When you are looking at timber for a project, there can seem to be a baffling range of different types available. From rough sawn to planed and all the variations, it can be hard to pick out what you need.
Here, we will look at PSE timber or Planed Square Edge timber., sometimes called Planed All Round (PAR). This is one of the most popular DIY options that is used for specific jobs. Let’s look at what it is and what it can be used for.
What’s the difference between rough and planed timber?
To start with, it is worth taking a moment to understand the difference between rough and planed timber.
Rough sawn is timber that has been cut down using a saw that’s it. The texture of the wood is rough and there’s plenty of splinter-potential if you were to run your hand down it. It is ideal for jobs where the wood won’t be seen. This type of 'finish' is most typically seen in fencing products like posts these days. Almost all Joist Timbers now are regularised which gives a semi smooth finish and rounded corners.
Planed timber is the finished product that has been 'thicknessed' or planed to remove that rough outer layer. It allows the grain of the wood to show through and is smooth when you run your hand along the surface.
What is PSE?
PSE stands for Planed Square Edge, which is a finished state of timber where the four sides are smooth and only the ends are rough where cut to length.
This makes for a smart and smooth finish that is perfect to use anywhere that the wood is visible.
Nearly any type of wood can be planed to create the smooth surface. However, in the UK, you often find that there are a few types of wood most commonly used to create PSE timber - these are both Softwoods - there is Redwood which is one of the most popular and Whitewood which is also quite common.
Planed timber sizes
Another great thing about PSE timber is that there are plenty of options in terms of the size and length available.
Length of PSE wood can start as small as 900mm and go as long as 4.5 Metres or even longer on some dimensions. Wood widths can range from just 8mm right through to 300mm. You can also find it available for cutting in greater sizes depending on the stock available.
What can you use PSE timber for?
PSE timber tends to be used for jobs where the wood will be visible. A few examples including in furniture and shelving as well as for sash windows where people want a more natural look than using uPVC. It can also be used in flooring with the right treatment.