Wooden barrels have been used for the transportation and storage of goods for around 2000 years. Cooperage developed along with the growth and evolution of trade. Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians had been experimenting with open-ended wood and reed vessels held together with wood bands long before, but it was not until the refinement of iron processing technology that the crafting of barrels could be reliable. The Celts’ are credited with the development of the barrel around the beginning of the first millennium. The Celts shipbuilding and iron working skills were critical to the development of the barrel. Soon after, the Romans capitalized on the invention to store their own goods, and distributed the technology and the goods throughout their vast trade routes.
A buildings architecture may be the one thing you remember when you leave. It sets the mood and says something about the space. Walls, doors, ceilings, and floors; wood is as diverse as it gets when it comes to architecture. From the modern look of grain matched wall panels to the elegance of mahogany style and rail doors, it is easy to see woods versatility. Architecture is its own area when it comes to wood products. The Architecture + Wood Series elaborates on the application of wood as it applies to architecture.
Whether you are trying to restore a table with a warped top, figure out why your cabinet or passageway doors are warped, or you’re a woodworker looking to fine tune your projects, understanding what causes panels to warp and how to prevent it can be the difference between getting it done and getting it right. When working with solid wood or plywood, preventing panel warp is possible. Although solid wood and plywood have inherent differences the fundamentals are the same. Panel warp can be caused by the materials, construction, processes, or environment. Continue reading
Flavorings and packaging are two uses for wood in food and drinks, but never the less an interesting topic for the inquisitive. In the case of bourbon it is both. Wood has a long presence in the packaging of foods and through the development of new materials over the last 100 years it is interesting to see where and why it persists. White oak, beech, and birch are just few that still have their place in packaging of foods today. Hickory, white oak, and mesquite are staples when it comes to flavorings. The Food + Wood Series elaborates on the application of wood as it applies to foods and drinks.
During WWII, the United States set an impressive bench mark for unity and home front efforts that has yet to be matched. Everyone was expected to do what they could to help. Goods were rationed and factories were diverted from their primary products to products that could directly support the war time efforts. Lumber and wood product industries took and active part in these efforts. The United States government want to make sure they had a reliable supply chain for all wood goods. Continue reading
When reading or talking about wood, we run across technical terms and jargon. Some may be familiar to us and others may leave us wondering where they came from. Understanding these specific natural characteristics of wood can help us draw connections between the things we know and the things we have yet to learn. Continue reading
I found it fascinating that when I was in college and people asked what I was studying they were surprised that I was studying WOOD. I got responses like “what are you going to do with that?” or “will you be able to get a job?” Since then I’ve made it a mission to enlighten people about what can be done with wood, what has been done with wood, and the science behind working with wood. These are the inspiration for the Application + Wood, History + Wood, and Science + Wood series. Hope you enjoy!
For articles by Kyle Newman.
Sports are a popular pass time and even they are intertwined with the wood. From baseball bats to bowling alley floors, to pool cues; wood is an integral part of many of the sports we enjoy. The application of wood in sports is both practical and simple. Various woods are chosen for their specific physical properties and less for their appearance. Both competitive sports and the use of wood goes well into prehistory of mankind; however I find it fascinating that combination of both rarely precedes the industrial revolution. The Sports + Wood Series elaborates on the application of wood as it applies to sports.
Music is a fascinating area when it comes to the art of woodworking. Wood adds to the beauty of both the music and the instrument itself. Music is, has been, and always will be an important part of culture. Until the refinement of metals and the development of synthetic materials wood was the material for instruments. Even today the finest instruments are made of wood. Pianos, guitars, and the woodwinds to name a few that are made from wood. Wooden instruments last and it is not uncommon to hear of a violin from the 18th, 17th, or even the 16th century sold in auction. The construction and the woods chosen for an instrument are not random, but are highly specialized. This forms an interesting overlap in the study of acoustics and wood science. The Music + Wood Series elaborates on the application of wood as it applies to instruments.