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CHESTNUT WOOD
THE WOOD:
Chestnut wood is recognized among professionals for his noble qualities:
  • High natural durability: its chemical composition high in tannins and low permeability enables it to have a high resistance to rotting on the outside and to xylophagous on the inside. The best example of this is found in the durability of "hórreos" (traditional grain stores); many are over 300 years old.

  • High dimensional stability: It is one of the most stable woods, meaning, it is not very nervous. This feature is especially advantageous in works where the wood will be subjected to large variations in humidity and temperature, such as windows, doors and flooring.

  • Moderately dense, this in elements such as windows or doors is a great advantage because elements that are suspended suffer less.

  • Good workability: Because of its easy processability, nailing, screwing, and polishing, besides having / owning / enjoying the best qualities for dyeing, varnishing and gluing.

  • Beauty: Aesthetically it is very attractive, fits in well in both rustic and modern environments. It is warmer than its counterpart in oak and becomes more beautiful over the years.
The chestnut wood has been traditionally used in the north of Spain, Portugal and Italy for construction, carpentry and furniture making. Nowadays it still remains popular in these areas, preferred over oak and iroko.
THE TREE:
With a circum-Mediterranean distribution, arriving from the east to the Caucasus, from the north it reaches the center of Europe and goes down to the mountains of North Africa. It is found in the humid areas of the north of Spain, as well as in some areas in the center and south of the Iberian Peninsula.

Although it has always been thought that the chestnut was introduced in the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans, quaternary palynological data collected (fossilized pollen) in the northern half of the peninsula, has revealed that this species was part of the flora of that time. But the Romans were responsible for its wide spread, primarily because of its fruit.

A tree that has a great growth of up to 30 m. of height. It stands erect or semi-erect. Quick heartwood formation, characteristics that distinguishes it from other species. Deep root system. It has great longevity that may exceed 1000 years of life.

The chestnut tree provides fruit, timber, and shade and enriches the soil conditions in which it lives, as well as creating one of the most beautiful forests in the world. The excellent characteristics of its wood led it to become widely used for various uses. Traditionally it was used for construction (pontoons and beams), interior and exterior carpentry, barrels, boats, poles and "hórreos" (traditional grain stores). The thinner rods from the tree are used to make baskets. It has always been highly valued for making furniture, fine veneer or general joinery. Another application has been the use of its tannins in the tanning industry.

At the present time, the chestnut tree is one of the most important and appreciated forest species, for the quality of its wood and its multiple applications.
CHESTNUT´S TANNINS:
Tannins, also known as tannic acid, are carbohydrates with coloring and antioxidant properties. They are inside wood, and when they are in touch with water they get pigmented.

Chestnut wood shows a high quantity of tannins in its chemical composition. Also with its low permeability, it confers great resistance to putrefaction on the outside and wood-decay on the inside and therefore has a high natural durability.

To avoid tannins appearing on the woods surface and aesthetic deterioration or loss of decorative value of the wood, a product to block the tannins must be applied before finishing the products (lasur, varnish or oil). There are several brands on the market that sell these products and they work perfectly. It´s very important to apply the tannin blocker over all sides of the wood, including head and edges. These products interact chemically with tannins, blocking them "on the spot" in a chemical action that leads to the formation of insoluble compounds of light color that don´t stain the wood or interfere with the decorative value of the wood.

It is also important that the anchorage and fixing of chestnut wood is done with stainless steel A4 screws to prevent corrosion of these and stains on the wood.

The following pictures show a bad application of a tannin blocker or no application at all. It can affect the final result of work. Similarly we see the use of bad/poor quality hardware that can be a negative consequence for the installation.

       

GOOD INSTALLATION WITHOUT TANNINS


       

TANNINS APPEAR DUE TO BAD APPLICATION OF TANNIN BLOCKER OR NO APPLICATION AT ALL

SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FUNCTION:
The chestnut tree, the most abundant native tree species in the forests of Asturias, was once admired in the rural areas, being used as raw material to make furniture for the noble houses, as well as traditional construction.

The rural areas sustainability must be based on the utilization of endogenous resources of the territory. The forests provide a wide variety of social and economic benefits, whether in relation to employment, with the profits generated by the processing and marketing of forestry products; they also provide environmental, cultural and landscape benefits. The maintenance and strengthening of these functions is part of sustainable management of the forest and contributes to rural development by increasing the living standards of the people living in rural areas and the setting of the population in disadvantaged areas. Promoting the use of chestnut wood, contrary to what many people believe, its forests are preserved, because precisely the profitable resources are the ones that are preserved.

The importance of the chestnut forests for biodiversity conservation is reflected by the incorporation of the Castanea sativa forests (code 9260) among the priority habitats of European Directive 92/43/EEC (Habitats Directive). These ecosystems are used by birds for breeding and feeding, and by mammals that use the fruit for food, or holes to hibernate or to make burrows (generating hunting). Another important aspect of the ecology of the chestnut is the mycological surroundings that accompany it.
MADERAS SIERO S.A.
T: (+34) 985 741 821 / (+34) 985 741 925
F: (+34) 985 743 407
Los Cuetos s/n, Argüelles
33188 Siero, Asturias (España)
siero@maderassiero.com
 
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MADERAS SIERO S.A.
T: (+34) 985 741 821 | (+34) 985 741 925
Los Cuetos s/n, Argüelles
33188 Siero, Asturias (España)
GPS: 43.384209,-5.726742

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