TIMBER TIME: WHITE BEECH
The fast-growing White Beech (also called Grey Teak) rain forest tree grows to a height of 40m and has a stem diameter of 1.5m. It grows along the eastern Australian coast from the Illawarra district of New South Wales to Proserpine in tropical Queensland.
It has a straight, slender trunk, with 10mm thick bark. The colour of both the heartwood and the sapwood ranges from pale straw to light grey-brown.
White beech machines well due to its slightly greasy nature. It also carves well. It can be satisfactorily bonded using standard procedures and it readily accepts stain, polish and paint.
Due to its greasiness, it takes years to dry. It is also difficult to sand because it clogs the sandpaper very quickly. Remember to use non-corrosive fittings and fastenings on white beech because of the natural acidity of this species.
Its untreated sapwood is susceptible to lyctid borer attack. It is not termite resistant.
Decorative uses: Furniture and outdoor furniture, joinery, carving, turnery and picture frames. It is considered to be the premier carving timber in Queensland.
Other uses: Boat building (decking, planking),and has been used for draftsmen´s implements, templates, pattern making, cask bungs, brush stock, venetian blind slats, and beehives.