alamo hardwoods | san antonio | ash lumber |
Ash
Ash (Fraxinus americana) might be a close second for the most "American" wood, right behind red oak. It has good hardness and is well suited for cabinets and floors, just like oak. The open pores of ash make it resemble red oak so much that people who have cabinets from the 1970's often think that they have oak. The wood's  oxidation and yellowy varnishes makes the colors very similar with time. The noted San Antonio Architect Alfred Giles liked to mix ash with walnut for floors for a high contrast striped effect in residences in the 1890's. One of these floors is seen in Lambermont ( www.lambermontevents.com ) in a second floor room.

Unlike the oaks, however. Ash lumber has no tannic acid. This means that when it contacts metals, it will not cause corrosion. This made it the wood of choice for car companies when wooden frames were the standard. The lack of tannins makes it unsuitable for exterior use, though. It has no built-in rot resistance. This was the trade off for the makers of the model T. Wood was actually fairly common in cars until the 1970's. The "Woodie" station wagons exposed their members. Volkswagen beetles and Mercedes continued to use wooden ribs in their convertibles (usually maple) until fairly late. The Morgan company of England
( www.morgan-motor.co.uk ) still uses ash frames to this day.

The most American trait of ash, though, is that it is the preferred wood for baseball bats. Oak has a tendency to honeycomb in the grain enough to make it unsuitable. Maple is used on occasion. But it is the sound of a ball striking an ash bat that tells everyone that the game has begun.

One drawback to ash's lack of tannins is that it makes it a favorite food of the power-post beetle. This bug will attack dry, finished lumber and deposit eggs. The larvae eat through the wood and exit, leaving small holes the size of a pencil point. the only means of removal is fumigation. They are not as destructive as termites and far easier to manage. Most people never have an issue with them.
alamo hardwoods | san antonio | ash lumber
Flat-cut Ash

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Ash Framing, 1938 Plymouth Westchester Suburban

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Ash Baseball Bat Blanks

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"Olive" Ash Burl Dash in Lincoln MKX

#1 Fredericksburg Road at “Five Points” | P.O. Box 5398 | San Antonio, TX 78201 | T 210-736-3137 | F 210-736-3136