If you're looking for a "one-stop shopping" reference for hardwood and softwood facts and figures, we've got a title for you: The Real Wood Bible, by Nick Gibbs, is on of the most useful books you'll ever add to your woodworking library. Over the course of its 256 pages, this tightly packed reference covers all of the most useful information on wood species used in woodworking, from the basics of selection and storage, to detailed technical information. The book covers 100 species of wood, and offers detailed information for each species on the wood's working properties, best uses, sustainability, best substitutes, and a lot more.
The book also features exceptional quality, actual size color photographs of each species that show the wood's color and grain pattern both unfinished and with an oil finish. Its a lot like having samples of 100 species of common - and not so common - species of wood on hand all the time. The ring-bound Real Wood Bible lays flat for easy one-handed perusing, and it's about glove compartment-sized, so you can keep a copy in your truck for trips to the lumber yard.
To give you an idea of the breadth of information this indispensable reference will put at your fingertips, we've prepared a short Real Wood Bible Quiz. See how your knowledge stacks up against one of the best and most usable single sources of hardwood and softwood facts we've ever encountered:
1. "Purpleheart" is:
A: The purplish streaks sometimes found in poplar heartwood.
B: A medical condition that can develop as a result of long-term wood dust exposure.
C: A brilliant purple wood produced by any of a number of species of the Peltogyne genus.
2. In woodworking, "shakes" can refer to:
A: What an unstable or makeshift wooden workbench does.
B: A type of wooden shingle.
C: Cracks that sometimes develop in wood while it is seasoning.
D: A, B and C are all correct.
3. "Waney edges" are:
A: The irregular natural edges that are sometimes left on the edges of boards cut along the length of a log.
B: A distinctive scalloped edge decoration popularized by furniture designer Sir Edmund Waney.
C: The brittle, difficult to work edge produced in some species of lumber when it is dried in conditions that are too cold.
4. What is "case-hardening?"
A: A method for increasing the strength and edge-holding capacity of tool steel.
B: A buildup of internal stresses in wood that develops when it dries unevenly.
C: A pressure treatment process used to increase the strength of lumber used in the construction industry.
5. "Tuart" is:
A: A very heavy Australian wood with an intriguing color and some figure.
C: There is no such thing as "Tuart."
Click below to check your answers. Even if you aced the test, the Real Wood Bible is still one of the handiest tools you'll ever bring into you shop.
Quiz Answers: 1. A. Purpleheart has a distinctive purple color, although it is hard and somewhat difficult to work. 2. D. Answer C is, appropriately, the only one mentioned in the Real Wood Bible. 3. A. 4. B. Case hardening is responsible for many of the defects in lumber. 5. A. Tuart is one of the interesting collection of less commonly used wood species mentioned in the Real Wood Bible's "Secondary Woods" section.