Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology

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Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology is a highly regarded book written by R. Bruce Hoadley. This book is a reliable resource for woodworkers, craftsmen, and anyone interested in gaining a deep understanding of wood and its properties. 

Basically, the book explores the science and technology behind wood, helping readers make informed decisions when working on various woodworking projects. Moreover, the title is currently enjoying a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon, with a 4.3 score on Goodreads.

Understanding Wood: Key Topics

Key topics covered in the book include:

  • Wood Anatomy: The book delves into the structure of wood including the different types of cells and tissues found in wood, such as fibers, vessels, and rays. This is crucial for comprehending wood’s behavior and properties.
  • Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes: The book explains how wood interacts with moisture and how it can lead to dimensional changes due to the swelling and shrinking of the material. This knowledge is essential in preventing wood warping and other issues.
  • Strength and Mechanical Properties: The book provides insights into the mechanical properties of wood, including its strength, hardness, and elasticity. It explains how these qualities vary among different wood species and how they affect the wood’s suitability for various applications.
  • Wood Species: Hoadley’s book covers a wide range of wood species, describing their characteristics, uses, and unique properties. This aids woodworkers in selecting the right wood for their projects.
  • Wood Defects: Understanding Wood explores common wood defects, such as knots, shakes, and splits, and how to deal with these issues. 
  • Drying and Seasoning: Proper wood drying and seasoning methods are essential for reducing moisture content and stabilizing wood. The book discusses various techniques for drying wood effectively. 
  • Finishing and Adhesives: The book also touches on finishing techniques and adhesive selection, providing practical advice for achieving a professional finish and strong bonds.

About the Author

Understanding Wood author R. Bruce Hoadley was Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is best-known for his books on wood identification and wood anatomy. Furthermore, he has also worked as a contributing editor and technical consultant for Fine Woodworking magazine. 

Some of R. Bruce Hoadley’s works on Amazon include:

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John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

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