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Subject:
Re: point of data - difference

Sgian Dubh
"Not sure if the latter is steamed, but some 8/4 that I received to make saw handles years ago was definitely steamed ... "

I'd be surprised if a superficial inspection couldn't tell you if the stuff is steamed, or not, David. The pink colour is a giveaway for steamed, of course, and is usually easily detected in rough sawn pieces. Of course, there is the slight possibility that the stuff you have is so dirty, rough, blackened with grime, and generally grungy, that you really can't detect the general colour. A few skims with a plane, if that's the case, would get you down to a cleaner surface for you to tell what you've got. And if this were to reveal a sort of generally pale brown colour, some lighter bits and maybe a few dark streaks, then naturally that would identify the stuff as unsteamed.

I'm somewhat curious to know what you have, because I got the impression from something Bill said earlier in this thread, that it might be the case only steamed European beech makes it over to North America to the wood merchants.

I also wonder if American beech sometimes, or even commonly, receives a similar steaming treatment to that which European beech is subjected, and if it's for the same reasons. I can't recall ever using American beech in projects, not even during the ten years I lived in Texas, so can't drag up memories of first hand experience of the material to answer the question. I may have known the answer to the question at one time, but if I did, it eludes me now, although I could probably do a bit of digging around in my research into timber technology that I undertook as I wrote Cut & Dried - however, I'm feeling a bit lazy and don't feel like doing the digging around at the moment, ha, ha. Slainte.

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