Friday, 27 October 2017 14:49

Why Not Basswood?

Basswood is one of those hardwood species that does not get mentioned much.  Most of the time it does not even show up as a line item in industry reports because it is lumped in the “other” category for reporting purposes. Many experts estimate basswood represents only about 5-8% of the total volume of timber in lumber production today. But maybe that should change.

basswoodBasswood, Tilia Americana, is a light, soft wood which is easily worked and very stable. It once had a reputation as difficult to finish since it developed “fuzzy” edges during sanding, but with today’s advanced machinery, manufacturers have been able to overcome that obstacle in most instances.

Generally speaking, basswood is one of those species where the difference in the heartwood and sapwood is not great. Some refer to the distinction or boundary of the two as not being strong. This results in basswood being very uniformed in color which is typically described as ranging from creamy white to a very pale brown. 

Our customers that request basswood are usually looking to use it in either a moulding application or for shutters and blinds. However, basswood is also used in things like musical instruments, boxes & crates, woodenware, novelties, and is also an excellent choice for wood carvings! We find it is an excellent substitute for white poplar and even aspen.

We usually offer basswood in rough random width and length bundles, but it can also be surfaced, (S2S), upon request.

If you are considering trying basswood, or are looking for a new supply source, please let us know. We would be glad to help!

Tony Cimorelli
Baillie Lumber
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