Peterson Portable Sawmills

Tree Dictionary: E-F

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EBONY, AFRICAN (Diospyrus spp.)

Other Names: Includes varieties from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kribi, Gaboon, Madagascar, and Zaire.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows primarily from central to southern Africa.
Appearance: Very fine texture with an indistinct grain and metallic luster. Uniformly black heartwood and yellowish white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Very heavy, hard, strong, and stiff with high shock and decay resistance. Requires pre-drilling to nail or screw.
Working Properties: Works with some difficulty – tends to chip and quickly dulls cutting edges. Turns well. Finishes to a naturally dark polished surface.
Uses: Used for piano keys, musical instruments, turnery, inlays, novelties, billiard cues, brush backs, and cutlery handles.

EBONY, EAST INDIAN (Diospyrus spp.)

Other Names: Includes Indian ebony, camagon, golden ebony, and Other Names such as Macassar ebony according to origin.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in Sri Lanka and southern India.
Appearance: Straight to irregular grain with a fine, even texture and metallic luster. Heartwood color varies from medium brown to jet black to gray depending on species. Light gray sapwood.
Physical Properties: Very heavy, hard, strong, and stiff with high shock and decay resistance. Wood is brittle.
Working Properties: Works with difficulty due to hardness. – heartwood has severe blunting effect on cutting edges. Requires pre-drilling to nail or screw. Glues satisfactorily and takes an excellent finish.
Uses: Used for luxury furniture, carving, and various turned items including knife and tool handles, billiard cues, and brush backs. Also used for combs, piano keys and other musical instrument parts, inlay, and decorative veneer.

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ELM, AMERICAN (Ulmus americana)

Other Names: White elm, water elm, soft elm and gray elm.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in eastern half of United States and southern Canada.
Appearance: Straight or interlocked grain with a coarse texture. Light to brown heartwood, usually with a reddish tinge, and light-colored sapwood.
Physical Properties: Moderately heavy and hard, tough, elastic, difficult to split, and wear resistant. Low decay resistance and moderate dimensional stability.
Working Properties: Works with some difficulty – tends to dull cutting edges and often produces fuzzy surfaces. Glues, screws and nails satisfactorily. Does not polish easily but otherwise finishes well.
Uses: Used for boxes, baskets, cooperage stays, sporting goods, agricultural implements, furniture (bent parts especially), plywood veneers, flooring, and miscellaneous woodenware.

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ELM, EUROPEAN (Ulmus spp.)

Other Names: Includes English elm, smooth-leaved (French or Flemish) elm, Dutch elm and wych or Scotch elm.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Occurs in temperate regions of Europe and western Asia.
Appearance: Typically cross grained with dull brown heartwood (often with reddish tinge) and pale sapwood.
Physical Properties: Moderately heavy and hard with low stiffness, shock resistance and bending strength. Low decay resistance and medium movement in use.
Working Properties: Can be difficult to work in that wild grain can tear or cause binding. Glues, screws, nails and finishes satisfactorily.
Uses: Used for flooring, farm implements, chair seats, bent parts, ship building, sports equipment, turned items, cabinets, caskets, decorative veneers, paneling and chopping blocks.

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ELM, ROCK (Ulmus thomasii)

Other Names: Hard elm, cork elm and hickory elm.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in eastern United States and southern Canada.
Appearance: Straight or interlocked grain with a coarse texture. Light brown to brown heartwood, usually with a reddish tinge, and light brown to brown sapwood.
Physical Properties: Heavy, hard, tough, difficult to split, wear and shock resistant. Low decay resistance and moderate dimensional stability.
Working Properties: Works with some difficulty – hardness tends to dull cutting edges. Finishes reasonably well. Glues, screws and nails satisfactorily.
Uses: Uses are similar to those of American and slippery elm but it is better suited to applications requiring hardness and greater strength. This includes farm vehicles, machinery parts, skids, cooperage, wheels and millwork.

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ELM, SLIPPERY (Ulmus rubra)

Other Names: Red elm, gray elm, soft elm and moose elm.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in eastern United States and southern Canada.
Appearance: Straight or interlocked grain with a coarse texture. Dark reddish brown heartwood, frequently with red shades, and grayish white to light brown sapwood.
Physical Properties: Moderately heavy, hard, tough, difficult to split, shock and wear resistant.
Working Properties: Works with some difficulty – dulls cutting edges, often produces fuzzy surfaces, and wild grain presents problems when planing. Finishes reasonably well.
Uses: Uses include wheel hubs, railroad ties, ship-building, fenceposts, sills, boxes, crates, pallets, cooperage, decorative plywood and veneer, farm vehicles, food containers, baskets, and interior trim. Often sold with American elm as one species.

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FIR, BALSAM (Abies balsamea)

Other Names: Fir, Canadian fir, eastern fir, and bracted balsam fir.
Type: Softwood
Range: Grows in eastern United States and Canada.
Appearance: Straight and even grained with a medium to fine texture. Creamy white to pale brown color, heartwood indistinguishable from sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light and soft with low strength, shock resistance, and decay resistance.
Working Properties: Works fairly easily with hand or machine tools. Glues, screws, nails, stains, paints, and varnishes well.
Uses: Used primarily for general construction, as well as boxes, crates, sash, doors, trim, plywood, and pulpwood.

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FIR, WHITE (Abies concolor)

Other Names: Western fir, concolor fir, Colorado fir, silver fir, white fir, lows fir, and white balsam.
Type: Softwood
Range: One of six commercial species of fir grown in western United States. Others are Subalpine fir, California red fir, grand fir, noble fir, and Pacific silver fir.
Appearance: Generally straight and quite even grained with medium to coarse texture. Whitish to yellowish brown heartwood, indistinguishable from sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light, soft, moderately stiff, low strength, low shock resistance, and low decay resistance.
Working Properties: Works satisfactorily with hand or machine tools. Exceptional gluing, nailing, and screwing properties. Stains, paints, and varnishes well.
Uses: Used primarily for general construction, as well as boxes, crates, sash, doors, trim, plywood, and pulpwood.