This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
This tree inhabits the mountainous districts of Europe, and extends into N. Asia, being especially prevalent in Norway. It runs to 80-100 ft. high, and about 2-3 ft. max. diam. The tree requires 70-80 years to reach perfection, but is equally durable at all ages. It is much imported in spars and deals, the latter about 12 ft. long, 3 in. thick, and 9 in. wide. The wood glues well, and is very durable while dry, but much more knotty than Northern Pine. It is fine-grained and does well for gilding on, also for internal joinery, lining furniture, and packing-cases. A principal use is for scaffolds, ladders, and masts, for which purpose it is largely imported from Norway in entire trunks, 30-60 ft. long, and 6-8 in. max. diam. It is shipped from Christiania, Friedrichstadt, Drontheim, Gottenburg, Riga, Narva, St. Petersburg, etc. Christiania deals and battens are reckoned best for panelling and upper floors; Friedrichstadt have small black knots; lowland Norway split and warp in drying; Gottenburg are stringy and mostly used for packing-cases; Narva are next in quality to Norway, then Riga; St. Petersburg shrink and swell even after painting. The wood is generally light, elastic, tough, easily worked, and extremely durable when properly seasoned.
It weighs 28-34 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 8000-12,000 lb. a sq. in.; strength, 104; stiffness, 104; toughness, 104. The wood is yellowish-white or brownish-red, becoming bluish by exposure. The annual rings are clearly defined, the surface has a silky lustre, and the timber contains many hard glossy knots. It is soft, warps much unless restrained while seasoning, and lacks durability; it is weaker than red and yellow pine, less easily worked, and apt to snap under a sudden load. It is a nice wood for dresser-tops, shelves, and common tables, but should not be less than 1 in. thick, on account of warping. The knots are liable to turn the plane-iron.