Also known as: Steamed Beech, White Beech
Botanical Name: Fagus sylvatica
Origin: Europe and West Asia
Description: In order to produce White Beech veneer, the trees must be felled in the winter months when the sap is not rising. The logs are then sliced and uncooked as soon as possible to avoid any discolouration occurring. One difficulty often encountered with White Beech however, is its translucency which may necessitate prior underveneering. For steamed Beech veneer, the logs are cooked in the usual way and this changes the colour to a light pink to pinky brown. Large quantities of this veneer are consumed by all branches of the woodworking industry, and it is used extensively on furniture, doors, other interior joinery and for shopfitting. The occasional log of spalted Beech may be sliced into veneer although this type is more commonly used in the solid. The spalting, which is caused by a fungal attack, appears as many fine dark lines that meander irregularly through the veneer, with the areas in between sometimes showing different colour shades. This gives a decorative, even rustic appearance to an otherwise generally plain species. Spalted Beech is not widely available however and should be regarded as a special. Plain Beech veneer is also available in 1.4mm and 2.4mm thicknesses.