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Woodworking Wood Dust Information

Strange, but True, Wood Facts

After many years of research and woodworking experience, we at wanted to create a page full of useful information for all levels of woodworkers. Whether you are just now starting out, or a master craftsman with decades of experience, we hope this page will provide you with useful information and perhaps some eye opening facts. Thanks to everyone reading and we will contginue to update this page as we recieve new information!

  • Wood Selection Criteria - Woods are categorized based upons several selection criteria. These include the following; Distribution, Tree Size, Average Dried Weight, Janka Hardness, Modulus of Rupture, Elastic Modulus, Crushing Strength, Shrinkage, Rot Resistance and several more criteria.
  • Soft Woods - Soft Woods are generally harvested from Conifers and make up a much larger portion of wood used in woodworking applications. These woods, as the name implys, are softer and have thinner grain strands, as well as larger resin canals. These woods are used for specific purposes of construction, art, trims and finishes. Because the bands are generally larger and more pronounced, softwoods are considered more asthetically pleasing, such as mouldings, and trims.
  • Hard Woods - Hardwoods make up the smaller percentage of all woodworking applications and harvested from thousands of different varieties of trees. These woods in general are tougher, stronger, last longer and can hold up to heavy loads. This wood type is most used in construction, furniture, framing and other needs of strength and durability rather than looks. This includes lumber, marine docks and pylons, and other large, heavy duty, wood working applications. Because Hardwoods grow slower than softwoods, they are more expensive and not used in commercial applications often.
  • Special Woods - In addition to the two main categories of woods there are certain specialized woods. For example, Yew wood is used to create pipes and items that require good heat resistance. Balsa wood is used in aircraft design and interior due to its lightweight and high strength. There are many woods out there that are specialized for various purposes and these are designated "special woods" in addition to the main two categorizations.
  • Strange Wood Side Effects - From "Sensitizing" woods, to poisonous woods, to woods that cause hallucinations, you wouldn't believe some of the effects certain woods can have on people.


Wood Selection Criteria

Below is the breakdown and definition of each selection criteria used to determine a wood species;


Distribution: Where is the tree naturally located geographically.

Tree Size: What largest the tree grows.

Average Dried Weight: Weight of tree once felled and dried.

Janka Hardness: Measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear.

Modulus of Rupture: The mechanical parameter for brittle material, is defined as a material's ability to resist deformation under load.

Elastic Modulus: The number that measures the wood's resistance to being deformed elastically when a force is applied to it.

Crushing Strength: The capacity of a wood type to withstand loads tending to reduce size.

Shrinkage: How much does the wood shrink upon drying.

Color: Color and appearance of wood.

Grain: The Grain type and texture of the wood.

Rot Resistance: How well does the wood once exposed naturally resist rotting.

Workability: How easy is it to work the wood, whether its cutting, sanding, carving, steaming, etc...

Odor: How does the wood smell.

Toxicity: Some woods cause allegic reactions and are toxic to people, this determines to what level.

Pricing and Availability: This defines the amount of wood available and the overall price for said wood.

Sustainability: Lets the buyer know if the tree from which the wood comes is sustainable or endangered.

Common Soft Woods

Below is a list of some of the most commonly used softwoods in the woodworking world today.

1) Western Red Cedar

2) Black Cottonwood

3) Atlantic White Cedar

4) Yellow Buckeye

5) Subalpine Fir

6) Northern White Cedar

7) European Silver Fir

8) Balsam Poplar

9) Paulownia

10) Balsa

Common Hard Woods

Below is a list of some of the most commonly used Hardwoods in the woodworking world today.

1) Cebil

2) Katalox/Wamara

3) Black Ironwood

4) African Blackwood

5) Camelthorn

6) Verawood

7) Snakewood

8) Gidgee

9) Lignum Vitae

10) Quebracho

Strange Wood Side Effects

As previously mentioned, some woods have very strange side effects on people, in addition to the common ones. These effects are listed below.

1) Irratation (eyes, skin, nose, mouth, ears)

2) Asthma and Wheezing

3) Nausea

4) Nervous system Effects

5) Nosebleeds

6) Skin Lesions and Rashes

7) Giddiness

8) Excessive drymouth or salivation

9) Pink Eye

10) Headaches

11) Sepsis from splinters

12) Swelling, particularly of hands, feet and testes

13) Hallucinations

14) Pneumonia

15) Cardiac effects and blood hemoraging

16) Cancer

17) Bowel, digestive and kidney problems

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