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 S. African wood, the tambooti or hooshe of the natives, is very heavy, fine-grained, and durable, and is used for waggon-axles, wheel-cogs, spokes, telegraph-poles, railway-sleepers, and piles. This is the "black" ironwood. The "white" (Vepris lanceolate) is used for similar purposes.
This useful tree is a native of the E. Archipelago, and is widely cultivated in Ceylon, S. India, and all the warm parts of Asia, mainly as a shade-tree for coffee and other crops. Its wood is in very general use locally for making furniture; it is durable, and can be got in logs 21 ft. long and 17 in. diam. Its weight is 42 lb. a cub. ft.; breaking-weight, 600 lb.
This species is remarkable for size of stem, and is found in Bengal, Malabar, and Burma. Its wood is strong and close-grained, and considered next in value to teak for ship-building. Its weight is 38 - 49 lb. a cub. ft.; cohesive force, 13,000-15,000 lb.; breaking-weight, 740 lb.
Jaral (Lagerstraemia reginae) is a valuable timber tree of Assam, giving a light salmon-coloured wood, with coarse uneven grain, very hard and durable, and not liable to rot under water. It is used chiefly in boat-building and for house-posts. Full-sized trees run 35 ft. high and 7-8 ft. in girth, fetching 6l.-8l. each.
This tree attains greatest perfection in W. Australia, reaching 200 ft. high. Its wood is hard, heavy, close-grained, and very durable in salt and fresh water, if cut before the rising of the sap. It is best grown on the hills. It resists sea-worms and white ants, rendering it specially valuable for ships, jetties, railway-sleepers and telegraph-posts, but shrinks and warps considerably, so that it is unfit for floors or joinery. Logs may be got 20-40 ft. long and 11-24 in. sq. Its weight is 62 1/2 lb. a cub. ft.; crushing-force, 7000 lb.; breaking-weight, 500 lb. The chief objection raised against it is that it is liable to "shakes," the trees being frequently unsound at heart. For piles it should be used whole and unhewn; there is very little sapwood, and the outer portion of the heartwood is by far the harder, hence the desirability of keeping the annular rings intact.
A small evergreen tree 20-30 ft. high; the wood is finely marked and suitable for veneering. Grows in the North and South Island of New Zealand, as far south as Akaroa.
A large tree; trunk 2-4 ft. diam., and 50 ft. high. Wood close-grained and heavy, but rather brittle; might be used for plane-making and other joiners' tools, block-cutting for paper and calico printing, besides various kinds of turnery and wood-engraving. Grows in the middle and southern parts of the Northern Island and throughout the Southern Island of New Zealand. It is chiefly employed for making the staves of barrels.