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curtdave
shades of birch lumber

I am about to build some kitchen cabinets with solid birch for the doors and trim, and birch ply for the carcases. In looking up birch I find 3 kinds listed. White (paper) birch, red birch, and yellow birch. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each.

Can somebody enlighten me further on this.

A. Spruce
Re: shades of birch lumber

It's probably nothing more than different species of birch or that different areas of the log produce different shades of lumber, any of the three will do fine for your purposes, choose the one that matches the plywood the best. One thing that will make a huge difference is that you be able to sort through the stack of lumber you're purchasing and select boards that are all the same color and similar graining patterns. Don't assume that every stick in the pile is going to be the same, because they're not. When you get the lumber home and start working on your project, sort the stack again and match color and grain for glued up panels such as doors. Mismatched grain and colors stand out like a sore thumb and seriously detract from the beauty of the project.

As a side note, pay a visit to the Build Your Own Cabinets thread for loads of great info on everything from construction to finishing your cabinets. Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask for advice.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: shades of birch lumber
curtdave wrote:

I am about to build some kitchen cabinets with solid birch for the doors and trim, and birch ply for the carcases. In looking up birch I find 3 kinds listed. White (paper) birch, red birch, and yellow birch. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each.

Can somebody enlighten me further on this.

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis syn Betula lutea) most common in north america for lumber has white sap wood and light reddish-brown heartwood.

"red birch" is not another species it is just predominantly the heart stock of Yellow birch.

confusing the "yellow" and "red" birch issue for native north america is that it can also be Sweet birch (Betula lenta) where the sapwood is light and the heartwood is dark brown tinged with red.

bottom line on the "yellow" and "red" distinction is yellow = mostly sap wood and red = mostly heartwood.

"white birch" north american also not necessarily a specific species could be Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) which is predominately sap wood, with small brown knotty hearts. The wood is mostly white but as it nears the core will show brown flame patterns, with white sap edges. quite dramatic or Silver birch (Betula pendula)from canada. white birch usually easier to mill, router and such then the "yellow"/"red" birch.

kentvw
Re: shades of birch lumber

I will continue to hold hope after hope for you blue, AKA leslie

havanagranite
Re: shades of birch lumber
Blue RidgeParkway wrote:

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis syn Betula lutea) most common in north america for lumber has white sap wood and light reddish-brown heartwood.

"red birch" is not another species it is just predominantly the heart stock of Yellow birch.

confusing the "yellow" and "red" birch issue for native north america is that it can also be Sweet birch (Betula lenta) where the sapwood is light and the heartwood is dark brown tinged with red.

bottom line on the "yellow" and "red" distinction is yellow = mostly sap wood and red = mostly heartwood.

"white birch" north american also not necessarily a specific species could be Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) which is predominately sap wood, with small brown knotty hearts. The wood is mostly white but as it nears the core will show brown flame patterns, with white sap edges. quite dramatic or Silver birch (Betula pendula)from canada. white birch usually easier to mill, router and such then the "yellow"/"red" birch.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch
red birch also called river birch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_occidentalis

havanagranite
Re: shades of birch lumber

in other words there is a species called red birch. unlike latin names a species can be knowen by several common names. and these names may vary by local areas, all these names may correct terms even though some local names may even be used for different species in different areas.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: shades of birch lumber
Blue RidgeParkway wrote:

bottom line on the "yellow" and "red" distinction is yellow = mostly sap wood and red = mostly heartwood.

havanagranite wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch
red birch also called river birch
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_occidentalis

havanagranite wrote:

in other words there is a species called red birch. unlike latin names a species can be knowen by several common names. and these names may vary by local areas, all these names may correct terms even though some local names may even be used for different species in different areas.

ah nope havana your wrong and your links from crap wikipedia don't support your b.s. contentions and you obviously don't know crap about it so stop already GOTCHA! :D

FAS, FIF or select its a grading thing. there are like 50 species of birch in the world, 9 or 10 forested primary in N.A. we IMPORT A LOT, it has little to do with species it has to do with GRADING. LOL rolling on the floor too funny! :D

heartwood, sapwood or less stringent only one face barely mostly sapwood (red, white, yellow; respectively):p SUCKA!:p

JLMCDANIEL
Re: shades of birch lumber

This is getting worse than pre-school.
Jack

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: shades of birch lumber
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

This is getting worse than pre-school.
Jack

worse than an unmonitored grade school playground. snotty-nose and booger-boy have been following around spitting, pushing, name calling, pulling pig tails and snapping bra straps for weeks shouldn't be surprised when pippy finally turns around slaps them upside the head or nails them right in the beak.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: shades of birch lumber

To clear things up, White Birch is a shrub not a tree, Paper Birch is the birch with the almost white pealing bark, it is used for landscaping and commonly associated with birch bark canoes used by Native Americans. Yellow Birch is the birch that lumber and plywood veneer, both white and red, is made from, Red Birch is a common name used for the reddish lumber or veneer from Yellow Birch trees but is not the name of a tree.
Jack

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: shades of birch lumber

too funny!:rolleyes:

It is simply:

heartwood, sapwood or less stringent barely mostly sapwood on at least one face(red, white, yellow; respectively):D

and Jack,

Not all "Birch" lumber in N.A. is of the Yellow birch tree(B. alleghaniensis) Example already given: Sweet birch (B. lenta) is often sold as undistinguished from Yellow birch.

"Sweet birch wood is quite similar to yellow birch (*). Lumber and veneer of the two species often are not separated in the market, although production of yellow birch far exceeds that of sweet birch. Sweet birch is used for furniture, cabinets, boxes, woodenware, handles, and millwork, such as interior finish and flush doors." (*) Brisbin, Robert L., and David L. Sonderman. 1973. Birch ... an American wood. USDA Forest Service, FS-221. Washington, DC. 11 p

And from 2007 The Encyclopedia of Wood, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory "Characteristics and Availability of Commercially Important Wood, Cha. 1 pp 4-5 (U.S.):

"The three most important species are yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), sweet birch (B. lenta), and paper birch (B. papyrifera). These three species are the source of most birch lumber and veneer. Other birch species of some commercial importance are river birch (B. nigra), gray birch (B. populifolia), and western paper birch (B. papyrifera var. commutata). Yellow, sweet, and paper birch grow principally in the Northeast and the lake States; yellow and sweet birch also grow along the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia.

Yellow birch has white sapwood and light reddish-brown heartwood. Sweet birch has light-colored sapwood and dark brown heartwoo tinged with red. For both yellow and sweet birch, the wood is heavy, hard, and strong, and it has good shock-resisting ability. The wood is fine and uniform in texture. Paper birch is lower in weight, softer, and lower in strength than yellow and sweet birch. Birch shrinks considerably during drying.

Yellow and sweet birch lumber is used primarily for the manufacture of furniture, boxes, baskets, crates, wooden ware, cooperage, interior woodwork, and doors; veneer plywood is used for flush doors, furniture, paneling, cabinets, aircraft, and other specialty uses. Paper birch is used for toothpicks, tongue depressors, ice cream sticks, and turned products, including spools, bobbins, small handles, and toys."

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