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The Woodbook: The Complete Plates (Taschen 25th Anniversary) Hardcover – July 1, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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""The specimens, as things of beauty, are greatly to be prized?. The work is valuable and unique."" ?
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Product Details

  • Series: Taschen 25th Anniversary
  • Hardcover: 799 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; 25th edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822838187
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822838181
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 2.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This spectacular edition reprints and extends a book first published in 15 volumes, staged across the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries. 354 North American tree species appear, including "trees" like palms and suguaro. A few paragraphs describe each species briefly, including habit of growth, characterization of the lumber, and uses of the tree. Uses include edible nuts, tannins for processing leather, and traditional applications of bark or roots. Descriptions appear in English, German and French. The photos across the fold of each two-page spread really make this book, though.

Each wood, with very few exceptions, show the wood as it appears in transverse (end grain), radial (quartersawn), and tangential (plainsawn) sections. These specimens were provided by Kew Gardens in the UK, and add a little information of their own: the UK-English name of each tree (in addition to the US-English), German and French again, and in Spanish - often different the different names used in different Spanish-speaking regions. In many cases, the tree's leaves, flowers, and fruit or seed are also illustrated in line drawings taken from Sargent's magnum opus from the same era, "Silva of North America."

Since the descriptions are now over 100 years old, usages may look odd. Acorns, for example, no longer find wide use as human food, and only sugar-maple's sap still has much use in cooking. A few notes are painfully up to date, though. Many species were described as diminishing because of over-harvest even then, and the loss of old-growth forests was already a concern.

Other books give better descriptions of how the wood accepts machining, glue, or fasteners, and potential health risks in handling the wood and its sawdust. No matter, this is an outstanding resource and a visual delight. I recommend it to anyone passionate about wood and its beauty.

-- wiredweird
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent Value. I am an advanced hobbist woodworker and this book is an a great reference for a multitude of common & somewhat rare or unusal North American wood. If you buy your wood from one-man or small sawmills, this is very good reference for identification. Additionaly, shrinkage data, 3 view pictures of grain & surface, and application data make this book very important reference work for your personal library.

I could also see where environmentalists and outdoorsmen would find valuble.
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Format: Hardcover
This is essentially the same as the 2002 book (The Woodbook: same title, same publisher, different subtitle), with two major differences: 1) it costs a lot less and 2) it is less artsy (no gold text on black pages!), resulting in a lot more readability. For the rest see the earlier review.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a birthday gift for my brother, a talented wood worker who built his own home, decks and remodels all over the northeastern US, tables, jewelry boxes, domino boxes, and spectacular bowls. He was delighted with the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well worth the cost. A considerable time and review was made in assembling these full color plates of wood samples. Text that is written on each color plate was very helpful in learning the structure and appearances of each wood depicted. A worth while addition to any wood lover/ home hobbyist collection.
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Format: Hardcover
This book delivers on several levels. For the novice who just likes interesting color plates on wood, it is superb. likewise, as a coffee table book ( though a heavy one), it delivers. For the researcher, it is a must and does not disappoint, and for his wife who knows nothing about trees or wood, it is a fascinating and interesting book and can be picked up and put down at any time. Do yourself a favor and add this book to your collection!
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Format: Hardcover
Being born, and lived, all my life in Mexico city I am waht we call a "city rat". The Taschen book fills my lack of knowledge on trees and woods.

Presentation is superb and the case even sounds like wood when you knock it.

I saw the book at Paris last opened museum, the Quai Branly, but due to the weight I waited until I came back.

You can not miss it with this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Gave this to my woodworker husband for Christmas. We originally saw the book at Borders for more than what I paid on Amazon, and my husband really wanted it but didn't want to pay the price. Got a great deal on Amazon and he is very happy with his present.
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