Ash and swamp ash woods are both light-colored woods that are widely used for making musical instruments. They are both hardwoods and are amongst the popularly used woods.
Ash and swamp ash both fall under the same family. They are produced from the same tree species. However, they are different because they grow in different regions or places. They are relatively lightweight hardwoods that make them convenient for making various objects and also furniture. However, they are not the same wood. Ash and swamp wood can have some differences in their characteristics.
Let us discuss them to know them better and choose the one required.
Ash vs Swamp Ash Wood – Difference
Ash wood is a widely used hardwood that grows widely on the east coast and parts of Canada. It is amongst the most popular woods preferred for furniture making since ancient times. It is a typical straight-grained wood. It has a color range from beige to light brown hues that give it an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Being light-colored, they take stains very well and provides a fine finish and polish.
Ash wood is a relatively lightweight wood for its strength which provides high workability and stability. They are smooth-grained woods with a fine texture that makes them convenient for cutting and bending with machines and hand tools. They can be easily nailed and screwed that provides excellent flexibility and bending qualities.
They are dense and stiff wood which provides good durability. Ash woods are also shock-resistant. Furthermore, they are highly resistant to rot and decay, making them very suitable for furniture. It is even amongst the most durable hardwoods that are widely chosen for making hand tools.
Ash wood is usually used to make tools, furniture, floors, cabinets, etc. They are not very expensive but also do not belong to the low-cost line. They are quite affordable and available.
Swamp ash Wood
Swamp ash can be considered as a wood belonging to the same family as ash. However, what makes the swamp different is the place that it grows in. Growth in different places can change the characteristics of the same tree completely. And that is what makes swamp ash unique. Swamp ash is basically an ash wood produced by the same tree but grown in swamps or wetlands.
When we talk about swamp ash, they are the most popularly used wood for making musical instruments. And by musical instruments, electric guitars are the most popular swamp ash wood products. It is because swamp ash woods are very low in density than white Ash or Ash, and are lighter in weight.
They also range from light-brown to creamy white color. However, Swamp ash is lighter in color compared to ash, and they have more large-open pores. They take stains better and allow better polish.
Due to their lightweight nature, they provide high workability. They can be easily machined and cut just like ash, but their lightweight makes them easier and more flexible. However, concerning stability and stiffness, they are less stable and stiff than ash. This is why they are more suitable for making small tools and instruments and not neck constructions.
They are also not very good at absorbing moisture content, thus making them susceptible to damage if exposed to extreme moisture.
Due to such features, they are widely used to make guitars, hand tools, and other instrumental products. Compared to other woods, they are relatively lower in price as well.
So we see ash and swamp ash wood can be the same and different at the same time. It is important to analyze their differences to make proper use of their properties.