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Buckeye Wood

 Shop Specialty Wood 

Family: Sapindaceae

Latin Name: Aesculus Glabra.

Origin: Midwestern states and the Eastern United States.

Common Names: Ohio Buckeye, Stinking Buckeye.

The Tree (characteristics): The Buckeye tree is medium-sized growing around 50 to 75 feet tall with a trunk that is about 1.5 feet in diameter. The tree itself is quite attractive and is often recognized by its rounded canopy and thick gray bark. In early spring the Buckeye tree produces showy spring flowers and striking orange and yellow leaves in the Fall.

Appearance of Wood: The sapwood of the Buckeye tree ranges from white to a gray shade. The wood stains easily and turns a dark blue-black color due to blue stain fungi. The heartwood is a darker shade and is rather irregular. Buckeye wood can act somewhat “rubbery” versus being stiff and crisp like other hardwoods.

Density: Buckeye wood has a very low density. It is very lightweight like Basswood. Average reported specific gravity ranges from .44 to .52 with an average dried weight of 32.5 pounds per cubic foot. Janka Hardness is estimated at 770 pounds of force.

Dryingand Shrinkage: When a Buckeye tree is cut, it needs to be processed as soon as possible to prevent blue staining of the wood. The wood however does have a low shrinkage rate after being processed and can be kiln-dried using a moderate drying schedule. There is currently no data available on shrinkage values.

Working Properties: Buckeye wood rates very low in shaping and boring, however, it does turn very well. One challenge that may be faced when working with Buckeye wood is the wood’s fuzzy surface. In the end, Buckeye glues and finished well.

Durability: Buckeye wood has not resistance to wood decay, rating the wood as non-durable to perishable.

Uses: Buckeye Burls are commonly used for electric guitar tops, pen blanks, and other small specialty items. Buckeye is good for carving and can be used to build low-strength pallets and crates.

Availability: Buckeye wood can at times be found in board form although due to its low strength and density it is typically not used for lumber. It is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.