No, hemlock is not a good hardwood. Hemlock is a softwood, which means it is not as strong or durable as hardwoods like oak or maple. Hemlock is more often used for making furniture or other pieces of woodwork that will not have to bear a lot of weight or wear and tear.
It is also a relatively inexpensive wood, so it is often a good choice for projects that do not require a lot of strength or longevity. It is not suitable for flooring or outdoor projects, as it is not very resistant to the elements and can rot easily.
Is hemlock wood good for anything?
Hemlock wood is an excellent building material that is sought by many builders, carpenters and furniture makers. Its unique combination of strength and lightness makes it ideal for a wide variety of projects, including load-bearing elements like floor joists, rafters, and trusses, and lighter decorative elements like paneling and window and door trim.
Hemlock is also used for boatbuilding and cabinetry due to its compressive strength, rot resistance, and straight grain. Its light color is often chosen for furniture pieces, and when stained, the results can be beautiful.
Additionally, hemlock is a popular wood to use for artisan crafted items, such as wooden bowls, spoons and carved objects. In some areas it is used in woodworking classes as a teaching aid due to its affordability and ease of working.
Finally, hemlock wood is commonly used in firewood production due to its slow burning properties and pleasant smell.
How hard is hemlock lumber?
Hemlock lumber is considered to be one of the softer species of hardwood. Compared to other hardwoods, hemlock is known for its low shock resistance, low stiffness, and relatively low density. It also has a higher shrinkage rate than other hardwoods which can make it more prone to cracking, checking, and warping.
Its low hardness makes hemlock a great choice for furniture, cabinetry, and other woodworking projects that don’t require high levels of strength or wear resistance. Its softness also makes it a good choice for use in and around areas with light foot traffic, as it won’t be subject to as much wear and tear as other harder woods.
Is hemlock more expensive than pine?
The cost of hemlock and pine varies greatly depending on a variety of factors, such as availability, grade and size. Generally, hemlock is more expensive than pine due to its superior workability and strength.
Hemlock is also known for its resistance to decay and insects, making it a popular choice for outdoor construction. It is also more stable than pine, providing long-term durability. For premium quality hemlock boards, the cost can be up to three times as much as pine, but for lower grade quality, the difference in cost is generally much less.
Additionally, the size of the order affects the cost. Generally, the cost savings increase with a larger order. Ultimately, it comes down to the specific project requirements to determine which material is the best fit.
Is hemlock good to burn in a wood stove?
It depends. While hemlock is a popular wood to burn in a wood stove due to its longer-burning and heat-producing qualities, it may not be a good choice for everyone. Hemlock gives off a moderate amount of smoke and sparks when burned, so if your firebox is small or you live in an area with strict smoke emission regulations, you may not want to use it.
Additionally, hemlock does require a good amount of work to split and can be quite expensive, depending on the area in which you live. Furthermore, it can also be prone to throwing off sparks when burning, so proper chimney maintenance and use of spark arrestors may be necessary.
All in all, hemlock can be a great choice for firewood, but it may not be the best for everyone.
Does hemlock darken with age?
Hemlock does darken with age, although this darkening is quite subtle compared to other woods. You may notice the color of hemlock becoming darker over time due to exposure to sunlight, the natural aging process, or simply the application of a finish that can bring out its darker hues.
Most hemlock shelves, floors, and trim work are initially a warm golden brown color. Over time, the wood can become a more subtle, darker brown color for a more aged look.
How do you finish wood hemlock?
Finishing wood hemlock can be achieved by sanding the wood to remove any surface irregularities, then applying a wood sealer to protect the wood from moisture and dirt. You can use a sandpaper that is between 120 and 180 grit for pre-staining sanding, with finer grades of sandpaper (200-220) for final sanding.
When applying a sealer, be sure to use a stain or oil-based sealant for a long-lasting finish. After the sealant is dried and cured, use a water-based or oil-based topcoat for additional protection and for added color and surface sheen.
Apply the top-coat in thin even coats and allow sufficient drying time in between coats. It may be necessary to lightly sand with a fine grit (320-400) between coats to provide a smooth painted surface.
What do you do with hemlock?
Hemlock is an evergreen coniferous tree that is typically found in North America, Eurasia, and East Asia. It is most recognizable for its prominent cones and drooping branches. Despite its attractive appearance, hemlock is actually highly toxic to humans and animals due to its alkaloid poison, coniine.
As such, humans should take precautionary measures when handling any parts of hemlock.
In terms of practical uses for hemlock, some individuals choose to use it for woodworking projects, such as musical instruments, furniture, and decorative items. The wood is strong and has a light color, but should be treated with a sealant before use to prevent the absorption of coniine.
Given hemlock’s toxicity, it is not recommended to use it for any cooking or medicinal purposes. However, individuals can safely use hemlock for natural dyes, as it produces a brownish-gray color. Some people also use hemlock for traditional craft items, such as baskets and mats.
Overall, hemlock is best used in special applications, as it is too dangerous to handle as a regular part of everyday life.
How long does it take to season a hemlock firewood?
The amount of time it takes to season, or dry, hemlock firewood can vary depending on a few factors. The climate and environment, how it is split and stored, and how often it is used. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from 6 – 12 months in a properly maintained woodshed with ample air circulation to properly season hemlock firewood.
When it’s being cured and stored, the goal is to create an environment that allows the moisture in the wood to evaporate. In order to achieve this, the hemlock firewood should be split into smaller uniform-size pieces, stacked off the ground in the shade, and covered to protect from rain.
The wood should also be stacked loosely so air can flow freely between the pieces.
It’s important to remember that no matter how well the wood is stored and maintained, it can take up to a year to fully season. During this time, the wood should be monitored and checked for moisture content.
Heavier wood pieces containing more moisture will require more time to season. As the wood dries, it should become lighter in color and feel. It should also sound “hollow” when tapped on the end.
Is hemlock wood water resistant?
No, hemlock wood is not generally considered to be water resistant. It has a low natural resistance to decay and moisture, making it more sensitive to the effects of weather, moisture, and wear over time.
In addition, hemlock wood is prone to staining and warping when exposed to moisture, making it a less ideal choice than some other wood varieties for outdoor and wet applications. For outdoor applications requiring durability, sturdiness and water resistance, hemlock may not be the ideal choice.
Instead, other more durable woods such as cedar, redwood, and teak may be more suitable.
Can you use hemlock for flooring?
No, hemlock is not typically used for flooring. The wood is relatively light, soft, and not very durable, making it inadequate for use on a floor. It may occasionally be used as a base board layer of flooring or as a fascia layer in a laminate flooring system.
However, it is more common to use other types of wood such as hardwood, softwood, engineered wood, or laminate options. Hardwoods like oak and maple are popular flooring alternatives due to their strength and durability.
There are also many finishes available to give hardwoods a unique look. Softwoods like pine and fir are another flooring option and offer a softer, more affordable surface. Engineered wood, which is relatively new to the market, is composed of layers of different types of wood with a hardwood veneer on top.
Similarly, laminate flooring is composed of several layers of synthetic materials with an image of wood on the top. Both engineered wood and laminate products provide a wood like look, but are typically much less expensive than hardwood and more resistant to damage.
Can I build a deck with hemlock?
Yes, you can build a deck with hemlock. Hemlock is a great choice for deck construction as it is a softwood lumber species that is lightweight, stable and affordable. Hemlock is often used for framing and decking in homes due to its ability to resist rot and decay.
The material is also naturally resistant to insects, which offers an additional level of protection for your deck. Additionally, hemlock is versatile, so it can be used in combination with other lumber species to create a beautiful and long-lasting deck.
To ensure a sturdy construction, use proper deck building techniques and always be sure to use pressure-treated lumber to resist against decay and extend the life of your deck.
Which is stronger hemlock or pine?
It is difficult to definitively determine which wood species is “stronger,” as this is context-dependent. For example, while hemlock wood is generally denser and stiffer than pine, pine is more durable in certain outdoor environments and circumstances.
Hemlock is also more sensitive to large changes in moisture content and can shrink more than pine.
In general, hemlock is considered slightly stronger than pine in terms of hardness, stiffness, and shock resistance. For example, hemlock has a higher modulus of elasticity, which measures its ability to bend without breaking, while pine has a higher shear strength, which measures its ability to resist breaking from forces from side to side.
Additionally, hemlock has a higher Janka hardness rating than pine, making it more resistant to denting or scratching.
The specific strength of the two woods can vary widely depending on growing conditions and the specific components used. For example, old-growth hemlock (from trees older than 100 years) is denser and stronger than new-growth hemlock, due to slower growth and more established fibers.
Likewise, the higher the specific gravity of the pine or hemlock, the stronger the resulting boards are likely to be.
Ultimately, the strength of hemlock and pine depends on the growing conditions and manufacturing techniques of the individual boards, making it difficult to definitively determine which species is “stronger” in all circumstances.
How much is a hemlock tree worth?
The value of a hemlock tree can vary widely based on its individual characteristics and particular use. Generally, as is true with any tree, its value is determined by size, condition, location and species.
Hemlock trees can range in value from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars depending on the specifics. For example, the average price of a 12 foot tall hemlock tree can be $25-$50 dollars, while a 25-30 foot tall hemlock tree can be worth $300-$500 dollars.
Additionally, if the tree is in particularly good condition and is located in a desirable area, it may be worth more than a similar sized hemlock tree in a less desirable area. Additionally, hemlock trees may be used to create timber, and therefore, trees used for lumber may be sold for higher prices than those intended for aesthetic or privacy purposes.
Ultimately, the value of a hemlock tree is determined by the market and its individual qualities.
Can you make furniture out of hemlock?
Yes, you can make furniture out of hemlock, as it is actually a very versatile wood. Hemlock is a light to medium weight softwood that has a light, even texture and a slight natural luster. It is a popular choice for furniture making as it is easy to shape and sand, stain, and finish.
In addition, hemlock is resistant to shrinking and warping, making it an excellent choice for furniture that will last. It has a straight grain pattern and it usually takes to wood stains and finishes very well, giving it a beautiful finish.
Hemlock can be used in many different types of furniture construction, like chairs, tables, shelves, benches, and even in cabinets for a more elegant look. Its versatility makes it great for heirloom-quality furniture that can last for generations.
Does hemlock make good beams?
Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), a softwood, is widely used in North America for structural lumber products, such as beams. It is widely available due to its abundance in the Northeastern United States, and produces a light-colored, straight-grained lumber that can be used for many different applications.
Hemlock has a higher strength and stiffness in comparison to other softwoods, making it a popular choice for structural lumber. It is also less vulnerable to decay and insect infestation than other softwood species, making it a suitable choice for outdoor structures and applications near water.
In addition, its relatively lightweight density also makes it easier to work with when compared to hardwoods such as oak or maple. Although hemlock does not have the strength or durability of hardwoods, it is still a good choice for beams in many applications, particularly when strength and weight are desired over longevity or durability.