Hand Tools Archive

Re: wood-database-how do I use it

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Maybe you test these unknown to the western world species because they are relevant to woodworkers in your area. The US exports hardwood lumber throughout the world. It will be easier for most to interpret results of testing techniques and tools if testing is done on stuff most people use.

Bill, the use of Jarrah does not invalidate the studies I performed. It would not have mattered what wood I used. I preferred a wood that was abrasive since this would hasten wear (no doubt a reason Lee Valley used MDF). I used Jarrah, partly because it is abrasive (that was the reason for my link to Wood Database), and partly because it is available in my neck of the woods.

If I had used USA Hard Maple (a wood I have come to use quite a bit over the past 4 or 5 years) in place of West Australian Jarrah, would it make the results more intelligible to you? Is all Hard Maple the same?

Again I emphasise that it is irrelevant what wood I used - what was relevant was simply that I used the same wood for all blades (whatever the research in question was). This holds constant a vital variable in the research process, and all blades are measured against this one variable.

Warren frequently posts how he obtained a Jarrah board and outperformed with his vintage chisels anything I could with the modern chisels I was using. This is so wrong on so many levels, but I will mention just one: his findings have no place in scientific research. How can he compare his Jarrah board to the one I used? Ironically, Warren frequently chides us for treating "White Oak" as if it was just one species with just one temperament.

Regards from Perth


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