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What Is Pecan Lumber?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2014
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Pecan lumber is wood that comes from pecan trees that is ultimately destined for use in furniture, construction or crafting. It is most often used to make tables or panels used on hardwood walls or floors. When it is stained and finished, it has a striking pattern with a wide variety of shades. This type of wood is desired for its beauty and durability, but it is not extremely common because other less expensive hardwoods are better suited for use as lumber.

Hard, heavy and strong, when stained and finished, pecan lumber shows a colorful, heavily contrasted grain pattern that many furniture collectors find pleasing. The grain pattern makes this wood a popular choice for tabletops and other areas where the wood is openly visible. This type of wood can also be used for picture frames.

Pecan lumber is more difficult to find than the more widely used types of hardwood lumber, such as ash, birch or poplar. Hickory, a relative of pecan, has a similar grain contrast appearance and is much less difficult to find than true pecan wood. It is widely considered to be more durable than pecan. Like other hardwoods, pecan lumber is commonly used in floors because it is durable and pleasing to the eye.

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Since pecan lumber is infrequently used for building construction, finding it in standard construction sizes like 2x4 pieces is rare. Pecan lumber can be purchased as raw wood or in finished shapes. Crafters buy pecan lumber in untreated blocks, which they dry in kilns and carve into craft furniture and objects for home decor. Pecan wood can also come as veneers, which are thin sheets of finished wood which are applied over inferior or damaged wood to make it appear to be pecan.

Raw pecan wood is not easy to treat, since drying pecan lumber has a tendency to warp. To keep them from warping while drying, pecan wood boards are generally kept flat with weights, often as much weight as a mid-sized pickup truck. Cutting the lumber into small pieces that are flattened and fitted together after drying can also reduce problems with warping pecan wood.

The pecan tree is native to the southern United States and parts of Mexico. In addition to attractive lumber, it also produces an edible nut that is used in many dishes, especially sweet desserts. When pecan wood is not used for lumber, it is a popular cooking wood used to smoke meat in a barbecue.

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