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.
Tulip (Ilarpullia pendula) grows in Queensland to a height of 50-60 ft., and yields planks 14-24 in. wide, of close-grained and beautifully marked wood, highly esteemed for cabinet-work.
The walnut-tree is a native of Greece, Asia Minor, Persia, along the Hindu Kush to the Himalayas, Kashmir, Kumaon, Nepal, and China, and is cultivated in Europe up to 55° N. lat., thriving best in dry, deep, strong loam. It reaches 60 ft. high and 30 - 40 in. diam. The young wood is inferior; it is in best condition at about 50-60 years. Its scarcity excludes it from building application, but its beauty, durability, toughness, and other good qualities render it esteemed for cabinet-making and gun-stocks. Its weight is 40-48 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 53G0-8130 lb.; strength, 74; stiffness, 49; toughness, 111 - all taken on a green sample. Of the walnut-burrs (or loupes), for which the Caucasus was once famous, 90 per cent. now come from Persia. The walnut forests along the Black Sea, which give excellent material for gun-stocks, do not produce burrs, which only occur in the drier climates of Georgia, Daghestan, and Persia. Italian walnut is worth 4-5 1/2d. a ft.
This is a large tree ranging from Pennsylvania to Florida; the wood is heavier, stronger, and more durable than European walnut, and is well adapted for naval purposes, being free from worm attacks in warm latitudes. It is extensively used in America for various purposes, especially cabinet-making.
The wood of the willow is soft, smooth, and light, and adapted to many purposes. It is extensively used for the blades of cricket-bats, for building fast-sailing sloops, and in hat-making, and its charcoal is used in gunpowder-making.
This is one of the largest trees of the Cape Colony, reaching 6 ft. diam. Its wood is extensively used in building, though it warps much in seasoning, and will not bear exposure.
This long-lived shrubbery tree inhabits Europe, N. America, and Japan, being found in most parts of Europe at 1000-4000 ft., and frequently on the Apennines, Alps, and Pyrenees, and in Greece, Spain, and Great Britain. The stem is short, but reaches a great diameter (up to 20 ft.). The wood is exceedingly durable in flood-gates, and beautiful for cabinet-making. Its weight is 41-42 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, S000 lb.
As this volume is intended as much for colonial as for home readers, it will be useful to give a brief summary of the woods native to various localities: -
The only wood from this colony which is known as it deserves is the greenheart, already described at p. 133. Yet there are several other woods equally worthy of being studied and utilized; among them the following were mentioned recently by Dr. Prior at the Linnean Society. "Ducalibolly" is a rare red wood used in the colony for furniture. "Hyawa-bolly" (Omphalobium Lamberti) is a rare tree 20 ft. high, known commercially as zebrawood. Lancewood is variously referred to Duguetia quitarensis, Guatteria virgata, Oxyandra virgafa, Xylopia sp., and Rottinia Sieberi; there seem to be 2 kinds, a "black" called carisiri, growing 50 ft. high and 4-8 in. diam., only slightly taper and affording by far the better timber, and a "yellow" called "yari-yari" (jejerecou in French Guiana), 15-20 ft. high and 4-G in. diam.; the Indians make their arrow points of this wood, and the spars go to America for carriage building. Letter-wood (Brosimum aubletii) is useful for inlaying and for making very choice walking-sticks.