Thursday, 31 March 2016


1. Quebracho - From the Spanish “quebrar hacha,” which literally means 
“axe breaker.” Aptly named, wood in the Schinopsis genus is among the 
heaviest and hardest in the world.
2. Lignum Vitae -Widely accepted as the hardest wood in the world–this 
wood has been listed as an endangered species and is listed in CITES.
Consider Verawood as a very close substitute.
3. Gidgee - This Australian endemic is both very heavy and very strong.
Some pieces are dark enough to be used as an ebony substitute: one that’s 
even harder than the original article.
4. Snakewood - It’s easy to see what makes Snakewood so unique–its patterns 
and markings resemble the skin of a snake. Limited supply and high demand 
make this one of the most expensive woods on eart.
5. Verawood - Sometimes called Argentine Lignum Vitae, this wood is a gem:
inexpensive, great olive-green color, beautiful feathery grain pattern, and 
it takes a great natural polish on the lathe.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Forests and woodland in Britain contribute to our health and well-being. Construction materials that
contribute to health and well-being when they are forming are rare. Through access to forests by dog walkers,horse riders, runners, cyclists and more forests and woodlands in Britain are the green gyms of our country as well as contributing a wider £500 m. to the local rural economy every year.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Woodworking is a most satisfying pastime, so varied and multifaceted you will never complete the twin processes you have undertaken: acquiring tools and learning how to use them. You have begun a lifetime pursuit.

by Michael Dunbar, "Essential Tools"

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Wood can make you feel well

Wood can make you feel well. Going for a walk in the woods is highly therapeutic. The Japanese medical profession has been prescribing so-called ‘forest bathing’ (shinrin-yoku) for patients for decades. What about wood the material itself? Conclusive evidence is building about the positive psychological impacts of having nature and natural proxy materials such as timber in interiors in buildings. In hospitals it has been demonstrated benefits to patients recover faster, require less medication and feel less pain. In schools concentration improves, learning improves and absenteeism falls. In offices productivity increases and absenteeism falls.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

"But, on the whole," continues our eloquent Professor, "Man is a Tool-using Animal (Handthierendes Thier). Weak in himself, and of small stature, he stands on a basis, at most for the flattest-soled, of some half-square foot, insecurely enough; has to straddle out his legs, lest the very wind supplant him. Feeblest of bipeds!... Nevertheless he can use Tools, can devise Tools: with these the granite mountain melts into light dust before him; he kneads glowing iron, as if it were soft paste; seas are his smooth highway, winds and fire his underwear steeds. Nowhere do you find him without Tools; without Tools he is nothing, with Tools he is all." - Thomas Carlyle

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

But, at all events, one thing we have in our power — the doing without machine ornament and cast-iron work. All the stamped metals, and artificial stones, and imitation woods and bronzes, over the invention of which we hear daily exultation — all the short, and cheap, and easy ways of doing that whose difficulty is its honour — are just so many new obstacles in our already encumbered road. They will not make one of us happier or wiser — they will extend neither the pride of judgment nor the privilege of enjoyment. They will only make us shallower in our understandings, colder in our hearts, and feebler in our wits. And most justly. For we are not sent into this world to do any thing into which we cannot put our hearts. We have certain work to do for our bread, and that is to be done strenuously; other work to do for our delight, and that is to be done heartily: neither is to be done by halves and shifts, but with a will; and what is not worth this effort is not to be done at all.
- John Ruskin, "The Lamp of Life," The Seven Lamps of Architecture, 1849