In general ash is a light coloured wood, with sapwood varying from white to yellow and heartwood light to dark brown, sometimes with lighter streaks. The colour difference between the outer light-coloured white sapwood and inner, darker, even brown heartwood is quite distinct. Ash wood is generally straight-grained with a coarse uniform texture. Its appearance has a very strong grain contrast between the softer summer growth and hard winter growth rings. No two pieces are ever the same in appearance.
Light brown flecks, or mineral streaks, sometimes referred to as ‘glassworm’, are common in ash and are treated as a natural characteristic, and are not considered as a defect under the NHLA Grading Rules. They do not undermine the integrity of the wood.
Physical properties: Ash has very good overall strength properties relative to its weight. It has excellent shock resistance and is good for steam bending.
Mechanical Properties: Ash wood has very good overall strength properties relative to its weight. It has excellent shock resistance, which takes some of the pain from those using hand tools and sports equipment, such as baseball bats. It steam bends very well, so is a favourite of furniture makers and hobbyists. Being very hard, stable when dry and easy to finish and stain, it is ideal for furniture and flooring.
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