We find many uses in the woods. Wood constitutes one of the first raw materials that were used by the human being. Nowadays, wood is used for primordial processes in our society such as construction material, cladding, furniture construction, carpentry, footwear manufacturing, cabinet making or serving as fuel. However, what is less known is that different types of wood adapt to different types of uses. Therefore, in this Green Ecology article, we talk about the different types of wood, their characteristics, and classification.
Lets Move Into The Woods
Wood is a material that is extracted from the existing trunk under the bark of trees and shrubs that have a fibrillar structure. As we said, wood currently has several uses, but since the Paleolithic period, it was used for different uses such as the manufacture of weapons. The process of obtaining the wood consists of a series of steps:
- Tree felling.
- Extract its bark and eliminate the branches.
- Start and chop the tree.
- Extract and dry the wood.
Different types of wood are differentiated (as there are also differences in the characteristics of the trees from which they are extracted), although the classification currently used the most is the one that is made according to the hardness of the wood, which includes them in two large groups: softwoods and hardwoods.
This was already known also by our ancestors who used hardwoods for the manufacture of axes or skewers, and softwoods for sticks or rods. Moreover, less experienced carpenters, prefer to work with softwoods as they are easy to work with tools that are not too expensive and easy to achieve.
Examples And Characteristics Of Softwoods
The kinds of woods classified as soft tend to come from fast-growing or accelerated trees, perennials, and conifers, such as pines, poplars, elms, cypresses, firs, or cedars. The softwoods are easy to work and are ductile, however, do not associate soft with brittle, because there are very resistant woods of this type.
They are woods that are light, cheap and easy to get. As for disadvantages, they have less durability than hard ones, less aesthetic appeal than hard ones, (they are usually treated with paint, varnish or dyes) and in their treatment, they splinter easily.
SOME EXAMPLES OF SOFTWOODS ARE:
- PINE: easy to work, cheap pine wood and uniform texture. It is commonly used carpentry, panels, furniture, and moldings.
- CEDAR: reddish wood and a pleasant sweet smell. Very used in drawers, covers, tiles,
- FIR: wood with characteristics similar to pine, light, high resistance to chemicals, good elasticity and without resins. Widely used in wall and ceiling coatings.
Examples And Characteristics Of Hardwoods
They are usually harder form than softwoods. Also, they are more expensive than soft ones (they are obtained from trees with slower growth. So there is less supply and difficult to work. Because their external appearance is more irregular and less smooth than in soft ones.
They are widely used in construction and cabinetmaking. Because they can be used to manufacture high-quality furniture, they withstand the passage of time, have greater hardness and are much more aesthetic than softwoods.
THESE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HARDWOODS :
- MAHOGANY: reddish wood, fine grain, resistant. Very used in cabinetmaking for its quality. In addition to having high density and hardness, it is widely used in tropical and humid areas.
- OAK: hardwood with great bending qualities. Very used in parquets, floors or some types of furniture
- WALNUT: extremely hardwood of chocolate brown color. Very used for the manufacture of panels, some types of furniture, ornaments or turned elements.
- TEAK: hardwood very resistant to moisture, deformations, cracks or overtime
- Olive: thick and very resistant wood with yellowish, light or reddish colors
- CHERRY: in principle, it has pinkish-brown colors, but it gets darker with time until reaching reddish tones. It is more delicate than the previous ones.
- ELM: wood with shades ranging from light brown to reddish and very resistant to putrefaction.
- ASH: light cream pink or greyish colored wood.