You’ve come to the right place if you’re a novice wood carver or carpenter interested in beech wood. You probably already know that you must know every aspect of the wood you’ll be working with to do a good carving job, and beech wood is no exception to this rule.
Is beech wood good for carving? The short answer is yes, but it depends on many factors, such as your carving style and purpose.
Carving With Beech Wood
Beech is usually strong enough not to tear apart when being carved, but it lacks a natural resistance to decay. It’s not suited to chainsaw carving because you would have to keep it outside for too long, which may damage the material.
Furthermore, it becomes too hard and thick for whittling after drying.
Nonetheless, beech logs can be used for woodturning. Additionally, many wood carvers use particularly spalted beech wood to create beautiful and durable wooden bowls.
Note: Greenwood is the term used to refer to any wood that has just been removed from a tree. This type of wood has a lot of moisture, which can be a benefit or a drawback, depending on what you want to do.
Green beech wood is generally effortless to cut into because of its high moisture content.
This does not imply that beech wood is prone to breaking. On the contrary, it is rather stable and doesn’t twist or bend violently, but only when it has had time to age.
Moreover, you can prevent the likelihood of breaking your beech wood if you can stop green beech wood from drying out too quickly.
How to Prevent Green Beech Wood from Drying
You must slow down the rate at which your beech wood dries out to keep it from cracking. The best way to do this is by using an end-grain wood sealer.
End-grain wood sealers do exactly what you think they do. They cover the exposed end grain of logs and lumber.
Covering these exposed grain pieces is crucial because these are the areas where your log will dry faster. The natural evaporation of moisture causes this. Luckily, this problem can be easily fixed if you have the proper tools.
Beech Wood Janka Rating
The Janka Rating is how wood carvers measure the strength they must employ to carve a piece of wood. Therefore, this will determine the carving style you need to use.
Beech wood is more solid than other woods, such as white oak, which has a Janka Rating of 1290 lbf.
American beech wood has a Janka Rating of 1300 lbf, and European beech woof surpasses it with a Janka Rating of 1450 lbf.
What Makes Beech Wood Special for Carving?
Since it is sturdy and simple to work with, beech wood is one of the most common carving materials.
Wood carvers use it to make various pieces, including small ornamental designs and large furniture pieces.
Beech is an excellent alternative for those working on a tight budget because it is a relatively inexpensive wood.
Due to its extreme hardness and the patterns in its grain, beech wood makes a beautiful carving material.
These beautiful patterns are caused by a fungus that grows in the wood before it is cut. This gives beech wood a fantastic and unique finish that attracts many wood carvers, which is why it is among the most used woods on the market.
What Can Be Done with Beech Wood?
Beech is a highly robust and straight-grained wood that’s frequently used to make furniture, cabinets, kitchenware, tool handles, plywood, and sporting goods.
Even musical instruments can be made of beech, which looks like a mixture of maple and birch, making it perfect for making drums and pin blocks for pianos.
The most common elements made of beech wood are the bottoms of drawers and the sides and backs of cupboards.
Still, because of its strength, it is a great wood that many carpenters combine with weaker timbers to create magnificent combinations of various wood types.
Beech is often light or pinkish brown in its natural condition, polishes easily, and can be steam-darkened to a reddish brown.
Although many people find it unappealing when left unfinished, it doesn’t stain too easily and may be made to resemble other, more expensive, wood types.
Although beech wood is a fantastic alternative if you want an inexpensive option that can be used for nearly any project, there are several aspects you need to consider before working with it.
Therefore, we recommend only using it if you already have some experience in wood carving and know how to manage the tricky aspects of this wood type properly.