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What I'd like to find is some kind of reference on wood, like explaining different properties of different species, anything I might need to know about working one type vs another, and especially what makes one type particularly well suited for a certain type of project over another. (I have several "cheat sheets" from magazines that give some really basic info, but it doesnt give much more than "maple is best for benchtops" kind of stuff, while I want to learn the WHY of things)

Since this coming spring I want to kick things into high gear and really get going on building my workshop, I started checking out the local home supply stores to see what kinds of materials they had and prices and such. Unfortuanetly there's no place for raw lumber within 250 miles, but I live about 15mins away from Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe's, so mostly what I have access to is maple, oak, pine, birch and generic whitewood, in a huge array of dimensioned and sheet sizes.

So what I want to learn is just what are the differences between them, llike for example when I'm building some storage cabinets why should I choose one over another, etc. Then later on when I've built up my skills (and gotten a planer/jointer/decent bandsaw) and I can justify ordering different kinds of lumber, I need to learn how to choose the best kind for whatever it is I have in mind.

'ppreciate any recommendations anyone can make, cuz I realized right now I'm pretty much flying blind lol!
Thanks guys!
 

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I hope someone has an answer to Jei's question, because I would like the same reference. The internet is awesome in giving 10,000 responses to a question on the subject. LJ normally has a caveat of "that's what I use." In many case the next result seems to contradict the previous one. Some sites have great information, but being a commercial concern, are biased or don't cover what they don't sell.

It would be great to have a definitive comparison of woods for; hardness, appropriate finishes, weathering, M&T practical, potential allergen, applicable gluing types… My dream would be a Cliffs Notes or one of those vinyl coated school subject foldouts.

Steve.
 

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Yesterday I was at the library, where I happened to check out "Understanding Wood - a Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology" by R. Bruce Hoadley, Taunton Press, 2000. It looks like it is just what you described. I hope so, that is why I chose it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Doug, I just looked it up on amazon.com and from the reviews does look like exactly what I want! Good price too (just ordered a copy for $10 after shipping, no complaints there lol!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If people have other suggestions I'm glad to take em, I have five empty shelves to fill yet lol!
 

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One of the books I found myself referring to often over the years is:

Textbook of Wood Technology: Structure, Identification, Properties, and Uses of the Commercial Woods of the United States and Canada (McGraw-Hill Series in Forest Resources) (V. 1) by Panshin, A.J.; Zeeuw, Carl De

It's out of print but available used for less than I paid for my new copy in 1982.
 

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If you like working with tropical hardwoods, The Tropical Timbers of the World is an excellent book, but it is pricey. For local species and tropical species, World Woods in Color is pretty good and not as expensive as the previously mentioned book.
 

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Does "Understanding Wood - a Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology" by R. Bruce Hoadley, Taunton Press, 2000, have all the proper uses mentioned like Roy Underhill mentions in his programs?
 
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