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Spruce, Norway

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Norway spruce is one of the most economically important coniferous species in Europe, where it is forested for paper production, and for its timber, known as deal or whitewood.

The timber of this species is flexible and durable. Its relative lightness, long length and straightness make it ideal for wooden ladders, oars, roofing timbers and paper pulp. Construction grades are commonly used for non-structural applications such as flooring and cladding, inexpensive furniture, joinery and general carpentry. Top-grade Norway spruce is a premium tonewood prized by luthiers for its acoustic properties; it is a timber of choice for acoustic guitar soundboards.

The sapwood of Norway spruce is white to pale yellow in colour, its heartwood is not always distinguishable but often tinged with brown and reddish-brown hues. Growth rings are prominently marked by the darker, denser summerwood. The grain of Norway spruce is relatively fine, and typically straight. Knots are clustered together rather than randomly distributed. Timber surfaces often exhibit a slight lustre.

Norway spruce is easy to work, except for the small tight knots that quickly dull tool edges. It glues satisfactorily using standard bonding procedures. Norway spruce can give poor results when being stained, due to its closed-pore structure. A sanding sealer, gel stain or toner is recommended when colouring Norway spruce timber.

Norway spruce is resinous, and its sawdust is reported to cause skin irritation and respiratory problems among some users.

Appearance

The sapwood of this species is white to pale yellow in colour; the heartwood is brown to reddish brown. Growth rings are prominently marked by the darker, denser summerwood. The texture of Norway spruce is relatively fine, and its grain typically straight.

Common Applications

The timber of this species is flexible and durable. Its relative lightness, long length and straightness make it ideal for telegraph poles, wooden ladders, oars, roofing timbers and paper pulp. Construction grades are commonly used for non-structural applications such as flooring and cladding, inexpensive furniture, joinery and general carpentry. Top-grade Norway spruce is a premium tonewood prized by luthiers for its acoustic properties; it is a timber of choice for acoustic guitar soundboards.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

Norway spruce is easy to work, except for the small tight knots that quickly dull tool edges. The timber glues satisfactorily using standard bonding procedures. However, it can give poor results when being stained due to its closed-pore structure. A sanding sealer, gel stain or toner is recommended when colouring Norway spruce. It is a resinous timber, and its sawdust is reported to cause skin irritation and respiratory problems among some users.

Origin of Timber

Europe

Readily Available

NSW

Availability - Further Information

Considerable quantities of Norway spruce are imported into Australia from Scandinavia and other European countries.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

5.00%

Radial:

1.90%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.33%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.16%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F17

F14

F11

F8

F7

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

470kg/m3

Unseasoned:

580kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

35

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

66

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

7.3

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

8.2

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

17

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

41

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

<1.8

Hardness - Seasoned:

2

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Not Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

Not Tested

Joinery

Timber joinery products offer a classic, unique and stylish touch to any interior or exterior design. The products are produced for a variety of internal applications including door and window frames, cabinetry, skirtings, mouldings and architraves. When looking to the outdoors, joinery products range from decorative eaves and posts to eye-catching railings.

Many timber species are suitable for joinery products and care should be taken in selecting the perfect timber for the particular product and its intended finish. Rare and exotic species such as Teak and Rosewood can generate pieces of outstanding beauty but material cost and availability are also important considerations.

Commercially available species like Tasmanian oak, Australian cypress, spotted gum and the like, often make the more practical choice, with the added benefit that they can be easily matched with other timber products within the building, like flooring.

Solid timber for joinery products is generally supplied as ‘clear finish grade' but ‘paint grade' options are available and these are usually comprised of a composite material like MDF or glulam.

A large number of specialist suppliers and producers offer the consumer extensive choice of profiles for all of the most common and popular joinery products. Choice is in many cases, limited only by imagination.

Cabinetry is often associated with joinery and most typically includes, cupboards, benches and other similar ‘built in' furniture. Like joinery, cabinetry is generally specified as either paint or clear finish grade and naturally for clear finish grade timbers, appearance and surface finish are critical in achieving a successful application.

 

Cladding, External

No other cladding material can offer the design freedom, ease of handling, range and natural beauty of timber. Timber cladding can create a building to suit almost any environment, taste or style.

Timber cladding has an inbuilt flexibility that provides natural advantages on sites subject to high winds, extreme climate, highly reactive soils, subsidence or earth tremors. And unlike masonry and other rigid materials, the natural resilience and high strength to weight ratio of timber enables it to withstand far greater stresses and movement.

Modern finishes give a long lasting and attractive appearance to timber cladding and can be used to change the colour and style of the building, making it a versatile material that will keep pace with changing tastes and fashions.

 

Framing

Lightweight timber construction typically comprises framed and braced structures to which one or more types of cladding are applied. Framing configurations can range from the closely spaced light timbers commonly seen in stud frame construction to large, more widely spaced timbers. A timber framed building can be placed on a concrete slab or on posts/poles or bearers resting on piers/stumps supported on pad footings.

Used in houses or multi-residential dwellings, lightweight timber construction offers the flexibility of a wide range of cost effective design options.

When the timber comes from sustainable sources, this construction method can be environmentally advantageous as it combines timber's low embodied energy with its capacity to store carbon.

Flooring

Whether for structural or finished flooring applications, timber offers durability, versatility and adaptability. The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring has proved enduringly popular in a wide variety of interior settings.

Timber flooring is a timeless product, offering a warmth and natural beauty largely unmatched by other flooring options. This article provides an overview of the installation of solid timber strip flooring over bearers and joists, timber based sheet flooring products and concrete slabs. Timber flooring is typically supplied as either solid timber or laminated wood products, made from layers of bonded timber. It fits together with a tongue and groove joint and once in place, is sanded and finished. There is a wide variety of species to select flooring from and the right species for a given application will be dependent on numerous factors. Information relating to species selection, environmental assessment, finish selection and recommended maintenance routines are all provided in this section.

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