; medium pores predominantly in radial multiples or clusters of 2-4; growth rings indistinct or distinct due to marginal parenchyma; medium to large rays, normal spacing, noded; parenchyma banded (marginal), apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates.

Rot Resistance

Basswood is rated as being non-durable in regard to heartwood decay.

Workability

 Easy to work, being very soft and light. Perhaps one of the most suitable wood species for hand carving. Basswood also glues and finishes well, but has poor steam bending and nail holding characteristics.

Odor

No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity

 Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Basswood. 

Pricing/Availability

 Widely available as lumber or carving blanks. Prices are in the lower range for a domestic hardwood, though larger carving blocks are more expensive.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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