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Forum topic by Eddy_1287 posted 12-10-2012 03:51 AM 3400 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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44 posts in 2045 days

12-10-2012 03:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

I’m very new to the woodworking world and would love to learn everything I can. One of the subjects at hand I’m curious about is types of wood. As a kid I always used either pine or oak as my choice lumber, but seeing all the different projects on here has opened my eyes to the vas array of woods at my disposal. My question to you guys is: Is there a book out that really gives a detailed description and project application for each major type of wood?

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

16 replies so far

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2531 days

#1 posted 12-10-2012 04:40 AM

many books that give an intro to woodworking will have a section on woods, but if you want a whole book on wood I have Nick Gibbs The Real Wood Bible. its pretty good and I believe it comes in a paperback or a spiral bound versions

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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David Craig

2137 posts in 3075 days

#2 posted 12-10-2012 05:05 AM

Hey Eddy. Aside from literature, one thing I would recommend is finding a sawmill or lumberyard around your area that isn’t limited to the basic construction lumber. I spent hours, the first time I went to one. It wasn’t that I didn’t know that other woods existed or what they looked like, but it was surrounding myself with it and seeing slabs of cherry, walnut, black locust, maple, etc. and then not only seeing them in their usual form but seeing what spalting looks like, or birds eye, or the shimmer of tiger maple. It is quite the sensory experience.

Do understand, of course, that once you go that route you will spend the rest of your life sounding mentally disturbed to others around you. You will spend much more time talking to yourself because no one else is going to understand what you are talking about. Except for the folks here.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Ted's profile


2838 posts in 2178 days

#3 posted 12-10-2012 05:09 AM

Another good book about popular woodworking woods is Woodworker’s Guide to Wood by Rick Peters. I’m not sure there is any one best book on woods. You’re going to learn a lot from any book with accurate information.

If there is a hardwood supplier near you, take a trip there just to look around. Ain’t nothing like the real thing!

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View Eddy_1287's profile


44 posts in 2045 days

#4 posted 12-10-2012 05:54 AM

Hey thanks guys! I’ll look into those books and for going to a local supplier, I’ll have to look a bit harder. I live in Vegas, and unfortunately, so far I’ve only found one supplier. There’s got to be more out here somewhere!

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2155 days

#5 posted 12-10-2012 06:13 AM

Not exactly what you’ve asked for, but Understanding Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley (Taunton Press) is a landmark book for woodworkers that will give you tons of info that will help you understand how and why wood behaves the way it does. Should be in every woodworker’s library.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3068 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 08:38 AM

I have thought this web site has a lot of good information…...........................

-- mike...............

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Monte Pittman

28946 posts in 2305 days

#7 posted 12-10-2012 01:06 PM

David Craig is right though, they more you know, the more you bore others around you. I am a wood/tree junkie. Constantly looking for different trees to cut and have different wood to work with. I have driven hundreds of miles for tees I can’t get locally. It can be a lonely road, until you show the finished product. They’re in awe and I get an I told you so moment. I love the feel of the wood, the smell of the wood as well as the view.

Again not exactly what you’re looking for, if you can, read George Nakashima “The Soul of a Tree”. For me, he represents what I want to be.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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David Craig

2137 posts in 3075 days

#8 posted 12-10-2012 01:27 PM

This is the third time I heard Nakashima’s name mentioned Monte. Thanks for the title. I think I will pick that one up.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2253 days

#9 posted 12-10-2012 01:36 PM

This is the best place I’ve found for wood info.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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2099 posts in 2155 days

#10 posted 12-10-2012 07:24 PM

If you like Nakashima, also check out James Knenov. Not a how-to but lots of philosophy . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View WDHLT15's profile


1732 posts in 2443 days

#11 posted 12-11-2012 03:07 AM

“Understanding Wood” by Bruce Hoadley.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3092 days

#12 posted 12-14-2012 05:53 PM

if you enjoy researching but find the woodworking world to be lacking.. there are two on-line resources about tree species… I have the philosophy that if you know how the tree grows you know what it’ wood is best for and what it’s working properties are going to be like. one is from the USDA National Resources Conservation Service and the other is from the USDA Forestry service.. I recommend following up with the Wiki for Soil types and other terminology, but they are great sources for the life cycle of each species: reproduction, location, diseases, and uses. I have often wanted to write a concise book connecting tree species to wood uses, but I would also like to take a sculpture course in Italy again.. lol.

David Craig has the right of it though… to have people around who just love you and support your addiction. I Just sneaked a peek into my gifts and found out I am getting “Identifying Wood” by Hoadley and “The Woodbook: the complete plates”... woo hoo!!

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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84 posts in 2120 days

#13 posted 12-14-2012 06:00 PM

At the risk of looking like a copycat, I also recommend Dr. Hoadley’s book Understanding wood. If you ever want to come over to Missouri, I can mill you up samples of persimmon, hackberry, elm, ash, walnut, red oak, black oak, white oak, sassafras, mulberry, hedge, dogwood, cherry, sycamore, and anything else we find out in the woods. I’ve got a portable bandsaw mill and love working with the oddballl stuff.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2810 days

#14 posted 12-14-2012 06:20 PM

You might be interested in both of Dr. Hoadley's books. Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology and Identifying Wood -Jack

View Loren's profile (online now)


10268 posts in 3614 days

#15 posted 12-14-2012 06:24 PM

+1 Eric P.

The Forestry service wood handbook is excellent. I think they
used to mail it to you for free of very cheap, but now it’s
online for free in PDF.

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