- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Taunton Press Inc; Revised ed. edition (November 1, 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0918804051
- ISBN-13: 978-0918804051
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.9 x 11.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 139 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,100,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understanding Wood: A Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology Hardcover – November 1, 1980
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About the Author
R. Bruce Hoadley has a degree in forestry from the University of Connecticut and a doctorate in wood technology from Yale. He is a former professor of wood science and technology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He frequently consults for museums and acts as an expert witness at trials. He is also the author of Understanding Wood (The Taunton Press, 1980, 2000) and Identifying Wood (The Taunton Press, 1990).
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Or take this simple woodworking situation: you are building a towel rack from two side pieces of white pine drilled to accept a maple dowel. Exactly how much wider should the hole be than the dowel so that expansion and contraction due to moisture changes in the bathroom won't split the sides?
A little time spent with this book will give you the ability to answer questions like these, quickly, exactly, and with authority. No more guessing about the effects of moisture, temperature, finish, and loads on wood: just look up the data in the clear and handy tables and graphs Hoadley provides and do the simple calculations (it's multiplication and division, folks, with nothing harder than an occasional exponent).
Almost every chapter contains revelations for the newcomer to woodworking. Early on we learn not only that wood changes size with moisture, but by how much (according to species), in which directions, how this affects its shape, and what are the common and best techniques to compensate for or design for these changes when building anything with wood. Later we learn how to relate these moisture changes to humidity--there's a clear and handy chart, as well as an easily memorized rule of thumb--and how to build and calibrate a simple shop hygrometer. In another chapter Hoadley applies this information to a discussion culminating in valuable information on sanding and finishing wood.
The many applications to an understanding of all things wooden make this book stand out for the casual reader, while the detailed, systematic explanations of the whys and hows make it ongoingly useful for anyone who crafts quality things from wood. It is the ideal supplement to an entire library on the how-to's of woodworking, because with the information given here, you will be equipped to make intelligent choices of how to select, cut, assemble, and finish a project of any size and complexity.
The only nit I have to pick has to do with the presentation of mathematical formulas: it's miserable. For instance, in one place the expression "D/O" stands for a single quantity rather than a value "D" divided by a value "O". Potentially confusing, yes; but what compensates for it is the clear descriptions and examples in the text: these are so good, you can totally ignore the formulas and not miss a thing.
Overall, Hoadley's long, thoughtful experience with all aspects of wood, from the engineering through the creative, shine through consistently. That's why I give this one five stars and I'm buying more copies for friends.
This is an absolute Bible of working with wood. The amount of usefull, intelligent info in here is staggering. This one definately covers the "whys" of wood (why does it do this or that). If you want to know "what" to do with wood (joinery, etc) then look up Tage Frid. I feel the need to say that this book is actually rather scientific. By that I mean it has lots and lots of details and microscopic pictures and things you'd learn in a college class. If you're not really into that kind of stuff, you might not find this book usefull to you.
Personally, I wish I would've gotten this book a long time ago and not ruined so much nice wood in the mean time!
And as always, Amazon has a great price and had it in my hands within a couple of days (literally 2 days) from ordering it.
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Not just what happens to wood but why it happens.