Western hemlock features a fine texture and a straight, uniform grain. This species is seasoned uniformly in dry kilns to improve its strength and stiffness, and to enhance its resistance to decay and insect attack. It offers a wide array of applications, ranging from mouldings and interior woodworking to general construction, roof decking and plywood. This wood species is primarily known for its even grain, which offers excellent machining properties
Common uses
Hemlock is firmly established as an outstanding wood for mouldings and interior woodworking. Other uses include doors, windows, floors, suspended ceilings, ladders and utility purposes where a high grade is needed. Hemlock is recommended in India for furniture, solid doors, finger joint door frames and other interior uses. Hemlock is also used for general construction, roof decking and plywood. It is popular for laminating stock and the production of glue-laminated beams sold into the Japanese market.
Of interest:
Western hemlock is known for its even density which provides for excellent machining properties
Working properties
Hemlock has a relatively good strength-to-weight ratio and is known for its excellent working properties. The wood requires special care when drying but yields a quality product. It is relatively easy to work with, and has good machining qualities. It turns, planes and shapes well and can be sanded to a smooth finish. The wood glues satisfactorily, has moderate nail and screw holding ability and polishes beautifully. Hemlock lumber is seasoned uniformly in dry kilns. Kiln drying improves its strength and stiffness, and increases resistance to decay and insect attack.
Stiffness / MOE (MPa) Air dry 12300
Strength / MOR (MPa) Air dry 81
Density (KG/M3) Air dry 429
Compression Parallel (Mpa) Air dry 46.7
Shear (Mpa) Air dry 6.48
Shrinkage (air dried-12%) Tangential/radial ratio 1.6
Title Process Performance Comments
Machining Planing Good to average A silky smooth finish is easy to achieve
  Shaping Average Easy, with good surface quality
  Sanding Good Good sanding finish
Fastening Screwing Good  
  Nail retention Good  
  Gluing Average  
Finishing Staining Good The best finish is achieved with tight stain, or clear finish followed by nitrocellulose alkyd clear sealer and finish
  Painting Good  
Drying Ease of drying Fair Due to the high moisture content of this wood, longer kiln drying times are required
Durablity Natural decay resistance Poor Not appropriate for prolonged outdoor exposure
  Treatability Good Can be improved by incising