Ancient Kauri from New Zealand is the oldest workable wood in the world. Tsunamis leveled the mighty Kauri thousands of years ago and they have been preserved underground in the top half of the North Island of New Zealand for more than 45,000 years. The further north they are found, research has shown the older the Kauri is.
If you look around the room you’re in, chances are you can see edge banding on some of the furniture or trim in the room. That’s because it is almost always easier and more practical to build large projects with plywood. For furniture or other decorative pieces, plywood is a less expensive alternative to solid wood and it is dimensionally stable so you don’t have to worry about expansion or warping.
Ever gone on a snipe hunt? You just go into the woods on a moonless night with a burlap bag and then the fun begins… at your expense. A ‘Snipe Hunt’ is a practical joke where inexperienced campers hear about the fun of hunting snipe and are sent out to bag the quarry, often while banging rocks together and yelling into the night. It’s great fun for the pranksters but not so much for the one being fooled.
Splits in wood can bring out mixed reactions. An optimist would see it as adding character and interest to the wood. A pessimist would only see a defect that makes the wood less valuable and attractive. It’s all perspective; if you are a homeowner and you have a split in your hardwood floor you are likely to be a pessimist. On the other hand, a craftsman might be optimistic that a split will enhance the value of an artistic piece.
Craftsmen have been decorating with veneer for thousands of years. It has been used for exquisite classical furniture and unfortunately at times it was used to cover up shoddy furniture construction. Lately, wood veneering has been on the upswing both as a way to create elegant inlaid patterns and to extend the supply of exotic hardwoods. With modern adhesives and substrates, veneering is a viable alternative to solid wood construction.
How many times have you ‘knocked on wood’ for luck? Do you believe it’s actually lucky? Is it just a habit? Or perhaps you do it as a joke. Knocking on wood doesn’t change anything, but then it doesn’t hurt anything either. Unless of course, you knock on wood too hard and damage your knuckles.
Ever wonder what price you could get for that big tree in your yard? Unfortunately the answer is ‘it depends.” There’s no simple answer since many factors affect the amount someone would be willing to pay. It’s true that some local hardwoods such as walnut or cherry command premium prices but you can’t just check board foot prices at the local lumber yard and calculate a price.
Andy Warhol once said, “If it doesn’t make sense, its art.” That statement says art is symbolic – it’s form for its own sake. I’ll admit that many works of art don’t make sense to me. But don’t you see things every day that are sensible, functional and yet beautiful? When do practical items cross over and become ‘art’? Isn’t it possible for something to be both useful and artistic?
Plywood is used for everything from construction to furniture. Alternating veneer layers make it strong and relatively inexpensive. The many layers also help it resist warping and cracking. The faces can be inexpensive pine for sheathing or subfloors, or they can be beautiful hardwood veneers suitable for fine furniture and cabinets.