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Forum topic by Jeison posted 12-24-2009 12:32 AM 1024 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeison

951 posts in 2572 days


12-24-2009 12:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource books wood

What I’d like to find is some kind of reference on wood, like explaining different properties of different species, anything I might need to know about working one type vs another, and especially what makes one type particularly well suited for a certain type of project over another. (I have several “cheat sheets” from magazines that give some really basic info, but it doesnt give much more than “maple is best for benchtops” kind of stuff, while I want to learn the WHY of things)

Since this coming spring I want to kick things into high gear and really get going on building my workshop, I started checking out the local home supply stores to see what kinds of materials they had and prices and such. Unfortuanetly there’s no place for raw lumber within 250 miles, but I live about 15mins away from Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe’s, so mostly what I have access to is maple, oak, pine, birch and generic whitewood, in a huge array of dimensioned and sheet sizes.

So what I want to learn is just what are the differences between them, llike for example when I’m building some storage cabinets why should I choose one over another, etc. Then later on when I’ve built up my skills (and gotten a planer/jointer/decent bandsaw) and I can justify ordering different kinds of lumber, I need to learn how to choose the best kind for whatever it is I have in mind.

‘ppreciate any recommendations anyone can make, cuz I realized right now I’m pretty much flying blind lol!
Thanks guys!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.


8 replies so far

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SteveMI

954 posts in 2759 days


#1 posted 12-24-2009 01:31 AM

I hope someone has an answer to Jei’s question, because I would like the same reference. The internet is awesome in giving 10,000 responses to a question on the subject. LJ normally has a caveat of “that’s what I use.” In many case the next result seems to contradict the previous one. Some sites have great information, but being a commercial concern, are biased or don’t cover what they don’t sell.

It would be great to have a definitive comparison of woods for; hardness, appropriate finishes, weathering, M&T practical, potential allergen, applicable gluing types… My dream would be a Cliffs Notes or one of those vinyl coated school subject foldouts.

Steve.

View dlmckirdy's profile

dlmckirdy

196 posts in 2598 days


#2 posted 12-24-2009 01:46 AM

Yesterday I was at the library, where I happened to check out “Understanding Wood – a Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley, Taunton Press, 2000. It looks like it is just what you described. I hope so, that is why I chose it.

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

951 posts in 2572 days


#3 posted 12-24-2009 03:43 AM

Thanks Doug, I just looked it up on amazon.com and from the reviews does look like exactly what I want! Good price too (just ordered a copy for $10 after shipping, no complaints there lol!)

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View JayPique's profile

JayPique

61 posts in 2752 days


#4 posted 12-24-2009 03:46 AM

If you’re getting just one, Understanding Wood is absolutely the one to get. Excellent, excellent book.

JP

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

951 posts in 2572 days


#5 posted 12-24-2009 04:19 AM

If people have other suggestions I’m glad to take em, I have five empty shelves to fill yet lol!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View lwllms's profile

lwllms

555 posts in 2746 days


#6 posted 12-24-2009 05:20 AM

One of the books I found myself referring to often over the years is:

Textbook of Wood Technology: Structure, Identification, Properties, and Uses of the Commercial Woods of the United States and Canada (McGraw-Hill Series in Forest Resources) (V. 1) by Panshin, A.J.; Zeeuw, Carl De

It’s out of print but available used for less than I paid for my new copy in 1982.

View dkg's profile

dkg

30 posts in 2550 days


#7 posted 12-24-2009 06:02 AM

If you like working with tropical hardwoods, The Tropical Timbers of the World is an excellent book, but it is pricey. For local species and tropical species, World Woods in Color is pretty good and not as expensive as the previously mentioned book.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

17671 posts in 3140 days


#8 posted 12-24-2009 09:50 AM

Does “Understanding Wood – a Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley, Taunton Press, 2000, have all the proper uses mentioned like Roy Underhill mentions in his programs?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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