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Wood and Woodworking: 20 Fun Facts


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Wood Woodworking

There used to be 5 basic elements – air, water, wind, earth and fire. The entirety of human mankind depends on these 5 elements. At BluEntCAD, we firmly believe that there’s a 6 element too. Wood. Technically, a part of the earth, yet so distinct in its own existence.

Humans have used wood for so long that they’ve stopped seeing wood as a separate entity. Do you build something without wood? Nope. Do you think about fuel without wood? Impossible. Are sports, vehicles, books, paper anything without wood? Duh!

Unless you are lost in a lush, green forest, the everyday applications of wood often skip one’s eyes. If the oldest tree could tell a story, what would it say?

It would probably talk about the pharaohs and the invaders and the first machines and the first fires. It would talk about all the time people worshipped trees and sat underneath them for shade and fruits. It would also tell them about how trees came to be an integral aspect of the Construction Industry today! There’s so much to know about what our predecessors used to sit on, sleep on and build on and we have transformed everything with hi-tech machines and equipment.

BluEntCAD’s team has compiled several interesting facts about wood and woodworking.

Take a look:

  • The Mahogany wood holds a regal stature worldwide. Dating all the way back to the 17th Century, Mahogany was used extensively in Great Britain. It is a fine wood, solid, glues perfectly and is aesthetically appealing. However, considering its huge demand and the sad fact that the mahogany tree sources were never replenished, there’s a scarcity of this wood all over the world. We love the Mahogany wood too!

    Mahogany wood

  • The British Oak trees can live for 500 years and if Henry VIII hadn’t cut nearly all of them for constructing warships, there’d be so many of them.

  • The dovetail joint, used so frequently now, dates back to ancient Egypt. Furniture with dovetail has been found in the tombs of mummies of the first dynasty. This joint is present in the tombs of the classical Chinese emperors. These joints are known for their resilience and can be used to join pieces of furniture without any mechanical fasteners.

    Dovetail joint
    Credit: Dovetail Joint

  • The early mosques and private houses in the Arabic countries which are still standing today have wooden windows which were crafted at the height of ancient Near East woodcarving. The woodworkers of Syria, Egypt, Persia and Spain created exquisitely elaborate and delicate paneling for fittings, furniture, wall linings, ceilings and pulpits. This may very well be the earliest example of custom designing.

  • You can find early veneers dating back to the Early Egyptians, in the tombs of Pharaoh Semekhet, who died over 5000 years ago. Some scholars also believe that the Egyptians were the first woodworkers to add varnish to their woodwork. The composition of these finishes is unknown.

  • Examples of woodworking can also be found in the early Chinese Civilizations. Around 720 B.C., woodworking burgeoned in the country leading to sophisticated woodworking applications in creating pots, tables and other furniture.

  • You will not find the word ‘chair’ in the Bible. People used wooden stools or stones to sit. Although having been present since the Ancient Egyptians, these were popularized in the western world through Greeks and Romans. The Chinese historians cite chairs being used commonly since the 12th Century. The Egyptian chairs were built from Ebony while Greece and Roman chairs used marbles and wood. Interestingly, Charles Darwin invented the first office chair in the 1800s when he added wheels to his static chair to move freely.

    Early egyptian chair
    Credit: Early Egyptian Chair

  • We have used beds for a long time. In ancient history before 3600 B.C., beds were made of palm leaves, straw and animal hides. The first modern bed was made of wood in the 12th century. The 17th century was the era of magnificent beds. During this time, the affluent in England and France used golden bedcovers and silk sheets to cover their beds.

  • The Japanese are credited with developing high-carbon steel tools. Because of this, they were able to create exquisitely sculpted scenery. Their techniques spread across Southeast Asia too.

  • Timber is a wood or a tree grown specifically for carpentry and construction. It is carbon-negative so it’s eco-friendly. Over 70% of the world’s population lives in timber housing.

Wood and woodworking are unique in several other ways as well. Let’s find out how!

  1. Hardwood and softwood – contrary to their names, are the seeds, leaves and structure of the tree and not the type of wood. If you apply wood finishes to softwood, you’d be amazed at the results. The pine furniture book of the early 80’s to late 90’s was due to softwood popularity only.

  2. 80% of the world’s timber production is accounted for by softwoods.

  3. If you plan on reselling your property later, then don’t forget the greenery. Well-groomed trees increase the resale value of a space by 14 to 27%.

  4. Ebony is the blackest wood in the world and Holly is the whitest wood in the world.

    Ebony vs Holly
    Credit: Ebony vs Holly: A comparison

  5. If you place trees correctly near your property, you can reduce your air conditioning costs by 30%. Trees bring down the temperature of the surroundings.

  6. In New Brunswick and Quebec, tree thieves break into the maple sugar tree groves at night. They chose a tree randomly and strip its bark off to find out if it has bird’s eye pattern on it. This is highly valued and is sold for as much as $10,000. However, if the bird’s eye pattern is not present on the tree and the bark is stripped off, the tree dies.

    Bird eye pattern
    Credit: Bird’s Eye Pattern on a Maple Tree

  7. After your house and your car, your furniture will probably be the most expensive item you will buy in your life. Unless of course, you are a fan of Jimmy Choo, Gucci or Prada!

  8. Your typical sofa lasts nearly 8 years or 2,958 days.

  9. The oldest bookcase in the world is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University!

  10. As charcoal, wood was the first form of writing as well. Even today, modern artists continue using charcoal to fuel their creative endeavors.

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