I have to build 30 tabletops out of 5/4 beech, which I never worked with. I'm wondering the general properties of this wood, mostly how stable it is as far as cupping? The lumber looks great as it’s straight and flat. Also, should I use a WB finish (Agualente MLC) in a restaurant application?
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor P:
The Euro steamed beech has been wonderful for me. I've been using it for cabinets, furniture, and on the grill. (It makes a dandy smoke when soaked in water for a day or two).
I'd not be hesitant to make tabletops with it. I've made a ton of doors using it for the frames and panels and I think it's one of the easiest woods to make doors with at the price. It's pretty hard, glues well, and takes an edge well. It looks great distressed and the color is very consistent. It takes a little more effort to sand because of the hardness, but doesn't fuzz around knots or swirls like a softer wood.
I have only used a few boards wider than 6", but I had no cupping or warping problems. Of course you still need to take care to not use any pieces that are likely to cause problems, but in my experience, I've had a lot less waste with the beech than with other woods like alder and oak.