Facts and Trivia About Wood

 

I’ve always had a fascination for the natural world and how men and women have used our world to craft new things. Like me, I’m sure you take some time to learn about your craft—the history behind it, the materials used, how it impacts society, the skills & techniques. I think that’s one thing that sets a true craftsman apart from someone who just makes stuff. And it’s pure fun to learn something new. So I thought it would be fun to go explore some interesting facts and trivia about wood.

I mainly used two resourses: Woodcraft Magazine and a book by Albert Constantine called, Know Your Woods: A Complete Guide to Trees, Woods, and Veneers. Another excellent book is The Real Wood Bible
I encourage you to get a copy of these resources. 

I have compiled a list of 20 facts and trivia on wood, and I know I’m just scratching the surface. Note–the answer key is at the end of this article.

  1. This wood is technically a grass, neither softwood or hardwood. Unlike other woods, the most usable part is toward the exterior of the trunk. It doesn’t show any growth rings and has no knots. Some refer to this wood as porcupine wood.
  2. You commonly find this in multi-species cutting boards. It’s a beautiful color that suggests royalty, and its native range is Central and South America. After this tree is cut, the heartwood transforms into a rich color which gives this wood its name. Hobby woodworkers use it for small scale projects: knife scales, pens, bottle stoppers.
  3. This wood is very aromatic. It’s recorded in the Bible that King Solomon called for this lumber when constructing the temple in Jerusalem.
  4. The Coney Island Boardwalk, which opened in 1923, was made from this wood. It’s extremely hard and very durable. This wood is so dense that it sinks in water. Another interesting fact: it has a class A fire rating, similar to iron and steel.
  5. What wood is used to make matches?
  6. This wood was used in earlier years to create fly rods.
  7. A popular wood used for butcher’s blocks.
  8. This wood is famous for its use in Hawaiian Ukuleles.
  9. Up toward the end of the 20th century, this wood was commonly used in golf club heads.
  10. Close to 80% of this wood is used for making tool handles.
  11. This tree is rumored to be “rarer than diamonds.”
  12. This wood smells like leather when it’s freshly milled.
  13. What is the name of the tallest known living tree?
  14. What American tree produces a sap from which we get syrup?
  15. The number of railroad ties used per mile (in the U.S.)?
  16. This wood is naturally resistant to fire, which makes it suitable for tobacco pipes.
  17. This wood is the primary material for the modern-day pencil.
  18. How many woods are referred to in the Bible?
  19. What American wood is used for the making of bows?
  20. What wood is generally used to manufacture toothpicks?

Enjoy a couple of my pictures from the woods and scroll down to the bottom of the post for the answer key.

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Answer Key:

Black Palm (1)
Purple Heart (2)
Cedar of Lebonan (3)
Ipe (4)
Quaking Aspen (5)
Lancewood (6)
American Sycamore (7)
Koa (8)
Persimmon (9)
Hickory (10)
Pink Ivory (11)
Teak (12)
Hyperion, a coast redwood in Northern California (13)
Sugar Maple (14)
3000 (15)
Briar (16)
Incence Cedar (17)
Twenty-one (18)
Osage Orange (19)
Birch Wood (20)

Hope you enjoyed this post and got something out of it. Feel free to comment and share any trivia you’d like to add to the list!

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