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UNIT 4 : WOOD

1.-INTRODUCTION
Wood

is a raw vegetable material. It comes from the trunks of trees and bushes. People have

used wood for many purposes such as: fuel, paper, houses, tools, weapons,

It's composed of:

cellulose fibres

lignin- which makes it hard and rigid

Parts of a tree trunk:

Bark: exterior layer

Cambium: a thin transparent layer

Sapwood: not very strong layer

Heartwood: hard and dry, extracted and processed for all types of woodworking

Pith: the centre, very weak, not generally used

2.- PROPERTIES OF WOOD


Physical properties:

Hardness: wood is hard but it can be penetrated by objects such as screw or


nails

Density: wood is less dense than water, so it floats

Electrical insulation: that means that electricity ----

Thermal insulation: that means that heat ____

Porosity: wood can absorb or emit liquids because it has pores

Mechanical resistance: wood has good mechanical resistance against forces of traction,
compression or bending

Colour: wood has a variety of colours

3.- HOW TO PROCESS WOOD :

FELLING AND PRUNING


The felling of a tree is the first stage of preparing wood for commercial use. This takes place in
winter, when the tree has less water content.
Mature trees are selected by a forestry worker. Only older trees are chosen, allowing the younger
trees to grow to maturity. Felled trees are replaced with saplings. Consequently, the forest is
sustainable (it should not run out of trees).
The trees are cut down with chainsaws and the branches are then pruned

TRANSPORT
The logs are transported to the sawmill, using vehicles equipped with lifting gear.
In the Tropics, large numbers of logs are transported by floating them in rivers and allowing them
to be carried down stream by the current, to sawmills.

SAWING
At the sawmill, the logs are cut into boards using
equipment such as circular saws and bandsaws.
Large circular saws are then used to process the
boards, removing the curved edges. Each processed
piece of wood now looks like a board or plank.

DRYING

When a tree is felled, it contains a large quantity of


water. Drying is the process through which excess
water is removed. The wood is dried under
pressure so that it doesnt warp. Dry wood lasts
longer and is lighter

PLANING
The wood is planed to make the wood smooth and evenly flat
and give it a good finish

3.- CLASSIFYING WOOD:


Wood is divided into two major classifications:

Hardwoods and Softwoods

There is great confusion about the terms hardwood and softwood. These terms do not refer to its
technical properties but its origin. In this way, there are softwood trees which have hard wood and
viceversa.

Hardwood trees :
decidious trees
they grow slowly and have thick trunks, they contain little resin
they can be in many different colours
Examples:
Beech: heavy and easy to work with, used in furniture, floors, chairs, toys
Oak: heavy, very hard and resistant, used in solid furniture, parquets, boats
Cherry, mahogany
Softwood trees:
conifers
They grow quickly
the wood is resinous
wood is light and easy to work

Examples:
Pine: Resistant, easy to work with. Used: furniture,, boats, posts
White fir: elastic, not very resistant. Used: building, boats, carpentry, paper...
Red fir, white poplar

4.- WOOD DERIVATIVES


They don't come directedly from logs, but from wood sheets, fibres or chips that are compressed
and glued together
Prefabricated wood products
It can defined as wood products manufactured by glueing together wood particles ( wood chips )
or fibres

Plywood : thin sheets of wood glued together Fibreboards: the fibres come from milling the
and compressed. The fibres in one sheet are at wood chips. The planks have different grades of
density: MD, LD
90 angle to the fibres in the next sheet.
Compact, flexible
Very sensitive to humidity
USES: exterior covering, shelving, doors
USES: doors, joinery, pakaging

Chipboard: made with wood chips glued together and compressed. Fragile and not easily
deformed, although they can ocasionally bend. USES: doors, furnishing, insulation panel

Paper

Making paper: wood is pulped and mixed with water and chemical products to make cellulose
paste. This is compressed and rolled out by a machine until it becomes a sheet of paper
5.- TOOLS: ( draw the tools in your notes)
For measuring:
Measuring tape,

carpenter`s square

To secure pieces:
C-clamp

bench-vice

clamp

To cut and saw


Handsaw

coping saw

hacksaw

To drill

Drill

gimlet

to carve
Chisel

Nylon/rubber mallet

To plane

Rasp

flat/ round file

To join
Hammer

pliers

wrench

screwdriver

shear

allen key

ACTIVITIES:
1 What are the two main substances that wood is composed of ?

2.- True or false:


Wood is denser that water
Wood provides good thermal insulation
Wood is used to conduct electricity
3 Order these words to make two sentences about wood processing:
from removed The is the bark log
Wood The is make it planed smooth to
4 Talk to your partner about making these objects: what type of wood would you use and why ?.
Write down your answers and share them with the rest of the class:
A wooden shelf to put books on
A model house for a technology project
A kitchen chair
A pencil box
A bird table for the garden
( Example: A: I would use a hardwood for a shelf because books are heavy
B: I agree, maybe pine is best because it is easy to work with )