Botanical name: Myroxylon. Grows in: South America and Mexico.
Color: medium range of color variation - between a light orangey/brown with yellowish overtones to a dark reddish/purplish brown. Medium range of photosensibility.
Grain: Straight, smooth, elegant. Occasional curly grain or wavy figure in some boards, similar to maple.
Yellow birch, sweet birch, paper birch. Paper birch (B. papyrifera) is softer and lower in weight and strength than yellow or sweet birch. However, yellow birch is most commonly used for flooring. Boards can vary greatly in grain and color. The grain is commonly interlocked. Quartersawn material usually exhibits a striped figure.
Texture: Texture is typically even and very fine.
Luster: The wood has medium to high luster.
Hardness/Janka: Janka:2320; 2% softer than Northern red oak.
Dimensional Stability: Very good.
Durability: Very good.
Workability: Difficult to work with hand tools, but good machining qualities. It is good with sanding and nailing, but may be difficult to stain.
Nailing: Nail-holding ability is reported to be good.
Polishing: The timber is reported to have excellent polishing characteristics.
Sanding Sanding characteristics are rated as satisfactory.
Response to Hand Tools: Response to hand tools is fair, but cutting edges tend to dull rapidly.
Strength Properties: Bending strength in the air-dry condition (about 12 percent moisture content) is exceptionally high. It is far superior in strength to either Teak or Hard maple. Strength qualities in compression parallel to grain are exceptionally high. It is hard harder than Teak, and does not marr or dent easily. It is a very heavy wood. The density of the wood is very high.
Finishing: May be difficult to stain.
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