African Blackwood

AFRICAN BLACKWOOD. See Black Botany-Bay Wood.


ALDER. (Alnus glutinosa,) Europe and Asia. There are other species in N. America and the Himalayas. The common alder seldom exceeds 40 ft. in height, is very durable under water, and was used for the piles of the Rialto at Venice, the buildings at Ravenna, &c: the wood is also much used for pipes, pumps, and sluices. The colour of alder is reddish-yellow of different shades, and nearly uniform; the wood is soft, and the smaller trees are much used for inferior turnery, as tooth-powder boxes, common toys, brushes, and bobbins, and occasionally for foundry patterns. The roots and knots are sometimes beautifully veined, and used in cabinet-work. The charcoal of the alder is employed in the manufacture of gunpowder.


ALOES-WOOD. See Calembeg.


ALMOND-TREE, (Amygdalus communis) is very strongly recommended by Desormeaux, as being hard, heavy, oily or resinous, and somewhat pliable; he says, the wood towards the root so much resembles lignum vita, as to render it difficult to distinguish between them. It is sometimes called false lignum-vitae, and is used for similar purposes; as handles, the teeth and bearings of wheels, pulleys, etc, and any work exposed to blows or rough usage. It is met with in the South of Europe, Syria, Barbary, etc. The wood of the bitter almond, grown in exposed rocky situations, is preferred.


AMBOYNA-WOOD. See Kiabooca-wood.


ANGICA-WOOD. See Cangica-wood.


APS. See Poplar.


APPLE-TREE, (Pyrus Malus). The woods of the apple-trees, especially of the uncultivated, are in general pretty hard and close, and of red-brown tints, mostly lighter than the hazel-nut. The butt of the tree only is used; it is generally very straight and free from knots up to the crown, whence the branches spring. The apple-tree splits very well, and is one of the best woods for standing when it is properly seasoned: it is very much used in Tunbridge turnery, for bottle-cases, etc.: it is a clean-working wood, and being harder than chesnut, sycamore, or lime-tree, is better adapted than they are for screwed work, but is inferior in that respect to pear-tree, which is tougher. The millwright uses the crab-tree for the teeth of mortise-wheels.


APRICOT-TREE, (Armeniaca vulgaris,) a native of Armenia, is mentioned in all of the French works on turning, beginning with Bergeron, (1792,) who says, the wood of the apricot-tree is very rarely met with sound, but that it is agreeably veined, and better suited to turning than carpentry. He elsewhere very justly adds, that we are naturally prejudiced in favour of those trees, from which we derive agreeable fruits, and expect the respective woods to be either handsome in appearance, or agreeable in scent, but in each of which expectations we are commonly disappointed: this applies generally to the orange and lemon trees, and we may add, to the quince, pomegranate and coffee trees, the vine, and many others occasionally met with, rather as objects of curiosity, than as materials applicable to the arts.