Maple and hornbeam – warm and cold

As my father likes to say, "not B-horn, C-horn or D-horn, it's maple (in German Ahorn)".

As my father likes to say, “not B-horn, C-horn or D-horn, it’s maple (in German Ahorn)”.

When we work the maple wood in the workshop, it actually reminds me of pancakes with maple syrup.

This spicy-sweet smell – slightly like burnt sugar – permeates the whole room, immediately a feeling of security and inner peace sets in. If you run your hand over the seasoned wood, it feels warm and balancing.

Our ancestors were clever and made the best possible use of nature. Maple wood was primarily used for tools with wooden handles. Even in winter, the wood feels warm in the hand. Stable and yet not too heavy.

Maple wood is usually cream-coloured, darkens, is fine-pored, long-fibred and is excellently suited as comb wood.

We often come across maple trees in the forest, in the city and on hiking trails. They invite us to linger. Their colourful leaves in autumn give us a feeling of well-being and joy.

We awaken the child in us when we take the fruits of the maple – also called nose pinchers – and put them on our noses out of silliness and joy. What fun and cheerful laughter.

The hornbeam

“No wood grounds me through its smell as much as the scent of freshly worked hornbeam!”. Hornbeam wood smells slightly musty and earthy when sawn, sanded and polished. As the wood is very hard and fine-pored, the smell does not linger on the wood. The hornbeam belongs to the birch family and is usually only known as a hedge and not as a tree that can be up to 1.5 m in diameter.

The mostly light grey, fine-pored and very hard wood is ideally suited as comb wood, as it can be very smoothly sanded and polished. Hornbeam is one of the hardest woods from Europe’s forests. If you run your hand over seasoned hornbeam wood, it always feels smooth and cold.

Hornbeam a species of beech? Far from it – the hornbeam belongs to the birch family and is thus related to the alder.

In nature, the hornbeam is usually found as a hedge, as it does not shed its brown leaves during the winter and thus provides privacy all year round.

When walking in the woods or parks, one comes across such stately hornbeams from time to time. Lingering under such old hornbeams gives courage, liveliness and freshness.

Your comb maker

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