The Real Wood Bible: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Choosing and Using 100 Decorative Woods Spiral-bound – Aug 6 2005
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You'll learn all about wood color and grain, sustainability and storage -- even how to turn your own trees into boards and veneers. It's a must-have reference to the world's most popular building material. (Sara Scott Log Home Design Ideas)
Every type of wood has its own personality and its own best uses, according to The Real Wood Bible... color photos and descriptions of 100 popular decorative woods. (James Cummings Dayton Daily News 2005-08-18)
It's the book you'd expect from a guy who made his first tool box from utile, an African mahogany. (Mark Feirer This Old House)
Invaluable for the novice but also a good reference for the pro. (Peggy Mackenzie Toronto Star 2006-01-19)
Written to answer any wood-related question... With such complete information, a book like this is likely to become the Holy Grail of wood. (Hardwood Floors 2005-12-01)
A thorough guide that can help beginning and advanced woodworkers choose between 100 types of decorative woods... A photo index makes browsing easy. (Rebecca Swain Vadnie Orlando Sentinel 2005-08-28)
Of particular note is a full-page photo of each species showing the wood in two states: bare and with a clear finish... a valuable and useful guide. (Anatole Burkin Fine Woodworking)
36 pages of pertinent advice, including seven steps to choosing wood and discussion of issues surrounding certified supply. (Sharon Wootton Olympia Olympian 2005-12-03)
There's more to wood than just how it looks.... learn the strengths and weaknesses of all types of wood. (Heidi Rose Lamirande Boston Globe 2005-11-03)
An essential reference for anyone who works with wood or makes decisions about how and where it's used. (Home and Design)
This comprehensive guide to 100 of the world's most popular woods can help you select the best one for your project... Great for woodworkers, designers and homeowners alike. (Diana Luciani Style At Home)
Gibbs, a carpenter and editor of Woodworker magazine, includes a vast amount of details about each wood variety: strengths and weaknesses, key details, primary uses, price range and, new this year, a sustainability rating. Also included are glossy, close-up photos of each wood, shown unfinished and oiled. The woods include those from around the world. Besides being a veritable encyclopedia of woods, the book gives tips on buying and storing lumber, sustainability issues and an explanation of how trees become boards. (Melanie Warner Houston Chronicle 2012-04-14)
This is a useful and informative guide to woods used in building and crafts. Its best use may be to direct consumers away from stressed and threatened species and toward reasonable, sustainable substitutes.... Although written mainly for crafters and homebuilders or renovators looking for interesting trim options, the casual browser will find something to mull over. (Mary-Liz Shaw Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2012-04-08)
About the Author
Nick Gibbs is a carpenter and editor of Woodworker magazine. He has contributed to many books including The Flooring Handbook.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Also, some of the names used by retailers on their woods aren't necessary the correct name. The illustrations are so good that you can take the book with you to identify the wood by its correct name. To me the book is easy to use and makes a real asset to the woodworker who uses harwoods for turning and projects. I give it a five because there are so few books on identifying wood types, its hard to make a comparison. That said, this makes for a good reference for the woodworker and a fine gift.
This gem of a book should be used by anyone who has an affinity or a use for wood. Collectors, floor-makers, cabinet makers, carvers and turners to mention a few will find it most usefull.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
However, the book doesn't offer much practical advice for working the wood. A lot of the lesser used species include advice like "Gluing: Little is known, best to experiement on scraps." Uhh, thanks?
The reason I purchased a reference book was so that if I use something uncommon, I could look up things I don't know. Instead, the author, an editor of a woodworking magazine no less, tells me that the only thing his book is good for is the pretty pictures. This is especially true of the section called "Secondary Woods"--substamtially lacking in useful information.
Why isn't there a book that compilies USEFUL information about a wood?
Some of the photos on unique aspects, such as quarter sawn surfaces and figure, do not illustrate the wood well. For example, the photos of figured cherry, curly maple and crotch mahogany don't even start to illustrate the beauty of these woods. The spalted maple photo makes one think that spalted maple should be used for heating the house. The burl photos do a very good job however. (Why is bog oak listed under diseased wood?)
Also, there are inconsistent names used. For example, American elm is listed with the note that it is "often referred to as white elm" but later in the description it is referred to as "gray elm". So, is this just a typo or is there another type of elm called "gray".
Finally, the information provided is not very consistent. For example, Some woods have information regarding assembly (screwing, nailing, gluing) others don't. The omission of assembly information is inexplicable and rather unforgiveable. Anyone who buys woods will assemble it, won't they?
Another example, under Dutch elm, it says that it must be given "the opportunity to move when used as a panel or tabletop". Don't you need to do this with all wood? And if so, why isn't mentioned with any other wood? Is Dutch elm special?
And here's a list of woods not covered that probably should be: aspen, big leaf maple (aka oregon maple), ipe, lyptus, pernambuco, myrtle, claro walnut, peruvian walnut, granadillo, black acacia, red gum, canarywood, regular/american chestnut, mesquite,, goncalvo alves, cypress, box elder, lacewood, leopardwood, olive, lauan/phillipine mahogany, kwila, doussie, alaskan yellow cedar, port orford cedar, vera/argentinian 'lignum vitae' and sycamore.
If I could, I change my rating to 1 star.
BTW, the picture for horse chestnut is wrong.
For the ecological concious woodworker it tells you those species that are endangered. It describes the characteristics of each wood, hardness, grain, workability etc.
The only drawback I found was that I would have appreciated that in addition to the latin name and english one it should show the name of the wood in other languages
However, this is a book written by a woodworker for woodworkers. By this time I can make a list (prior to opening the book) of the errors that are likely to be in such a book. Opening this book I find all these errors faithfully perpetuated, as expected. A rather spectacular new blunder is made in the entry for /Aniba/ (in this case /Aniba rosaeodora/ under its synonym /Aniba duckei/) where the text points out that there is an African "pau rosa" and a South American "pau rosa", and then blithely combines the name of the South American "pau rosa" with a picture of the African "pau rosa" (to be clear "pau rosa" is a vernacular or trade name attached to several woods: the two woods that are linked in the book have less in common than a Boeing 747 and a Rolex watch).
Another quible is that $30 is rather pricey for a middle-of-the-road book, that offers nothing new. Still, all in all a likable book.
I would like to see examples of finished pieces of some of the species, and I couldn't find many of the species I was looking for. While I understand it will not contain every concievable wood, it was lacking information about all five of the species I was looking for, each of which was available at my local hardwood supplier and woodworking store.
Not bad for a basic reference, but you could get better information by doing a Google search of your particular wood.
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