July 27, 2007

The Ways of Solid Wood

kirby_solidwood_1.gifWe were looking through DeWalt's collection of woodworking articles and thought this one was worth passing on. It's called The Ways of Solid Wood (by Ian Kirby) and it is about how and why wood distorts. We've read books on the properties of wood and can say that this article is a nice, quick summation of a topic that can easily get bogged down with too much information and quite a bit of technical jargon.

Still to be considered is the most important characteristic of all: after wood has been dried and converted into usable parts from the tree, it changes size according to the amount of moisture in the air.

In other words, wood is a dimensionally unstable material. No other factor plays such an important role in the way we design furniture made of solid wood. The parts of a cabinet must hold together and at the same time be allowed to shrink and expand. The most outstanding example of a dimensionally stable unit composed of pieces that are dimensionally unstable is the frame and panel.

Read the entire article here.

The article is actually a chapter in a book called Woodworking Down to a Line. Available here (we were having trouble with this link).

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at July 27, 2007 5:33 AM

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