WoodCentral's Book Reviews
World Woods In Color

World Woods In Color
by William A. Lincoln

Linden Publishing: 1986
Hardback, 320 pp., $49.95
ISBN 0-941936-20-1

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     This classic reference text of wood types includes 275 species of wood from around the world. Each one is represented by a large, full-color photograph the actual size of the timber, so grain patterns and surface structure are realistically displayed.
     Lincoln is a British author who has made a real effort to cross-reference this volume. He takes special care in listing each wood by its standard, commercial, and vernacular names, as well as its formal botanical classification. His 'standards' are British, and a little confusing to us Yanks, but the book is so well indexed and cross-referenced, it is easy to find specific woods and their native sources.
     Listings include general descriptions, weight and specific gravity, mechanical properties, harvesting and seasoning advice, durability, and working properties. Woods are included alphabetically by common names, and designated either hardwood or softwood.
     The introduction is well worth reading, as it explains how to judge the author's presentation of these different qualities. Wood movement, for example, Lincoln lists as small, meaning under 3%, medium 3.0 - 4.5%, and large, over 4.5%. Natural durability of heartwoods in contact with the ground, he calls perishable if less than 5 years, non-durable if 5-10 years, moderately durable if 10-15 years, durable for 15-25 years, and very durable if over 25 years.
     There is a 'Table of Uses' at the back of the book eight pages long, describing what species are commonly used for marine timbers, for carving and sculpture, for turnery, wharves and jetties, cooperage, solid doors, and sixteen other categorized uses. Lincoln lists sources for further information, and has a long bibliography divided by timber regions of the world. There is a separate index of standard names, vernacular and trade names, and botanical names.

. . . Barb Siddiqui