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Log Home Design Ideas[Review for previous edition:] You'll learn all about wood color and grain, sustainability and storage... It's a must-have reference.
— Sara Scott
Find out how trees are converted into boards and veneer, how some remarkable natural effects occur, and what types of wood can be bought from sustainable sources. Packed ...
Find out how trees are converted into boards and veneer, how some remarkable natural effects occur, and what types of wood can be bought from sustainable sources. Packed with advice on buying and storing lumber, this beautifully illustrated guide includes a picture gallery that will inspire and an authoritative Wood Directory that features a photograph of each wood in detail and to scale.
Excerpted: Introduction and How To Use this Book
Most woodworkers have a "palette" of woods that they favor, experimenting with alternatives for a specific purpose, or perhaps because they come across or are given a new board or veneer, cabinetmakers choose stable boards for panels, ideally quartersawn, that will not bend and buckle, or they glue decorative veneer to man-made sheets. chairmakers select strong, long-grained woods for the legs and rails, but more decorative, softer lumber for the seat. Though carvers like ornate wood, and can carve almost anything with modern rotary tools, they prefer it to be even-grained to reduce the risk of tearing. Woodturners, though, will use almost anything, particularly if the grain and color are distinctive and will enhance the perfectly formed curves of their bowls and boxes.
Whether forced by the requirements of a particular project or just because of boredom with what is in the workshop, every woodworker comes to a point when it's time to try a new type of lumber. Today, thankfully, there is plenty to choose from. Veneers and turning blanks are easy to source and purchase by mail order, from a catalogue or over the Internet, and even boards can be ordered this way.
Each mood has its own distinctive characteristics, though of course many share similar colors, grain patterns or textures. Hardwoods are favored for their strength, decorative effects, wide range of colors and durability. Softwoods tend to be cheaper, and are often seen as functional materials for building and construction.
Somewhere out there is the perfect lumber that is easy and pleasurable to work while also being visually interesting, the ideal lumber will also
Look through the list of woods in this book and you mill notice that some botanical and common names keep cropping up. There is an oak on almost every continent; indeed, that wood has been a giant of the lumber world for centuries. Other species that have dominated furniture making include the temperate hardwoods elm, ash and beech, and from the tropics, mahogany, teak and rosewood.
It is possible to argue that nearly all other woods are merely alternatives to these favored few, with lesser-known species gaining in popularity because of shortages or changing tastes. Woods of the genus Acer -- maple and sycamore -- are preferred for their close grain, ease of use and pale color, while cherry offers some of the qualities of mahogany but comes from a more trustworthy source. The huge number of tropical hardwoods now available perhaps reflects the attempt to find weather-resistant species to replace endangered woods such as teak, or furniture-quality species to replicate mahogany. Often they are poor imitations -- in terms of color, figure and ease of use -- of the originals, and that perhaps explains why temperate hardwoods like cherry have become so popular. Of course, tropical hardwoods are still favored in many cases for windows, doors and other joinery.
The most exotic species, such as rosewood and ebony, are now very expensive, and tend to be used only for decorative effects or as veneer. A by-product of the environmental movement has been the introduction of small quantities of previously unheard-of woods, many of them harvested by communal forestry enterprises in the tropics. Some of these are exquisite in color and figure, but as yet hardly used.
There are many factors to consider when choosing wood, If there is a strict budget to watch then price is a significant issue, and the degree of wastage may also be important. The structure of the piece way limit the range of options, depending on whether the design needs hardness, strength or a bit of give. A solid tabletop is best made from woods that are not likely to move, as are drawer components, which need to fit well for years.
Color may be important, either to match existing furniture, or to enhance the specific design. Stains and dyes can help, though many woodworkers prefer the integrity of an unadulterated finish. You may need to consider grain pattern and figure. Though it is often tempting to use the most decorative woods you can find,
sometimes intricate designs demand less sophisticated surface effects. In contrast, a simple design can be raised to new heights by a unique piece of lumber.
Texture can be used as creatively as color and figure. Coarse-grained species like oak and elm can be sandblasted or wire-brushed, and then limed or stained for dramatic effects, while highly polished rosewood is spectacular for more formal work. Species with contrasting colors, textures and patterns can be juxtaposes successfully, but usually needs some form of visual buffer between them, and great care needs to be taxes when attempting to form unlikely partnerships.
When working with wood, always take precautions against accidents with machinery. Use ear protection and eye shields, and a mask or respirator to keep dust from your nose and lungs. Some species are hated for the noxious power of their dust, which causes respiratory and skin problems or exacerbates existing allergies.
Make sure to investigate the health hazards before using a particular wood. Specific species have not been noted as harmful because reports are anecdotal, and evidence linked to particular woods hasn't been found. It would be irresponsible so list harmful woods as some harmful species may inadvertently be missed. Woodworkers should be cautious and make a note of any effects they may suffer from wood they are using. See a doctor if symptoms a
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Posted February 21, 2010
The book provides the serious woodworker with a wealth of knowledge about specialty woods that are not available at the "Big Box" stores. It will definitely help with future wood projects.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.