Basswood Products

Basswood (Tilia americana)

Tilo makes a number of products using basswood, including
  • furniture
  • mouldings
  • millwork
  • turnings

Browse our catalog of Standard Profiles or talk to us about a Custom Profile using basswood.

General Description of Basswood

The sapwood of basswood is thick and creamy white in color, merging into the heartwood, which appears pale to reddish brown with the occasional dark streak. The wood has a fine uniform texture and indistinct, straight grain.

Relative Abundance and Availability of Basswood

Together, aspen, basswood, cottonwood, elm, gum, hackberry, sassafras, sycamore and willow represent 12.5 percent of commercially available U.S. hardwoods.

Working Properties of Basswood

  • machines well
  • easy to work with using hand tools and therefore good for carving
  • fairly good in nailing, screwing and gluing
  • can be stained to a smooth finish
  • dries fairly easily with little distortion
  • fairly high shrinkage but good dimensional stability when dry
Machining  4 Star
Nailing 2 Star
Screwing 3 Star
Gluing 3 Star  
Finishing 4 Star

Physical Properties of Basswood

Basswood is light and soft with generally low strength properties and a poor steam-bending classification.

Strength And Mechanical Properties (inch-pound) (a)
Moisture content 12%
Specific Gravity (b)
0.32-0.37
Static Bending Modulus of Rupture (lbf/in2)
5,000-8,700
Static Bending Modulus of Elasticity (c) (106 lbf/in2) 1.04-1.46
Static Bending Work to Maximum Load (in-lbf/in3) 5.3-7.2
Impact Bending to Grain (in) 16
Compression Parallel to Grain (lbf/in2) 2,220-4730
Compression Perpendicular to Grain (lbf/in2)170-370
Shear Parallel to Grain (lbf/in2)600-990
Tension Perpendicular to Grain (lbf/in2)280-350
Side Hardness (lbf)250-410

a) Results of tests on small clear specimens in the green and air-dried conditions. Definition of properties; impact bending is height of drop that causes complete failure, using 0.71-kg (50 lb.) hammer; compression parallel to grain is also called maximum crushing strength; compression perpendicular to grain is fiber stress at proportional limit; shear is maximum shearing strength; tension is maximum tensile strength; and side hardness is hardness measured when load is perpendicular to grain.

b) Specific gravity is based on weight when oven dry and volume when green or at 12% moisture content

c) Modulus of elasticity measured from a simply supported, center-loaded beam, on a span depth ratio of 14/1. To correct for shear reflection, the modulus can be increased by 10%.

Reprinted with permission from Hardwood Manufacturers Association

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