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 is met with in many parts of India, being said to attain its greatest size at Chanda. Its wood resembles the finest teak, but is tougher and more elastic. Being usually crooked, it is unsuited for beams, though much used by Bengal ship-builders, and in India generally for joinery and furniture. Its weight is 46 1/2 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 12,000 lb.; breaking-weight, 700 lb.
This most durable S. African timber, the oomtata of the natives, is invaluable for railway-sleepers and piles, being almost imperishable.
This white-barked fir is a native of high mountainous tracts in the colder parts of N. America, where it grows 40-50 ft. high. The wood is tougher, lighter, less durable, and more-liable to twist in drying than white deal, but is occasionally imported in planks and deals. It weighs 29 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, S000-10,000 lb.; strength, 86; stiffness, 72; toughness, 102.
This tree inhabits Canada and the N. States, being most abundant in eold-bottomed lands in Lower Canada. It reaches 60-70 and even 100 ft. high, but seldom exceeds 24 in. diam. The wood is much used in America for ships' knees, when oak and larch are not obtainable.
This species grows in Nova Scotia, and about Hudson's Bay, reaching 70-80 ft. high. It is universally preferred in America for ships' yards, and imported into England for the same purpose. It unites in a higher degree all the good qualities of the Black Spruce.
Stopperwood is principally used for piles and for wheel spokes. It is a very strong and durable wood, and grows from 12 to 1G ft. long and from 6 to 8 in. in dinm. It is found on all the Bahamian islands, and is an exceedingly hard, fine, close-grained, and very heavy wood.
This tree affords one of the best building woods of Australia, being cleaner and straighter-grained than most of the other species of Eucalyptus. It is hard, heavy, strong, close-grained, and works up well for planking, beams, joists, and flooring, but becomes more difficult to work after it dries, and shrinks considerably in drying. The outer wood is better than the heart. Its weight is 56 lb. a cub. ft.; crushing-force, 6700 lb.; breaking-weight, under 500 lb. It is liable to warp or twist, and is susceptible to dry-rot. It splits with facility, forming posts, rails and paling for fences, and shingles for roofing.
This tree, mis-called " plane " in N. England, is indigenous to mountainous Germany, and very common in England. It thrives well near the sea, is of quick growth, and has a trunk averaging 32 ft. long and 29 in. diam. The wood is durable in the dry, but liable to worms; it is chiefly used for furniture, wooden screws, and ornaments. Its weight is 34-42 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 5000-10,000 lb.; strength, 81; stiffness, 59; toughness, 111. The wood is white when young, but becomes yellow as the tree grows older, and sometimes brown near the heart; the texture is uniform, and the annual rings are not very distinct; it has no large medullary rays, but the smaller rays are distinct.