Hand Tools Archive

Re: Do Your Homework

William Duffield
You need to do the math yourself. It's good for you!

Go to the Wood Database:


or the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, Center for Wood Anatomy Research (where I strongly suspect the wood database gets their numbers):


Look up and compare the wood movement rates of the two woods you want to glue together. The closer the numbers are, the less problem you will have in the long run, but you also need to consider how they were sawn so you can figure out how much of their radial expansion rates and how much of their tangential expansion rates are applicable. Since it is a western plane, its is probably quarter sawn beech, so the tangential number is mostly applicable there. A little simple trigonometry will help if there is a lot of difference in the grain directions. (If it were a Japanese plain, the dai would often be oak, not beech.) Oak wears well, but if you decide your white oak is inappropriate, or just risky, and want to consider other species in your collection, then to choose one, you will want to also consider it's hardness. This will give you a good idea of how well it will wear. Note that in the case of oaks, old growth wood with lots of rings per inch does not wear as well as new, fast grown oak. This is not necessarily the case for other species, especially diffuse porous ones.

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