The Encyclopedia of Wood is the most informative and comprehensive guide for all those who fully appreciate the beauty of wood. It is much more than a craftperson's guide. The anatomy and life cycle of trees are described, as are the subtleties of grain, pattern, figure, and color. Forest types from around the world are explained and illustrated, with a special section on the complex subject of deforestation and conservation. The processes that wood undergoes between the forest and the end user are explored, including how timber is cut and the way in which this affects its uses. Stress and grading, drying and conversion, and advanced wood manufacturing technology are all covered in detail.
The book's core is an A-Z directory of 150 of the world's most popular and beautiful timbers. Growth and distribution, appearance, mechanical and working properties, and applications are listed, with each wood superbly illustrated in color.
The Encyclopedia of Wood is unique in its appeal to designers, engineers, artists, craftspeople, and enthusiasts alike. Generously illustrated, informative, and thoroughly readable, it is the essential companion for users and lovers of the earth's best-loved natural resource.
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Aidan Walker spent 10 years as a professional carpenter, joiner, and cabinetmaker, after which he became editor of Woodworker magazine, the U.K.'s leading journal of woodworking craft and design. He is now a freelance writer on wood and furniture-related topics. Bill Lincoln has spent 30 years in the wood trade. He is the author of The Art and Practice of Marquetry and The Complete Manual of Wood Veneering. Luke Hughes studied Chinese and tooka degree in the history of art. He then switched to law before deciding to commit himself to woodwork. He now produces classically influenced furniture for such prestigious London stores as Liberty's and the Conran Shop. Lucinda Leech is a well-established furniture designer.From Booklist:
Anyone who likes to tramp through the woods, reads the Arbor Day Foundation newsletter, or shops at home-and-garden centers can probably identify a fair number of common trees: maples, oaks, pines, and the like. Some folks can even tell a red maple from a sugar maple, a black oak from a pin oak, and a southern yellow pine from a Norway pine. However, there's a tremendous difference between identifying a living tree and identifying a piece of wood. Living trees offer lots of helpful hints: bark color, bark texture, foliage, seedpods, height, and overall shape. Seasoned, board-cut pieces of wood offer none of these hints, and that's why this specialized identification guide is so useful.
Thirty pages of introductory material, richly enhanced with outstanding maps, photos, and illustrations, explain tree anatomy, tree growth, wood grain, logging practices, conservation, and the various processes for seasoning and preservation of wood. This material is well written and beautifully presented. The real treasure, however, is the "Directory of Wood" section, which contains entries on 150 "top commercial timbers" arranged alphabetically by scientific name. Each one-page entry begins with a four-by-eight-inch photographic reproduction of the specific type of wood. The quality of the color photographs is so high that readers will be tempted to run their fingers over them to feel the wood's texture. Along with these photos are brief descriptions of growth patterns, appearance (the wood, not the living tree), properties, and uses. Closing out each entry are a small world map showing growth location and a small chart indicating structural features, such as impact resistance, bending strength, and crushing strength.
The Encyclopedia of Wood is a beautifully crafted identification guide for practicing woodworkers and others whose professions depend on wood. Libraries whose constituencies include such individuals should give it serious consideration for purchase. Art A. Lichtenstein
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