Woods are common topics these days. With countless types of woods available, people can’t stop talking and evaluating what each type has to offer. Among the popular woods being talked about, these days is Ash wood.
Ash wood is a top choice when it comes to flooring, cabinetry, doors, furniture, and even food containers. This is an excellent wood for woodworking projects. Many woodworkers, when making something expensive, strong, and big with Ash wood, often wondered and asked, is Ash a hardwood?
This has also been a common question and subject of concern for many people, and most of them seek answers that will finally give clarity. We decided to look deeper into it, and we discovered many fascinating things that other people also deserve to know.
Is Ash a Hardwood? Answer Uncovered!
While many people think that hardwood is associated with the density and durability of wood, this pertains to the type of tree the wood actually came from. Hardwood comes from a dicot tree, commonly a broad-leafed variety, and softwood comes from a gymnosperm tree, naturally a conifer.
So, is Ash a hardwood? Yes, it is hardwood and walnut, maple, oak, and cherry. Ashwood is incredibly strong with a high 1,320 lbf hardness rating. Ashwood is known to be dent and scratch-resistant than softwood. Ash hardwood can produce premium quality products with outstanding durability. This wood’s dense and hard cellular structures are easy to maintain and robust.
There are still a lot more things you need to learn about Ashwood, including where it came from, its unique characteristics, and its applications. So let us dive in.
Get Yourself Familiar with Ashwood
The truth is, Ash wood has an extensive history in furniture making in the US. Ash is a smooth-grained, light-colored hardwood often found on the East Coast and some parts of Canada. This is lightweight, durable, absorbs wood stains nicely, and is aesthetically pleasing. With its usual beige to light brown hue and straight grain, this wood is perfect for furniture.
Ashwood comes from a deciduous tree that sheds leaves every autumn called white ash. This tree’s heartwood comes in a medium brown color, while the sapwood is beige or cream. Due to the white ash tree’s rapid growth, sapwood is substantial, which isn’t a bad thing. Woodworkers usually seek out creamy and pale ash sapwood as a substitute for white oak’s brown color. The workability of ash, in general, is the same as white oak.
Being shock-resistant and lightweight are the reasons Ash wood has become the top choice for tool handles, baseball bats, and even pieces of furniture at restaurants. Nowadays, ash continues to make a name in home furnishings.
Common Ashwood Uses
Ash is sometimes an underrated wood. Ash can be considered a workhorse with porosity and density like white oak. Ashwood has many known uses from high-end pieces of furniture to quality baseball bats. It’s nice working with this wood using machines and hand tools.
Other common Ashwood uses are as follows:
- Interior Applications
Ash is hard and heavy; thus, this is mainly utilized for windows, doors, cabinets, and furniture. Because of ash’s medium hardness, it has also become a perfect choice for flooring. It doesn’t get damaged or scratched easily.
- Exterior applications
Ash is also a versatile wood with guaranteed unlimited uses. Ashwood is less prone to decay and is used in the kitchen and the outdoors.
- Food containers
Since Ash wood has no smell and taste, this is used in making quality food containers.
- Sports parts
Since Ash wood is solid and rugged, this is often used to create sports parts like tool handles, hockey sticks, and baseball bats.
The Pros and Cons of Ash Wood
Like other types of woods, Ash Wood also has its own set of pros and cons. The following list will reveal to you the strength as well as the weak points of Ash wood.
Ash wood has a light brown hue and straight grain. This is a beautiful wood with a uniform look.
Ash wood is packed with excellent working and finishing properties. The wood’s Janka hardness is medium, so it can hold the polish, screw paint, and nail well.
Ash wood is noted for its versatility and durability, making it suitable for different applications. This is used in making sports parts, toys, smoke, and furniture. The black and white ash is the standard variety used in the manufacture of furniture.
- Shock Resistance and Durability
Due to Ash wood’s enough resistance, this is a better option for roof construction and flooring. Ash wood is shock-resistant and durable. Ash wood can last for decades, especially if given the proper care.
- Affordability and Availability
Ash Wood can be found all over the world. Being widely present and available, transportation might not cost extra. Ash Wood is cheaper as compared to other types of woods with similar properties. Even demands for Ash Wood in bulk can be met easily.
- Easy to Maintain
Ash wood is easier to maintain than other hardwoods when it comes to maintenance. Ashwood installed in the dry area needs less care.
- Open Grain
Ash Wood surfaces have open holes. You will need to fill these open holes to achieve a smooth and shiny surface.
- Not Suited for Exterior Applications
Ash wood is used well for dry and interior space but not for applications with soil contact such as decking and fences. This hardwood is also prone to fungus and insect attacks after exposure to the soil.
- Splits Easily
Ash wood splits easily, mainly when screw and deal are applied. Pre-drilling is therefore required for the screw.
Ash Wood is a hardwood widely used for different applications. These possess unique characteristics that other types of woods don’t have. Ash Wood also comes with excellent benefits that will indeed be experienced and enjoyed by people who are into doing woodworking projects. Ash Wood has become popular and widespread, and there’s no sign that this type of wood will lose its shine in the wood industry. This wood is expected to remain popular and in demand for different applications.